Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Thursday, June 8, 2017

This & that.....

Kansas’ Disastrous Experiment in Trickle-Down Economics Is Finally Over

The Republican Legislature voted to override the governor’s veto and raise taxes.

After years of budgetary ruin, Kansas’ experiment in trickle-down economics is finally coming to a close. Late Tuesday night, the state Legislature voted overwhelmingly to override a veto from Gov. Sam Brownback and increase a slew of taxes in the state.
Shortly after he became governor in 2011, Brownback dove into an ambitious effort to reshape the state with massive cuts to taxes and social spending. Brownback sold his plan as a conservative economic overhaul, implementing ideas that Republicans had long clamored for. He paid for Reaganomics guru Art Laffer to help craft the plan and convince wary state lawmakers.
The centerpiece of his plan was a huge reduction in the state’s income tax. Brownback erased the top income tax bracket and lowered rates across the board, with the most benefits handed to the wealthy. And he zeroed out taxes on “pass-through” income, allowing owners of LLCs and other businesses to evade taxes. Analysts warned that such a big reduction in tax revenue would leave a crater in the state’s budget, but Brownback waved away such concerns, promising that the cuts would more than pay for themselves by juicing the economy and creating jobs. When moderate Republicans in the Legislature didn’t fully agree with their governor, he teamed up with the Koch brothers’ advocacy organization to back primary campaigns against them and replace them with true believers.
But Brownback’s promised economic miracle never came to pass. Tax revenue has consistently come in below expectations.
A wave of moderate Republicans and Democrats swept into office after last year’s election, campaigning on ending Brownback’s experiment. But it’s still a heavily Republican Legislature that voted Tuesday to rebuke trickle-down economics, with bipartisan supermajorities in both chambers backing the override of Brownback’s veto. The Legislature’s plan would bring in an additional $1.2 billion over two years by bumping up income taxes across the board and ending Brownback’s exception for business owners.
Brownback had vetoed the plan earlier in the day Tuesday, as he had done earlier this year on another tax proposal. “We have worked hard in Kansas to move our tax policy to a pro-growth orientation,” Brownback said in a statement announcing his veto. “This bill undoes much of that progress.”
Brownback’s troubles could serve as a cautionary tale for national Republicans. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are determined to reform the country’s tax code, on the same principle of reducing rates on the wealthy to stimulate job growth. But if they want to convince voters that a handout to the wealthy won’t blow up the national deficit, the cautionary tale out of Kansas has made their task that much harder.

 Blue State Daily shared a link.

While speaking to NBC News recently, Arizona Republican Senator 
John McCain…


While speaking to NBC News recently, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain had a powerful condemnation of the “nuclear option” for confirming Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. This meant the Senate Republicans would change the rules in order to allow a simple majority vote to win his confirmation instead of the 60 typically needed to overcome a procedural vote to end debate.
As it turns out, Republicans did not have enough Democrat votes to overcome that 60-vote procedural threshold. In the past, that scenario was seen as a tool used to “moderate” the most important political processes, like selecting a judge. It keeps both hyper-conservative and hyper-liberal judges off federal benches.
The fact that Republicans were willing to end this rule has drawn ire from the majority of Americans whose politics lie somewhere in the middle. One Republican Senator, the generally-moderate John McCain had powerful words about Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell’s willingness to “go nuclear.”
“After 200 years, at least 100 years of tradition of where the Senate is functioning pretty well, that they think it’d be a good idea to blow it up. Idiot.”
He gets even more heated:
“No, whoever says that is a stupid idiot who has not been here and seen what I’ve been through and how we were able to avoid that on several occasions. They are stupid and they have deceived their voters because they are so stupid.”
Watch McCain’s powerful statement here:

When a member of the Trump family starts accusing some Americans -- those critical of the president -- of not even being "people," it may seem routine nonsense.
But don't dismiss the rhetoric too quickly.

When the Trump family starts dabbling in accusing some 
Americans if not even being "people," it's probably best not to 
dismiss the rhetoric too quickly.
For a guy who’s supposed to be helping lead Donald Trump’s business empire, and steering clear of politics, Eric Trump maintains a surprisingly active political schedule. Eric Trump recently sat down with officials at the Republican National Committee, for example, to discuss ways in which the party could help his father. He also tried to discredit the investigation into the Russia scandal during an ABC News interview this week.
Last night, however, The Hill reports that presidential son took his political rhetoric to a whole new level.
President Trump’s son Eric Trump on Tuesday said Democrats are “not even people” to him after their obstruction of his father’s agenda.
“I’ve never seen hatred like this,” he said on Fox News’s “Hannity” Tuesday night. “To me, they’re not even people. It’s so, so sad. Morality’s just gone, morals have flown out the window and we deserve so much better than this as a country.”
In context, it was a little unclear to me whether Eric Trump was referring specifically to Democrats or just those who protest against the president when he said “they’re not even people,” but either way, the point was roughly the same.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t ordinarily be too interested in random nonsense from Donald Trump’s adult sons, and “Republican says mean thing” is an inherently boring subject.
But I’ll confess the “not even people” line stood out as a rhetorical escalation of sorts.
In late 2015, Rachel had some segments on benchmarks associated with authoritarian political thought, and each had a familiar ring. Authoritarians embrace the legitimacy of violence, stifle dissent, target vulnerable communities, and encourage their followers to blame outsiders for their problems.
But they also like to characterize their opponents as being less than human. It’s this kind of thinking that’s often used to rationalize and justify new restrictions on civil liberties – among other things.
Look, there’s no point in throwing a fit every time Trump or someone close to him says something offensive, and it’d be exhausting to even try. But when the Trump family starts dabbling in accusing some Americans of not even being “people,” while lamenting the absence of “morality,” it’s probably best not to dismiss the rhetoric too quickly.

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