Lion of the Blogosphere

Obamacare and taxes: What will Trump do?

I think that President-elect Trump’s views on immigration and foreign policy are pretty clear, or at least clear enough in the big picture. He doesn’t like out-of-control illegal immigration, and he’s not afraid to say that and to do something about it. On foreign policy, he has had a non-interventionist philosophy for a long time.


In some early debates/interviews/campaign rallies, Trump made some suggestions that he has a much more centrist view of healthcare than right-wing libertarian types. “Repeal and replace Obamacare” has been one of his big campaign themes, but replace it with what? The implication of the phrase is that Obamacare will be replaced with Trumpcare, and that Trump isn’t philosophically opposed to government funded healthcare, he just thinks that the system created by the Affordable Care Act sucks.

But then, one day, a health plan appeared on his website that was just standard right-wing libertarian type stuff. Not really a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, but just a repeal and a return to the way things were under Bush, but with a few free-market reforms (none of which would have been bad if Congress has passed those things back when Bush was President, but nothing I’d consider to be a “replacement”).

Will Trump continue with the right-wing libertarian repeal-only, or will he pivot to the center and come up with Trumpcare?


The story here is pretty much the same. In some early debates/interviews/campaign rallies, Trump made some suggestions that he has a much more centrist view of taxation than right-wing libertarian types. He said that hedge fund managers were getting away with not paying their fair share. I was hopeful that Trump was going to steer the Republican Party away from all tax breaks and loopholes for the rich all the time.

But then, one day, a tax plan appeared on his website that was just standard right-wing libertarian cut taxes on the rich claptrap, and completely unrealistic given the current level of government spending (and even more unrealistic with Trump talking about rebuilding our infrastructure). Hedge fund managers, who Trump said were getting away with not paying their fair share, would pay less tax under the Trump plan than they do now!

Will Trump continue with the right-wing libertarian extreme tax cuts for the rich? Could he pivot away from the right-wing libertarian stuff and actually push for enacting something like the HRC tax plan?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Politics

67 Responses

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  1. YUGE tax cuts!! I can’t wait.

    Andrew E.

    November 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm

  2. ” Could he pivot away from the right-wing libertarian stuff”

    No, he cant. I dont think there will be any honeymoon with the press. They a redoubling their efforts to prevent him for succeeding so if there is any gap between him and his party it will be exploited.

    He could probably get billions in off shore profits repatrioted in the first 100 days. Thats doable while he works out an economic plan.

    Lion of the Turambar

    November 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    • Why can’t he align with democrats on certain issues?


      November 12, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      • Democrats are STUPID STUPID STUPID. It’s so obvious that Trump is open to influence from people he perceives as on his side. Democrats should be playing nice, saying good things about him and contacting him in a friendly way to work together. Many of Trump’s instincts are liberal and if some Democrats outside of the SJW wing of the party develop good relationships with him they could definitely act as a counterweight to his orthodox Republican advisers. Joe Biden and Jim Webb and the like need to be cultivating relationships.


        November 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      • I don’t know; the hatred of Trump on the left suggests it might be risky for any Democrat to be seen to ally with him, no matter if it’s a good policy from a Democratic point of view. Most voters care more about identity than policy, and this probably becomes truer the further you burrow into Clinton’s constituency.


        November 12, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      • “Why can’t he align with democrats on certain issues?”

        He could align with them, but the puck will already be gone. *They* wont align with him.

        Lets face it the Dem’s arent complete morons and while the number one consumer of their spin is themselves they arent that deluded that they can think all is hunky dory when they highest office they control is Seattle city government.

        Helping Trump pass some legislative thingy the agree with is small potatoes. They’ve just seen how an unpopular Obama lost the democrats the House, the Senate and governorships so they will likely see that as a Blueprint for how Trump’s super-klassy domestic policy could be their ticket back into power.

        Why help him at all since there will be an economic downturn at some point and some controversial political doing that they can make hay from in the mid terms?

        Lion of the Turambar

        November 13, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    • I assuming if Trump is keeping it real, he’ll make very radical moves, like what tyrants do.


      November 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    • Yes he can. Because he doesn’t need a honeymoon with the press. They are dead without Trumpus. He doesn’t give an eff what they think. He can do anything he wants.

      I think he will figure out a way to shove a lot of people on Medicaid, and a lot of people onto Medicare.


      November 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm

  3. If a prole wants a job, he needs a rich white or Asian guy to invest the money to create it.

    Neither government nor the bottom 90+% create significant new businesses. To get the new jobs you need to untie the hands of the smartest guys in the room (i.e., less regulation), and let them get serious rewards when they create something useful (i.e., much lower corporate taxes).

    Ron S

    November 12, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    • You also need to give them an incentive to invest. They invest in what will give them the best returns and if there is no one to buy the products they create then they won’t invest in it. If rent-seeking (value transference) investments give better ROI then they will invest there instead of productive (value creation) investments. Less regulation makes it easier, but lower taxes only increases rewards if there are rewards to be had. Also some regulation is good. I’m certainly glad that business can’t just dump their trash in the street even though that would save them money and time.

      It’s obvious that poor people spend most of their money while rich people invest it. So if the economy needs more spending (encouraging investors to invest in business that serve those needs) then it’s better to let poor people have more money. There is no single solution that works best in all situations. We need to proper amount and type of regulation and taxes which could be more, could be less, and can change over time.


      November 12, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      • Rich people invest in a lot of value transference businesses, so a lot of the investments doesn’t generate value, they are just zero-sum schemes.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 12, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    • Ron, with reasoning like that I’d estimate your IQ <115.

      The Philosopher

      November 13, 2016 at 8:00 am

  4. Lion, Obama went 8 years without a federal budget which meant the federal government re-spent the $1 trillion stimulus plan every year of Obama’s presidency. Of which Obama largely used it at his discretion as a sort of slush fund, mostly used to prop up Obamacare for years. Trump will dismantle the worst parts of Obamacare and propose a budget that eliminates the $1 trillion stimulus. Tons of fat. Hundreds of billions of it.

    Andrew E.

    November 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

  5. The tax cuts plan was written by Heritage Foundations’ Steve Moore. Its the price he pays for being allowed to be nominee. I would bet thats what Paul Manafort negotiated for the nomination.

    I suspect Trump personally thinks taxes should be progressive. But as a billionaire himself who benefits from carried interest in his PE vehicles, its not like he’s crying about the plan.

    The Philosopher

    November 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    • The kind of tax and regulation cuts that you want to see need to offset the cost of employing American workers and to lessen the impact of a loss in labor arbitrage.


      November 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

  6. , and completely unrealistic given the current level of government spending (and even more unrealistic with Trump talking about rebuilding our infrastructure).

    It’s especially unrealistic if he is actually able to reduce the trade deficit because so much of the money that goes out of the country to buy goods comes back to buy government debt. And China’s currency manipulation is literally just them exchanging Yuans for Dollars and buying treasury securities so stopping that is also gonna drive up the interest rates we pay.


    November 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm

  7. Where can we place bets on when the Lion starts wishing Hilary had won?


    November 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    • You are subhuman TruCon scum.

      Lion doesn’t care about taxes and neither does Trump. Trump is a negotiator and will negotiate some type of bullshit tax cut in exchange for infrastructure spending and destruction of the immigrant community.

      Otis the Sweaty

      November 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      • Otis the Charmer.


        November 13, 2016 at 12:27 am

      • It’s a classic negotiating tactic to ask for more than you actually want so I have no doubt that Trump is going to go into negotiations with positions that he has no intention of fighting for. But you or I have no way of knowing what Trump is serious about and what he isn’t. It may be that Trump is such a flake that he’s going to be at the mercy of his advisors and it’s all still in flux.


        November 13, 2016 at 8:55 am

    • If Trump just ends up being a regular Republican not only does he not do anything good but ends up discrediting his nationalist positions, disappoints his white blue collar base and loses in 2020.


      November 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm

  8. I don’t think he will pivot away from the right-wing libertarian stuff with respect to taxes and healthcare. Politically, there’s not much reason to, since he just needs symbolic victories with the wall and immigration to keep his promises and maintain his popularity and support. The only non right-wing libertarian thing he’ll probably do is a massive infrastructure spending plan, since that should pump up the economy at least for the short term and be popular and a symbolic victory. To get the GOP dominated Congress to go along with these two priorities, he will probably do some give and take and let the GOP have the right-wing libertarian stuff on taxes and healthcare.

    Paul Ryan is already talking about privatizing Medicare, which would probably be disastrous. I don’t know if Trump will challenge him on healthcare if he can get the immigration and infrastructure stuff through.


    November 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    • Is there anyone in government more odious than Paul Ryan? Worst of the Chamber of Commerce pro-immigration cuckservatives.


      November 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    • That’s what I think. If the Democrats had won back the Senate, he would have needed to account for their demands and interests. They didn’t win much of anything, however, so I think most of the tension in Trump’s first term will be getting Republicans on board Trumpist immigration, trade, foreign and infrastructure policies.

      I don’t think Trump particularly cares about taxes, healthcare or the environment, so I expect he’ll be a conventional Republican in those areas, and focus his time and energy on the things he really cares about.


      November 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    • The Wall Street crash/recession killed privatization politically for at least a generation. If Ryan is crazy enough to try to pass it, the backlash in 2018 will wipe Republicans off the map.


      November 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    • I’ve read a theory that the Republican congress knows infrastructure spending is necessary and will help the economy but they refuse to do it with a Democratic president because then Democrats would get credit for it. If that’s true they will be very happy to do it now.


      November 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    • Paul Ryan doesn’t seem very smart, does he? A retarded chicken clucking and pecking in front of the steam roller.


      November 13, 2016 at 6:54 am

      • He’s a utopian, which is even worse.


        November 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

    • Chairman

      Paul Ryan is arguably the most reprehensible disgusting and sickening person in all of politics. And that is saying something.

      Neoliberalism is basically a Leveraged Buyout of the Economy – massive debt, massive executive pay, outsource to child labour in Asia and post profits in the Caymans.

      The Philosopher

      November 13, 2016 at 7:59 am

      • And the company/economy goes into Chapter 11. Creditors are shafted and another PE distressed shop takes the smoking corpse. and flays it around some more.

        The Philosopher

        November 13, 2016 at 8:02 am

  9. He’s apparently told Obama that he wants to keep the provision that people can’t be denied based on preexisting conditions.and keeping older children on their parents plan.

    Why not have something like Switzerland’s system?

    They’ll be a compromise on taxes. He won’t get everything. He’ll keep the estate tax and lower taxes on most people. He might raise taxes on capital gains for very rich people, but lower income taxes on amounts up to maybe 400,000.


    November 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    • Why not have something like Switzerland’s system?

      Literally any other developed countries system would be a vast improvement.


      November 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

  10. NeoGaf update: A lot of the NeoGaf posters are illegal immigrants and they are really scared. Liberals (and subhuman TruCon scum like Gozo) are still staying that Trump won’t get rid of the immigrants, but the actual immigrants themselves are shitting bricks. They know that they are going home.

    Although there is some dissent, the consensus on NeoGaf is that the Democratic party needs to become MORE anti white. This mirrors the sentiment on places like Vox. They want Ellison for DNC head. For 2020, they surprisingly aren’t talking much about Booker but rather about Clooney or Kander. Hard to see either of those 2 surviving the primaries though.

    A minority of them are talking about launching an uprising but the majority are pointing out that they would get their asses kicked and the backlash would strengthen Trump.

    Many of them are reporting ongoing panic attacks.

    Otis the Sweaty

    November 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

  11. Trump needs to enforce the Sherman and Clayton acts against hospitals and insurance companies. That would drop healthcare prices by about 60-80% making insurance unecessary. Basically prices would return to their 1960s levels relatively speaking (indexed for normal inflation). Medical care outpaced real inflation by 3-9% annually the past 50 years, hence why it’s so expensive now and why there are calls for socializing it.

    Trump cratering interest rates by putting an end to the .gov debt machine should also be helpful. Right now we have massive job destruction occurring because of interest rate distortions. Example:

    Microsoft purchases LinkedIn in what is probably the most non-accretive deal ever. Who benefits? Microsoft execs. Who suffers? All the people who lost their job due to redundancy. That includes many high paying middle and upper middle class management jobs. Repeat this 1000 times thoughout the economy and multiply by unreasonable healthcare costs and you have millions of jobs being restored.

    Why does Apple’s CEO need to run a company that runs 40% profit margins and is a $500B cap? What if we had 10 apple’s with a 10% profit margin (down scaled efficiencies) with 10 CEOs making 10% of Tim Cook’s salary?

    Velocity of money would skyrocket multiplying GDP by a factor of 2-3 overnight.

    There are surely non socialist ways to do this and normalizing interest rates is the first step.


    November 12, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    • Old Timer

      The Economist of all people made this point.

      Oligopoly and industry consolidation is killing small businesses.

      A lot of M&A is done with low interest rates but also the tax distortion that says interest on loans/junk bonds should be tax deductible.

      In effect the government is subsidising M&A.

      Bankers love it like this.

      The Philosopher

      November 13, 2016 at 7:55 am

    • You’re so out of touch with reality. How is competition and the free market supposed to help someone in an emergency? How is it supposed to help someone old and infirm and mentally feeble? How is it supposed to help someone whose medical procedure doesn’t go exactly as planned and can’t price out some new location right in the middle of things?

      I don’t doubt that there are areas where medicine can function as a traditional market where people shop around for the best price but it needs price controls for all the other areas. Every other developed country has price controls. The US already has price controls on water, elecrticity, and gas (and would have much better internet, cable television, etc. if we followed the rest of the worlds lead there as well).

      The rest I’m more inclined to agree with. The other, more obvious though less libertarian, thing that the government can do is block these mergers through antitrust law.


      November 13, 2016 at 9:26 am

      • Hasn’t it occurred to you that you’re actually the ignorant one here? Ignorant with respect to the election, Trump and now policy as well. Take a cue from Lion of the Turambar, dial way back on your commenting and spend the time doing some soul searching instead.

        Andrew E.

        November 13, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      • The most important way of reducing healthcare costs is to stop importing the poor, infirm, feeble and needy immigrants.


        November 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      • I’m not the one talking about health care policy without even a basic understanding of the way every other developed country manages the issue and instead going by what I reckon will work because it’s emotionally satisfying. You didn’t even begin to address my point which was that a traditional free market is impossible for most medical procedures.

        Trump barely won and we’re all ignorant of how he will actually govern.


        November 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

  12. Even if Trump were so inclined, problem is the Congress. Ryan controls tax and budget bills and would never allow a Populist Bill to come to the floor. Best we can hope for is Trump offering support for mitigating Dem Amendments.


    November 12, 2016 at 9:35 pm

  13. The popular vote keeps widening. This is not good.


    November 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      • That article contains one massive inaccuracy which I reply to elsewhere: absentee ballots are indeed counted. I don’t have time to deal with the other possible misstatement, such as that the absentee ballots skew Republican. In California?


        November 13, 2016 at 7:56 am

      • California is massively Democratic and will stay that way forever, so Republicans may never win the popular vote again.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 13, 2016 at 8:40 am

    • map: that article is bullshit

      gothamette: we knew it would. According to NYT, her final margin is only expected to be 1.2%. No problem. If it ends up going up to 2% I agree that isn’t good.

      Otis the Sweaty

      November 13, 2016 at 12:55 am

      • Why’s the article bullshit? I missed Gothamette’s response six or eight threads back when I posted a link to it; too many Lion-posts coming too quickly to follow responses. Gothamette, what was your response? “Absentee ballots are indeed counted”… so the guy who wrote the article just made up his claim that they aren’t unless the # exceeds the difference between tallies for candidates state-by-state, or he lied, or something? And as for California … wouldn’t military and mercs and secret agents and superheroes be more likely to vote right?


        November 13, 2016 at 11:56 am

    • It’s only because of CA which is hardcore Dem *solely* because of Reagan and his amnesty!
      Libertarians and conservatives must never forget that FACT.

      I’d rather the Soviet Union still existed than that damn amnesty took place.


      November 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

      • Exactly…the Reagan legacy is the architect of this nonsense.


        November 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

  14. The GOP opposes some of his policies. So he’ll have to compromise some things to get what he wants on others. Furthermore, the GOP majority is razor thin in the senate. So don’t be too quick to criticize if you don’t like everything he signs. He may not like it either.


    November 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm

  15. I think it’s important to realize that the US economy is structured, in its most basic level, to fight a war on at least one front. War-fighting depends heavily on having a monopoly on weapon production, food production and advanced medicine. Healthcare is, therefore, less about a conflict between socialized medicine vs. free-market medicine and more of a realization that modern medicine is a public-private partnership where the government allows huge amounts of money to pool into private industry so that smart people can do smart things for national defense.

    Medicine is, in other words, a national security matter.

    Why, then, is medical technology being so brazenly sold at cost-plus prices to the healthcare systems of foreign governments? Canada, Europe and Mexico do not have self-contained healthcare systems that don’t rely on foreign imports to function. Instead, medical technology should be required to be sold at least 95% of the American price, with proceeds split between private business and government. I don’t see why the US consumer should be a sucker in this regard. Either force the rest of the world to pay US prices for healthcare or remove the monopoly pricing that currently exists.


    November 13, 2016 at 12:00 am


      Six of the the top ten pharmaceutical companies are european. The idea that the rest of the world is riding on the back of american medical ingenuity is nonsense. It is plausible that we are subsidizing the rest of the world to some extent by paying so much but how of the extra money we pay goes towards things that are actually beneficial vs useless junk that the regulators should ban and are banned in other countries (such as ads, and do nothing faulty studies) I don’t know.


      November 13, 2016 at 9:41 am

      • Magnavox,

        Those pharmas either produce in the US market with American subsidiaries or they sell in the US market at the inflated prices. In either case, their profits are subsidized by US government policy.


        November 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      • I conceded that they get money from inflated American prices. Although as I said it’s an open question to what degree that money goes towards anything productive.

        But I agree America needs to stop being the sucker (in this and many other areas). I’ve said as much in discussions about health care (maybe with you?)


        November 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

  16. The real thing that needs to be addressed is the double-Irish arrangement loophole, as it’s called, under which the liberal/progressive billionaires found a way to pay zilch in taxes, while hectoring conservatives for their supply-side BS. That’s not so much a loophole as it is a money laundering operation.

    In the ironic but true column, Trump’s antipathy toward TPP is actually better for the environment than Obama’s full-throated support for the agreement, and Hillary’s flip-flopping. Google “Sierra Club” and “TPP” and read the “Dirty Deals Report.” When someone complains about Trump’s global warming denial, you can let them have both barrels.

    Joey Junger

    November 13, 2016 at 12:11 am

  17. Obamacare is nothing more than the intentional destruction of the white middle class. A friend of mine had his insurance plan rates come in. For a family of four, he is paying $1367 a month.


    November 13, 2016 at 12:18 am

    • “Obamacare is nothing more than the intentional destruction of the white middle class”

      It’s the biggest wealth transfer in American history. And it’s overwhelmingly from the white middle class to blacks and hispanics. And it does it at the expense of senior citizens like his parents who are overwhelmingly white. Which is why I can’t understand why Leon supports it.


      November 13, 2016 at 10:14 am

      • Obamacare is a middle-class benefit. The blacks who were completely poor always had Medicaid.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 13, 2016 at 10:42 am

      • It’s not a middle class benefit. Middle class costs went up and benefits went down.


        November 13, 2016 at 11:01 am

  18. Yakov spotted on youtube!

    it’s worth watching.


    November 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm

  19. The global economy is rolling over into recession. Tax receipts are about to plummet and another major round of QE would nuke the dollar. So whether Trump desires this or not, the next couple years will be spent figuring out how to massively reduce the budget, not invest in infrastructure and healthcare. Tax rates are almost irrelevant when considered against the deficits we are already running.


    November 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    • What is really hitting us is the mass of bond defaults that will start in 2017. Corporations have borrowed trillions of dollars that they now have to refinance and possibly higher interest rates and with lower earnings profiles. There will be a wave of defaults in investment-grade debt.


      November 13, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    • Trump didn’t run on being a deficit hawk. In fact, quite the opposite by promising infrastructure spending and not cutting things like Social Security and Medicare and having tax cuts. A weaker dollar would shrink the trade deficit, another thing Trump promised.

      Reducing the budget would require him to break these promises and would slow down the economy and be unpopular.


      November 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      • You’re pretending like there’s a choice here. Major deficit spending is simply not going to be an option. The bond auctions will fail and there’s serious danger of a fiscal crisis, i.e. uncle sam’s checks start bouncing.

        Unsustainable deficit spending is what we had for the last 16 years. Well, the future has arrived.


        November 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      • If he starts cutting US trade deficits the foreign demand for US treasury debt is going to plummet and (this may be a leap) we’re going to end up borrowing at much higher rates.


        November 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      • “If he starts cutting US trade deficits the foreign demand for US treasury debt is going to plummet and (this may be a leap) we’re going to end up borrowing at much higher rates.”

        So? Instead of parking their money in ill-gotten gains, they would have to use it to invest in the US factories they will need to sell their product. US will have to offer higher interest rates to get bond investors, which will slow down the rate of borrowing. To reduce the cost of government, legal and illegal immigrants can be made to leave, along with their families.

        Suddenly, everything is cheaper. More obs are available to Americans and government burden goes down.


        November 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      • Yeah, some may wish to pretend Trump is the standard small government cuck, ready to fall on his sword after inflicting heroic levels of pain on the electorate for four years. Let’s be a bit more intelligent about this, shall we? (I write this as someone with former libertarian night watchman state leanings.)


        November 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      • Trump is definitely not a small government cuck…and that is actually good, because government is a problem that needs to be unwound. You don’t burn half of the federal register and expect that to solve any problems. Government is directly responsible for gross levels of mismanagement, malinvestment, incompetence, and a ruling oligarchy that runs America the way the British ran India under the Raj and the East India Company. None of this is sustainable.

        The US government is a coiled snake around the body politic and it has to be slowly removed, piece by piece…and that will take an activist approach to do so. As long as the anti-White policies are being bled out of the system, then we know it is on the right track.


        November 13, 2016 at 5:26 pm

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