Lion of the Blogosphere

About Obamacare

Trump should have taken my advice.

* * *

My advice for what issue to tackle next? Immigration! Not taxes. No no no. Especially when your tax policy team is a bunch of right-wing hacks. And you have loonies like Rand Paul thrown into the mix.

Get the damn wall funded. That’s what the people voted for. They voted for a wall. Not tax cuts for the top 1%.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 19, 2017 at 8:01 am

33 Responses

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  1. I agree. Immigration is an issue that even those of us who dislike and distrust Trump as a person will rally around, because there is literally no one else willing to step up to the plate on that issue.

    Peter Akuleyev

    July 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

  2. As far as your linked post about expanding Medicare, I don’t really see that considering the massive cost that Medicare is exacting on the budget, however I have suggested that the Republicans could make this CBO problem of “kicking millions off of their healthcare” by simply locking in the people who are on the Medicare Expansion currently.

    Otherwise, both the House and Senate versions are garbage, and I’m glad they went down. It would have been a disaster for the GOP since those plans wouldn’t have fixed any of the things that are wrong with the exchanges, nor would they have stopped the death spiral. They should do this instead.

    Mike Street Station

    July 19, 2017 at 8:33 am

  3. Immigration is the the main and only issue. Nothing else would make any difference. Taxes, Healthcare…… Blah-blah-blah. It’s all hopeless at this point, but at least keep the country white and European. Is he gonna do it or not?

    Yakov

    July 19, 2017 at 8:34 am

    • The healthcare situation is a really big deal. You can’t ignore it. Business creation and hiring are being choked. Middle class people are getting insurance and medical bills that are driving them broke. Expenditures are accelerating toward an absurd and unsustainable 25% of GNP.

      The most important steps to fix the healthcare mess require zero legislation from congress. The executive and judiciary can start busting up price fixing rackets, billing fraud, and other illegal anti-competitive behavior right this instant. You know no one is actually serious about doing something that would work because these approaches are never discussed. Healthcare in the USA is riddled with blatantly illegal rackets and this is in fact the main problem, not how care is paid for or how much insurance people have.

      bobbybobbob

      July 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      • It’s arguable that some aspects of health care have been exempted from anti-monopoly laws in a piecemeal fashion over the years. That’s certainly what the provider lawyers will argue if brought into court by the federal government.

        There was a column in The Hill yesterday saying Congress could, in coming tax reform legislation, require hospital systems to post prices if they’re going to keep their non-profit status given that they’re making so much money, billions apparently.

        Andrew E.

        July 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      • Krauthammer says tort reform alone would lower health costs 25%. But of course the lawyers work assiduously to make sure there is no real discussion, and certainly no implementation, of that.

        gda

        July 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      • Tort reform is mostly bullshit. Doctors and hospitals really do commit massive amounts of malpractice. But tort reform comes up a lot when republicans are talking because the relevant lawyers are democrats and an easy target. The real “targets” are doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and pharma companies.

        bobbybobbob

        July 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

  4. Lion, are you familiar with this? A friend just raised 30 million for his startup and sold 3 million dollars of his personal shares (I.e., 3 million into his own pocket) in the process. His tax liability is ZERO – doesn’t even have to pay capital gains. It applies to all founders, employees, and investors in startups. Also, if you lose your investment you can deduct it as regular income. And the media is in a tizzy over 3.5 percent reduction in the capital gains tax!

    https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/blog/zero-capital-gains-tax-for-qualified-angel-investments/

    Biff

    July 19, 2017 at 8:37 am

    • I should mention that this startup involves no special technology and has zero societal value – it’s a marketing gimmick and will almost certainly fail.

      Biff

      July 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

    • No I was not aware of such an outrageous loophole.

      • The stupid party loves loopholes!

        E. Rekshun

        July 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      • This is so cool! Gotta tell my freinds about it. Mad, mad, mad world!

        Yakov

        July 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

  5. Funding the wall is going to be almost impossible. Democrats are all opposed to it. Many Republicans consider it a waste of money and are opposed or not enthusiastic about it. It might require 60 votes in the Senate. I just don’t see any way Congress is going to pass it.

    You might be able to get some other changes, like increased funding to hold more illegal immigrants and more immigration judges to speed up deportation process.

    Allowing more high skill legal immigrants and fewer low skill immigrants might have a chance, but would probably be contentious.

    mikeca

    July 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

    • I hope the Dem Senators don’t vote for it. The Trump RNC will run against them on that vote in 2018 and greatly expand the R Senate majority. It will also be a higher quality majority after a coouple R’s are primaried.

      Andrew E.

      July 19, 2017 at 11:53 am

      • John Cornyn, Republican Senator from Texas, and Jeff Flake, Republican Senator from Arizona, have both said they are opposed to funding the border wall because it is a waste of money. The other Republican Senators from those states, Ted Cruz and John McCain have made skeptical statements about the border wall, but have not ruled out funding it and generally refuse to give a yes/no answer. The four Democratic Senators from California and New Mexico are opposed.

        The three GOP House members with districts on the border also oppose it as a waste of money.

        mikeca

        July 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      • Fine. All good mike. Anyone who votes no will be primaried or defeated. And those not up for re-election in 2018 will be bullied into it. It is good when the cucks announce themselves.

        And Trump holds the ultimate leverage because he can, if he decides he needs to, order the military engineers to build the wall themselves on the grounds of national security and his authority as commander in chief bypassing the courts and the people will love him for it.

        Andrew E.

        July 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      • Lisa Murkowskis, one of the opponents, was primaried by a tea party candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin. She won the Nov election as a write in candidate.

        I doubt she is very scared of be being primaried.

        Taking out some of these moderate Republicans might flip some of these seats to the Democrats.

        mikeca

        July 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      • The AK republican party is notoriously corrupt and they pulled out all the tricks to get Murkowski back in after she lost the primary and they were successful only because the population is so sparse up there. They never could have pulled that off in a more populous state. You are dreaming.

        Andrew E.

        July 19, 2017 at 9:43 pm

  6. People voted for repeal and replace. He mentioned it at every rally.

    And are you really so sure that if he tackled immigration you wouldn’t get increases in legal immigration to conterbalance increased enforcement? I will think that’s the likely outcome.

    Magnavox

    July 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

  7. What’s your opinion on Karl Denningers health care proposals?

    That’s the closes to calling a spade a spade that I’ve seen…

    guest

    July 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

  8. Trump is totally captured by establishment Republicans on policy. Just give up hope that he’s going to do anything he was elected for.

    chairman

    July 19, 2017 at 10:01 am

    • 2013 seems like ancient history where America was just yesteryear. We are now living in a different world, and the tone on this blog has changed dramatically ever since.

      2020 will be Trump’s last, if America lasts!

      JS

      July 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

  9. That wall will never happen. It will be tied up in courts forever. Opponents of the wall just need to find one judge somewhere to stop it, and it will then be tied up in courts for years and years. Judges have plenty to work with, including environmental impact, economic hardship, etc. I think Trump would have better luck with stronger enforcement of existing labor laws, checking residency status of employees, fining those who hire illegally, etc. H1b reform would be easier too, but you don’t hear much about that.

    steve@steve.com

    July 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    • Trump IS the wall. Illegal border crossings were down 53% in first 6 months of 2017. I recall watching a number of focus groups where virtually no Trump supporter expected Trump to actually build a wall, or would hold it against him if he didn’t. They all seemed to feel it was more important that the existing laws be enforced than a physical wall be built. They too understood that Trump IS the wall.

      Of course, they may not have represented the proto-typical Trump voter.

      gda

      July 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    • Trump will never punish a business for anything. He’s made that crystal clear.

      Magnavox

      July 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm

  10. When is this E-verify thing gonna happen? Never? I’m losing patience.

    Yakov

    July 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

  11. The wall is being worked on, slowly and quietly: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/us/politics/border-wall-construction.html

    The quiet is good.

    IHTG

    July 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm

  12. Whatever happened to “you’re fired!”? The people who implemented Obama’s let-’em-all-in policy should be given show trials.

    Explainer 21

    July 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

  13. The Trump Administration is best understood as a coalition government between the GOP establishment, and a smaller nativist or immigration restrictionist party.

    So the administration is going to do a lot of GOP establishment stuff, and immigration restrictionists who don’t care about the GOP establishment stuff will and probably should go along if they get more control over immigration. But if that doesn’t happen, they should walk and refuse to work with the GOP again.

    Ed

    July 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    • It also invites the formation of a fringe populist movement in the likes of the alt-right, with Richard Spencer behind the helm. However, I think he’s such a wussy for his kind of role.

      JS

      July 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

  14. WaPo, 07/17/17 – Trump officials open border to 15,000 more foreign workers

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/17/trump-officials-order-15000-new-visas-for-low-wage-workers/?utm_term=.b2dc176775d6

    The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year, a seeming about-face from President Trump’s “Hire American” rhetoric, following heavy lobbying from fisheries, hospitality and other industries that rely on temporary foreign workers…The visas are for workers taking temporary jobs in the seafood, tourism, landscaping, construction and other seasonal industries — but not farm laborers…

    Current law limits the number of such visas issued to 66,000 a year — split between the two halves of the year. The cap has already been reached this year…

    [C]ritics dispute that there really is a labor shortage in the industries that rely most on the seasonal guest worker visas, accusing the industries of exploiting foreign workers at the expense of American jobs.

    “This is yet another example of the administration and Congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, which lobbies to lower immigration levels.

    Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said that instead of “propping up unsustainable businesses by allowing them to become so dependent on foreign workers,” the Trump administration should be providing incentives for such employers to hire the “hundreds of thousands” of teenagers, seniors and others looking for entry-level work.

    “Is it really that no one will do the work?” Vaughan said. “Or is it just easier for them to use the body shops that find the workers?”

    While some companies use the H-2B program to hire lifeguards, carnival workers and maids, others used it to import engineers, tax preparers and occupational therapists — “jobs that clearly are not unskilled and not so exotic that no Americans can be found to fill them,” Vaughan and her colleagues wrote in an analysis of H-2B data released last week.

    “These cases suggest that the level of scrutiny for visa approval is inadequate and that employers may be using the program as a way around the rules of other guest worker programs,” Vaughan wrote.

    Some of Trump’s closest allies on immigration on Capitol Hill have also called for cuts to the H-2B program, citing the president’s campaign as evidence that American workers are opposed to increases in temporary, low-skilled workers from abroad.

    In May, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) gave a blistering speech on the Senate floor opposing a measure in the omnibus spending bill that authorized the doubling of H-2B visas that could be issued during the remainder of fiscal 2017.

    “A lot of the arguments for this kind of program boil down to this: No American worker will do that job. That is a lie. It is a lie. There is no job that Americans will not do,” Cotton said. “If the wage is decent and the employer obeys the law, Americans will do the job. And if it’s not, they should pay higher wages. To say anything else is an insult to the work ethic of the American people who make this country run.”

    Cotton and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) are working on an immigration bill that would, over the coming decade, slash by half the current number of 1 million foreigners each year who received green cards allowing them to live permanently in the United States…

    Trump himself has used H-2B visas to hire temporary workers at his golf resorts in Palm Beach, Fla., and Jupiter, Fla.

    “I’ve hired in Florida during the prime season — you could not get help,” Trump said during a 2015 primary debate. “Everybody agrees with me on that. They were part-time jobs. You needed them, or we just might as well close the doors, because you couldn’t get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida.”

    E. Rekshun

    July 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm


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