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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Blue and and the Gray

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign.  The 2017 tax legislation is greatingly expand the deficit, which puts social security and Medicare at risk.

Like a son who murders both his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he is an orphan, Senator Mitch McConnell is claiming that exploding budget deficits caused by Republican tax cuts need to be cured by cutting Social Security and Medicare. Can you say “chutzpah”?
With less than three weeks left until the midterms, McConnell may have just handed the Democrats the economic argument they had been longing for at the worst possible moment for the Republicans. According to the latest projections, the odds of Republicans retaining control of the House are fading. The number crunchers now peg the likelihood of a House controlled by Democrats at better than 83 percent.
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As to be expected, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee seized on McConnell’s comments, and the pile on began. Senator Ron Wyden weighed in: “Here’s what this means: SOCIAL SECURITY is on the ballot. MEDICARE is on the ballot. MEDICAID is on the ballot.” Not to be outdone, Warren gave a campaign lesson of her own: “Step 1: GOP explodes the deficit with $1.5 trillion in tax giveaways to wealthy donors. Step 2: GOP uses the deficit they created as an excuse to slash Social Security and Medicare.” As a matter of fact, this time she was persuasive.
If the tax cuts had trouble gaining traction with the public before McConnell’s pronouncement, they will face an even tougher slog now. Early on, the cuts were the bane of wealthy blue America as the legislation effectively ended the state and local tax deduction upon which many Californians and New Yorkers turned to for relief. Now the rest of the country can detest them as well and look forward to Election Day.
Yusra Murad at Morning Consult:
Last week, President Donald Trump published an op-ed in USA Today titled “Democrats ‘Medicare for All’ plan will demolish promises to seniors,” drawing attention to the midterm battle at the convergence of health policy and a key bloc of extremely motivated voters: seniors.
The president’s column may also shed light on concern among Republicans about losing their status as advocates for older Americans: an Oct. 11-14 Morning Consult/Politico survey finds Democrats hold a 19-point advantage over Republicans among the group of voters who prioritize seniors’ issues such as Medicare and Social Security.
Seniors’ issue voters, the majority of whom are over 65, retired and white, are among the most motivated voters heading into a decisive midterm election in which health care promises to be a leading issue.