An interesting exchange on MSNBC's Hardball earlier in the week, as host Chris Matthews badgered a self-described moderate Democratic candidate seeking an open Ohio Congressional seat for nearly a solid minute about whether he'd support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, in order to prevent Republicans from retaining control of the lower chamber. Danny O'Connor ran through all of his talking points about the need for "new leadership on both sides" of the aisle because the "old ways aren't working," apparently hoping Matthews would finally run out of steam. Matthews didn't. He drilled down and demanded to know whether the O'Connor would support his party's candidate for Speaker, even if that candidate is Nancy Pelosi. At long last, the candidate conceded that yes, he would:
O'Connor: I would support whoever the Democratic Party puts forward.
Matthews: Thank you.
In response to this exchange, the NRCC released the following statement: “After last night’s pathetic interview by Danny O’Connor, Democrats’ talking points disavowing Nancy Pelosi are as flimsy as the paper they’re written on. Once you get them beyond a noun, a verb, and 'new leadership,' they fold like a cheap suit. Every single one will vote for Pelosi if given the choice." O'Connor is locked in a tight battle for a Republican-leaning district, with a special election being held on August 7th. Outside money, including a major push from Democratic groups, is flooding into the race. The Republican is State Senator Troy Balderson. We had O'Connor on Benson & Harf last week, and he seemed like a nice fellow. As for his 'moderate' credentials, he declined to rule said he out supporting single payer healthcare, said he supports an "assault weapons" ban, and opposes any reforms to endangered entitlement programs (also vaguely claiming that middle class tax hikes wouldn't be necessary to fix these breathtaking shortfalls).
We interviewed another moderate-leaning Democrat just yesterday, Illinois' Cheri Bustos -- the only Democrat in America to carry a Trump-won Congressional district. She told me that in spite of strengthened economic indicators, she'd vote against tax reform again, citing the inaccurate claim that 83 percent of the tax cuts go to the top one percent of earners. FactCheck.org dismantled this point as "misleading," as it refers to a hypothetical scenario nine years from now, under which the new law's individual tax rate cuts were allowed to expire. As the law is currently implemented, all income groups receive tax cuts, with the top one percent getting less than one quarter of the benefits (they pay nearly 40 percent of all federal income tax). By some measures, middle and lower income earners receive a disproportionately high percentage of the GOP tax cuts. And the likelihood of Congress allowing a massive middle class tax hike to go into effect is quite slim, based on recent history. Indeed, Rep. Bustos indicated that she supports extending middle class cuts, which further undermines her chief talking point against the tax reform package she joined Nancy Pelosi in voting down.
As for the succeeding law, here's just the latest 'crumby' disaster to emerge from this extinction-level 'armageddon' event:
Thanks to tax reform, Advanced Superabrasives of Mars Hill, North Carolina, is creating high-paying jobs, investing in workforce training and growing its operations. But what’s even more impressive is they have already given many of the 43 employees not just one, not just two, but three pay raises in 2018. “For a small business like us, our biggest burden has always been taxes,” explained Jonathan Szucs, General Manager of Advanced Superabrasives... [The company] is also using its tax savings to continue to pay 100 percent of their employees’ healthcare premiums—something that would have been impossible in 2018 under their old tax rate...zucs plans to continue to put employees first, even as the company grows substantially. Because of the savings netted from tax reform, Advanced Superabrasives plans breakneck growth, doubling its workforce by 2022 and constructing a new 110,000 square foot facility.
The horror. With unemployment levels scraping new lows and strong a GDP growth number expected later this week, I'll leave you with Paul Ryan outlining his party's legislative accomplishments over the last year-and-a-half -- with tax reform and the thriving economy front and center: