Republicans Gulping Their Own Tax ‘Reform’ Kool-Aid Down After Election Losses

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Now that Republicans have seen how high the anti-Trump wave is, they’re frantically doubling-down on their unpopular agenda to cut taxes for billionaires.

There is “a heavy dose of genuine self-delusion at work,” writes Jonathan Chait. Despite the election results this Tuesday, “there is no sign of any corrective impulse within the Republican ranks. Its voters are too far gone, locked into the bubble of party-controlled media and unable to grasp the need for a course correction.”

At the New York Times, one amazing Republican lemming senator was ready to lead his party’s charge over that cliff.

Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, said he found no broad meaning in the election results but said voters were counting on lawmakers to pass a tax overhaul and improve the economy.

“The Republicans are in charge, and we promised to fix it, and we have to go fix it,” he said. “If we don’t fix it, then the American people are entitled to say, ‘Well, you know, how’d you people make it through the birth canal, for God’s sakes?’ And I don’t blame them. They ought to be asking that question.”

“We’ve got to go pass this bill,” he added. “I’d rather drink weed killer than not pass this bill.”

What Kennedy is actually drinking here is his party’s tax cut Kool-Aid. Having backed a deeply-unpopular bill that would have made maternity coverage much more expensive in order to make the richest Americans even richer, now he wants to back another deeply-unpopular bill that would screw the middle class to pay for billionaire tax cuts.

He thinks that America will thank Republicans for it. Apparently, so does the Senate majority leadership. This became the new consensus even before the full scale of Tuesday’s losses were clear. Here is a former Republican operative and current National Review columnist, for instance:

Get that? Having their asses kicked at the polls makes Republicans want to join hands and commit political suicide even more. It’s like a child reasoning that if they are going to get spanked anyway, they might as well behave as badly as possible.

According to what I saw during Morning Joe today, Republican and conservative groups are blasting twice as many ads in support of this shit sandwich than they did on Monday.

To be sure, the bill that GOP senators are supposed to unveil this morning is reportedly a bit less ambitious than the legislation that Republicans jammed through the House. There are six new tax brackets instead of just four; the exemptions for state, local, and property taxes will be ended. But the estate tax will simply be watered-down rather than repealed.

In short, Republicans want to screw the middle class as hard as possible to pay for somewhat-smaller tax cuts that only benefit billionaires and corporations. They expect that their base voters will be cheered by the sense of accomplishment and plan to impress independents with fanatic ravings about trickle-down theory.

The GOP said all along that failure to pass this legislation was not an option, and serving the one percent was always foremost in their mind. “Repeal and replace” was supposed to pay for the tax cuts that their investor-class sponsors demanded. When failure proved to be optional there, they still pressed on with tax “reform” anyway.

Now failure to cut taxes has supposedly become even less of an option than it was on Tuesday morning. Republicans would rather have their congressional majorities fail next November than fail to pass on the savings to their sponsors.

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