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Senate tax plan as drawn grows deficits, favors the rich, says CBO

From left, Sens. Patrick Toomey, Orrin Hatch and

From left, Sens. Patrick Toomey, Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn talk to reporters after a meeting on tax reform with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, Nov. 27 2017. Credit: THEW/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Grim picture

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has brought bad tidings in its review of the Senate tax bill.

But the controversial proposal is still reported to be moving toward a vote as early as Thursday.

The CBO found the measure would bloat the deficit by $1.4 trillion over 10 years. By 2019, Americans earning less than $40,000 would lose out, while millionaires and those earning between $100,000 and $500,000 generally win, it said.

Health insurance premiums also would rise. Fat deficits from the tax losses could also ultimately threaten Medicare and Social Security funding.

As word of the CBO findings spreads, drama intensifies for President Donald Trump and the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress.

White House hedge

Trump on Monday issued one of his foggier comments about the legislation, which made it sound as if he had a bit of a problem or two with the coming tax measure. Here’s the full mini-text of his tweet:

“The Tax Cut Bill is coming along very well, great support.

“With just a few changes, some mathematical, the middle class and job producers can get even more in actual dollars and savings and the pass through provision becomes simpler and really works well!”

He left many wondering what he meant by “mathematical.”

The elite meet

As Trump met with key Senate tax-bill writers, the margin of support remained close. So far, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have said that they are “no” votes. If that holds, passing the bill would become procedurally complicated.

After a meeting with Trump, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas — the number-two Republican in the upper house — said the plan is to stick with the current Senate bill and wait until later to work out differences with the House version.

‘Protection’ racket

The administration faced resistance in taking over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mick Mulvaney, the budget director who has been named to run it, has long denigrated the agency as a joke. Leandra English filed suit, claiming she’s the rightful acting director.

Mulvaney showed up to the appointed new gig Monday offering doughnuts to staff. He ordered a hiring freeze.

Trump’s position now regarding CFPB runs contrary to the anti-Wall Street rhetoric he espoused during last year’s campaign.

What else is happening

  • Trump went virally goofy again as he called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “Pocahontas” during a ceremony to honor Native American veterans who served as code-talkers.
  • Congressional probers gave Jared Kushner more time to submit requested documents related to the Russia mess and backdoor communications with WikiLeaks.
  • Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) returned to the upper chamber, chastened after his own admitted sexual transgressions helped deflect from the Alabama Senate race.
  • Roy Moore won’t have Trump campaigning with him in Alabama even after the president defended his candidacy, a White House official said.
  • Owners of Panama’s Trump International Hotel are working to strip the president’s name from the building and fire the management company run by the first family.
  • Speculation is swirling about another Bernie Sanders run in 2020.
  • The president fixated again on news media.

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