How to balance the budget in a post-tax cut world?

By cutting stuff to help poor people, of course.  Drum:

 

First they add nearly a trillion dollars to a defense budget that’s already the biggest ever and by far the biggest on the planet. Then they slash spending on Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, SNAP, TANF, veterans affairs, retirement benefits, and anything else that doesn’t especially benefit the rich.

There’s all the usual drivel about how this won’t hurt anyone because the cuts come from clamping down on wastefraudandabuse. Plus spending cuts on the poor will hypercharge economic growth. And anyway, it’s tough love that will put the poor back to work and give them back their dignity.

In other words, the usual. And none of this will ever get a vote on the House floor, let alone the Senate. Still, this is their vision for America. In December we got their tax cuts for the rich, now we’re getting their spending cuts for the poor. That’s the Republican way.

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Winners and losers

Winners…

1) Human decency.

2) Separated families.

Losers…

1) Donald Trump and his cowardly and callous enablers.  Love this take from Aaron Blake:

The Trump administration insisted it didn’t have a policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. It said that it was merely following the law. And it said “Congress alone can fix” the mess.

It just admitted that all that was nonsense — and that it badly overplayed its hand.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who on Sunday and Monday insisted that this wasn’t an actual policy and that the administration’s hands are tied, will now have to untie them as the White House will reverse the supposedly nonexistent policy. Amid an outcry from Senate Republicans and an emerging promise to fix the problem themselves — just as the White House had demanded — the Trump administration has drafted an executive action to change the policy and keep families united…

It’s at once an admission that the politics of the issue had gotten out of hand and that the administration’s arguments were completely dishonest. [emphasis mine] Virtually everything it said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face…

Rarely has the White House so tacitly and unmistakably admitted to overplaying its hand. And rarely has it so blatantly copped to its own dishonesty about its actions. Nielsen, in particular, has a lot of explaining to do. But this whole thing is an extremely ugly chapter. And it makes clear that, from Day One, this was a political gambit to force an immigration bill through. It didn’t work.

I’d really like to think that this will have a lasting negative impact on Donald Trump and the GOP.  And I actually think it will to a modest degree, at the margins.  But for Trump’s 35-40% base, presumably no impact.

And, I like Kevin Drum’s bigger picture take:

Modern Republicans support:

  • Torture of enemy combatants.
  • Separating kids from their parents at the border.
  • Drug tests for the poor who apply for food assistance.
  • Viciously racist rhetoric from their president.
  • Mass incarceration.
  • Cutting back on medical care for the poor.
  • Ending asylum for those fleeing violence in their home countries.
  • Police brutality in poor neighborhoods.

By “support” I mean that they either actively support these things or else they’re happy to let them continue without any criticism. This is the fundamental human cruelty and venom at the heart of the contemporary GOP.

This isn’t new, but Donald Trump has brought it to the surface and supercharged it. So now it’s time for everyone to decide. Whose side are you on?

And good for long-time GOP strategist, Steve Schmidt for choosing sides:

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