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Impeachment, Indictment, 25th Amendment

Pro and Con

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Dec 21, 2018, 7:19am Top

and when?

Tom Malinowski @Malinowski (Diplomat, former Asst Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Congressman elect) | 7:50 PM - 20 Dec 2018:
He's burning down the house now. Years from now, the only thing that will matter, the one thing people will remember, is who helped to put the fire out.

Dec 21, 2018, 9:31am Top

Vulnus alit venis et cæco carpitur igni.
Quod me nutrit me destruit.
Ex vitio alterius sapiens emendat suum.

Dec 21, 2018, 11:25am Top

^ non sequitur

Dec 21, 2018, 12:13pm Top

The House democrats with their majority can impeach pretty much anytime they want--if they want. It would then go to the Senate where a two thirds majority is needed to remove the POTUS from office. Democrats have 47 Senators if you include Sanders and King who caucus with them. That would mean they'd need all of them +20 Republican Senators crossing over and IMO that happening over the next several months is very unlikely. No doubt though that Trump makes practically all of the Republican Senators nervous as fuck about 2020 but particularly those up for reelection in competive states like Collins, Gardner and maybe 2 or three others.

I don't think the House Democrats are going to make any serious moves to impeach until at least some Senate republicans are ready to seriously break ranks. I think the possibility of that gets stronger towards the end of 2019 and the more he undermines them with shit like the pullouts in Syria, Afghanistan?--or loses his mind with his decision making such as in taking on responsibility for the upcoming shutdown and the more the several strands of investigations start closing in on him--all those things separately together could well play into his being impeached but I think that's at least several months away.

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 3:43pm Top

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 9:32 AM - 24 Dec 2018:

I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 11:19 AM - 24 Dec 2018:

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, when all thro' the White House, only a creature was stirring - the fat crazy louse. The indictments were sealed by the Grand Jury with care, with the knowledge that Mueller soon would be there.

Merry Christmas!

@Tannude | 11:23 AM - 24 Dec 2018 :

Everyone sing!

We wish you a Mueller Christmas
We wish you a Mueller Christmas
We wish you a Mueller Christmas
And impeachment next year

Indictments we bring
To you and your kin
Indictments for Christmas
And impeachment next year

Dec 25, 2018, 11:31pm Top

5: He doesn't actually need Democrats to make a deal. Republicans control both houses of Congress, but they weren't even able to muster the majority vote needed for a motion to proceed. Trump doesn't even have Republicans unified on his side in this shutdown fight.

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 1:33am Top

Time for G.O.P. to Threaten to Fire Trump
Thomas L. Friedman | Dec. 24, 2018

Republican leaders need to mount an intervention.

...Trump’s behavior has become so erratic, his lying so persistent, his willingness to fulfill the basic functions of the presidency — like reading briefing books, consulting government experts before making major changes and appointing a competent staff — so absent, his readiness to accommodate Russia and spurn allies so disturbing and his obsession with himself and his ego over all other considerations so consistent, two more years of him in office could pose a real threat to our nation. Vice President Mike Pence could not possibly be worse...



The vice president should be preparing for the worst
Ed Rogers | December 24, 2018

...His office is populated with good people who are capable, get along well with each other and are not part of the wild dramas constantly emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

...For hand-wringers such as me, it feels as though we are vulnerable. Something bad is going to happen. No one staff member can change the existing dynamic, but there is no harm in adding some extra horsepower. The vice president can accommodate the president’s insecurities and help prepare for the worst. Just hoping for the best isn’t what the job requires. We are on notice. Trouble is coming. The vice president would be doing a service by reinforcing his office with an experienced chief of staff, in case something extraordinary happens.



Someone tweeted about the irony of a marginal 72-year-old climate-denier dissing a seven-year-old who believes in Santa Claus...

Christmas Eve 2018, Trump on NORAD Santa-tracking phone with seven-year-old:
"Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it's marginal, right?"

Dec 26, 2018, 1:38pm Top

"He's burning down the house now."

He is? Burning down the house? How?

Dec 26, 2018, 2:49pm Top

"Debt Up $1.37 Trillion Since Last Year; $10,743 Per Household... "

trump and republicans are lying hypocritical self-serving assholes. Film at 11.

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 9:17pm Top

Trump Tower fire: no sprinklers on floor--Trump fought sprinkler requirement--and no working smoke detector in unit--that's how. One dead. Four firefighters hurt. Management sued estate of dead man.

Dec 26, 2018, 8:00pm Top

Mass hysteria continues. Film at 11.

Jan 10, 10:38am Top

A beefed-up White House legal team prepares aggressive defense of Trump’s executive privilege as investigations loom large
Carol D. Leonnig | January 9 at 6:44 PM

A beefed-up White House legal team is gearing up to prevent President Trump’s confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and revealed in the special counsel’s long-awaited report, setting the stage for a potential clash between the branches of government.

The strategy to strongly assert the president’s executive privilege on both fronts is being developed under newly arrived White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who has hired 17 lawyers in recent weeks to help in the effort.

He is coordinating with White House lawyer Emmet Flood, who is leading the response to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on his now-20-month-long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Flood is based in White House Counsel’s Office but reports directly to Trump...


Jan 10, 10:56am Top

Neal Katyal @neal_katyal | 7:28 PM - 9 Jan 2019


Short Answer: It will be public.

1.The special counsel rules, which I drafted at DOJ 20 years ago, contemplate 2 kinds of reports. One is a report from Mueller to the AG, at the close of his investigation: “a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.”

2. That document is to be confidential. But there is a second, separate reporting requirement, which forces the AG to notify Congress “with an explanation for each action…upon conclusion of the Special Counsel’s investigation, including…

3. ... a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the AG concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.”

4.That report must explain why the investigation has concluded, and any instance in which the AG overruled the Special Counsel. The provision was designed to ensure “Congressional and public confidence in the integrity of the process.”

5.Notably, we wrote the circumstances for an AG to overrule a Special Counsel very tightly—it has to violate “established Departmental practices.”

6. So, to take one hypothetical example, generic DOJ opinions about whether a sitting President could be indicted do not create an “established Departmental practice” about whether an individual could be indicted for successfully cheating in a Presidential election.

7.There is no DOJ established practice that says if a Presidential candidate cheats enough and wins the Presidency, that he gets a get-out-of-jail-free card.

8.There is one other important aspect to the regulations. If a Special Counsel is worried that the AG may cover something up, the regs give him an important weapon.

9.Because they require a mandatory report to Congress about any instance of the AG overruling a Special Counsel, they put the thumb on the scale of a Special Counsel telling the AG he will take a sensitive act and waiting for AG to say no. That triggers the reporting requirement.

10. It is a safeguard to prevent a cover-up, it creates a mandatory report to a separate and coequal branch of govt. So that is why I believe Mueller has a move left to play if Whitaker or Barr (if confirmed) try to stymie him and his full report.

11. Now the President can try to claim executive privilege. Nixon tried that, it didn’t turn out so well. He got crushed in the Supreme Court. Trump’s claim appears even weaker—much won't even concern presidential deliberations & the part that might (Comey) has been waived by Trump.

12.And here, there is another problem: Trump’s legal team has been saying they don’t think a sitting President can be indicted.

13. Leaving aside the point above in (6) and (7), the only way that claim makes any sense is if the President must be impeached first. Every real scholar who says a sitting President can’t be indicted couples that with a view that impeachment is the remedy.

14. So if the President asserts the view he can’t be indicted, he has to allow the turnover of all investigative material to Congress. Otherwise he would be no different than King George III, literally above the law.

15.This point is fleshed out in my NYT op-ed below*. The key point is that even if you think Trump won't be indicted, his legal claims about his immunity from indictment set up & invite the launch of impeachment investigation + eviscerate his exec priv claims.

16. Bottom line: the President can try to hide the Mueller Report. He will lose to the public’s right to know.

* Neal Katyal: Can’t Indict a President? That Could Hurt Trump (May 21, 2018)

Edited: Jan 10, 11:42am Top

If I were Trump, I'd insist--in advance--that the Mueller fantasy-game be reported in full and publicly; Mueller has spent a lot of time and money and had damn well better have some extremely serious "goods" to show for that. If he doesn't, he should be brought to account legally and politically.

What, I wonder, do Democrats and their lynch-mob House of Representatives do if and when, having impeached Trump, the Senate acquits Trump, and Trump, having served only one term, runs for re-election and wins, whether, once more, solely by the Electoral College balloting or, unlike in his first term, by a majority of the popular votes cast nationally? What then?

And what if, having been convicted in the Senate and removed from office, Trump were to run for president in November 2020 and, as described above, were to win the election?

Hmm, Congress? What then?

As U.S. courts have rightly judged in cases during the first decades of the existence of the United States, certain matters are "political" and are not to be settled in a court of law. (It happens, by the way, on this point, to have been extremely unfortunate that the U.S. courts failed to have understood at the time, a century and a half ago, that negro-slavery was not properly one of these 'political' issues and, instead, ought to have been settled in court, and in favor of the emancipation of all people held in bondage in the United States of the time.)

Who--which person, which individual-- is deemed fit to serve as president of the United States, having been duly-elected under the existing and applicable rules and laws, that is a "political issue" par excellence and it ought not be left solely up to a court to determine this over and against the expressed wishes--by their cast ballots--of the electoral majority according to law.

Courts must not be invited to second-guess electorates. Elections are to be decided by ballots cast in the legal electoral processes, not by ballots cast by juries or by judges in service on a federal court case. Thus, the Gore v. Bush presidential election ought to have been decided by a counting, and re-counting, until satisfactory, of all the disputed ballots in the disputed electoral districts--not by a panel of judges deciding "time has run out." When an electorate speaks, its decision should be respected through the end of the elected official's term of office--unless duly impeached and convicted of what may respectably, in the public's eyes, and not only those of a Hell-bent partisan lynch-mob, "high crimes and misdemeanors".

Jan 10, 12:24pm Top

> 14

Pink elephant sighted at 10 o'clock.

Film at 11.


Edited: Jan 10, 3:30pm Top

TicToc by Bloomberg tictoc | 12:02 PM - 9 Jan 2019:

JUST IN: Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is being called to testify before the House Judiciary Committee by Jan. 29
to answer Democrats' questions about recusing himself from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation


TicToc by Bloomberg tictoc | 12:02 PM - 9 Jan 2019:

MORE: In a letter to Whitaker, Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler suggested that
the Justice Department is dragging its feet in a previous commitment to appear before the panel #tictocnews

(Letter posted at https://twitter.com/tictoc)


TicToc by Bloomberg tictoc | 12:02 PM - 9 Jan 2019:

MORE: Nadler also suggested Whitaker was ignoring the wishes of the Justice Department by trying to push back the testimony date #tictocnews

(Letter posted at https://twitter.com/tictoc)

Jan 10, 4:07pm Top

Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen will testify at House Oversight Committee before entering prison
Dan Mangan | Brian Schwartz 1/10/2019

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen will testify at the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, he said.

Cohen is due to begin a three-year prison term in March for a range of crimes that include ones related to Trump.

Cohen admitted facilitating payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs with Trump. He also admitted lying to Congress about the extent of Trump's involvement in an aborted plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

...Shortly after the Oversight Committee's chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., announced Cohen would testify, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that "it will be necessary, however, for Mr. Cohen to answer questions pertaining to the Russia investigation, and we hope to schedule a closed session before our committee in the near future."

...Cummings noted that earlier this week, he sent sent letters to the White House and the Trump Organization renewing his of four months ago for documents related to "Trump's apparent failure to report debts and payments to Mr. Cohen to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the President before the election."

"Those documents are now due on January 22, 2019," Cummings said...


Jan 10, 6:03pm Top

Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016 and she wasn't exactly all that popular with people on the left or even lots of independents in the middle. IMO she was about the least popular candidate that the Dems could have run. He won't be running against her again and almost anyone IMO that the Dems nominate this time around is going to be much more popular than Hilary and much more likely to unite people to vote for him/her if only because if Trump is the republican nominee he will also unite independents and moderates to vote for the dem nominee and just a few reasons:

1. his administration has taken corruption and cronyism into unchartered territory.
2. his tax bill is going to hurt a lot of people.
3. his anti-hispanic rhetoric is going to put Hispanics (the largest growing bloc of new voters) firmly in the democratic corner.
4. he's even I would think managed to kill a good % of military happy voters with his shit treatment of Mattis, Kelly etc.
5. this shutdown we're currently in the middle of won't do him or his party any good and IMO I wouldn't be surprised if the economy starts tanking in the next two years and he will take the hit for it if it does
6. his is the biggest shitshow of shitshows of any Presidency I've seen in my lifetime and it's not even close and after two years he still doesn't have a clue how the government works or what it's supposed to do.

Very easily the majority of voters hate him and he's done nothing to expand his base. The border wall is just another of his lies and likely to be a failed promise. What he has done was pretty much evident in the mid-term rejection of his first two years and since then there's been 0 sign at all that he learned any lesson from that. If anything he's been more of an idiot. Fantasy land is thinking he would do better in 2020 and there's a fairly decent chance he won't make it to 2020 anyway.

Edited: Jan 11, 6:30am Top

>18 lriley:

1) It's been quite some time since there was any "uncharted territory" left in American political corruption--end even longer, of course, if one expands the "map" to include Aisa or Europe or Africa or South America.

2) A common feature of tax legislation. I'm still waiting for the revolutionary backlash.

3) Rank identity-politics at work there. This assumes that Hispanics vote as a block. It is typical of current pseudo-left liberal naievté. See, e.g. one of numerous examples: "Build the wall and allow DACA recipients like me to stay in America, the only country I know and love" | By Hilario Yanez

4) Again, you simplistically conflate being "pro-military" with having automatic sympathy for one or another particular present or former general-officer supposedly treated shabbily by Trump. It's just not so simple as that. Why wouldn't _many_ reflexively pro-military types be just as likely to blame these generals for not having served their appointments in Trump's administration to their boss's (Trump's) satisfaction? In a Harvard/Harris poll conducted in Dec. 2018, when asked to state, for each of a list of persons or groups, their views as "Very Favorable/ Favorable" 40% had a favorable or very favorable view of Jim Mattis while, among the same respondants, 84% held a favorable or very favorable view of "U.S. military" (at p. 41 of 122 in the poll results.) The same poll indicates that, among people self-identified as "Republicans", more of them said they approved of Trump than approved of the party itself.

(At p. 71) " Does General Jim Mattis's resignation as Secretary of Defense make you more likely to support Donald Trump's foreign policy, less likely to support Donald Trump's foreign policy, or about as likely to support his foreign policy as before?" Result: a statistical dead-heat

"More likely to support Trump" (16%) & "about as likely to support Trump" (36%) (combined) : 52%

" less likely to support Donald Trump's foreign policy" : 48%

5) See reply 3), above.

6) Your personal hate-driven bias expressed here.

Edited: Jan 11, 8:49am Top

#19--your absolute idiocy expressed here and in #14.

News for you--when things are going really well for Trump he gets approval ratings in the low 40's--when they're not he's in the low 30's. That should tell you something about his odds of winning the popular vote. He doesn't rise above those low 40's and it's not going to happen in the next two years--not with what's incoming for him in the new year. He's had the easy part of his four years--the next two years the Mueller, SDNY investigations are going to come to fruition and peel some real skin off him and he's going to howl like a big baby because that's what he is. Add to that he House is going to join the party and go to town investigating him, his family and his cronies too. Cohen in early February--mark it on your calendar. I suspect that sooner than later those high's in the low 40's are going to drop to the low or mid 30's and his lows in the 30's are going to drop into the 20's. He ain't winning again.

But even without any of that--even if he could hold on to his base then he's going to have to defend everything he won the last time to win again and he's not going to win anywhere else and this is something you don't seem to be able to get through your thick cranium. He's not going to win independents--he's driving them away--he's not going to run against Hilary again either and he's driving women and Hispanics and gays away too. It seems the results of the mid-terms flew right past your radar and one of the lessons to be learned from that is how wildly unpopular he is.

Edited: Jan 12, 5:41am Top

Originally posted and edited 11 January, 2019
edited (†) 12 January, 2019

>20 lriley: "It seems the results of the mid-terms flew right past your radar and one of the lessons to be learned from that is how wildly unpopular he is."

Actually, they didn't. It seems to me that you missed something more significant in their import. There was this much-announced, much anticipated "Blue Wave" which was supposed to occur in the mid-term elections of 2018. But what I saw just didn't qualify for or live up to all the advertised hype. And I far from the only person to have noticed this.

" (from The New York Times)

"So how big was the blue wave?

"Over all, 2018’s shift to the left was smaller than the one in 2006, the last time the Democrats flipped the House. And it was half the size of the most recent Republican wave in 2010 when districts shifted more than 19 points to the right."

(from "Politico" 's "Friday Cover") "The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need"
... ...

"Since the midterms, the question has gone from anti-Trumpist fantasy to practical gamesmanship—something being discussed in Capital Hill offices and hallways, at law firms and among party strategists and leaders.

In one sense, Trump is as vulnerable as he’s always been. In another, the risk is huge. The collision of anti-Trump forces with his powerfully loyal base—to say nothing of the president’s own thirst for conflict—would guarantee the most explosive political disruption in generations. If the effort misses, the blowback could easily propel Trump back into office in 2020, with a reinvigorated base bent on revenge.

“ 'If they’re dumb enough to impeach him, they’re going to lose the House and he’s going to be reelected and there won’t be a Senate trial,' said Joseph di Genova, an informal Trump adviser and frequent Fox News pundit. 'That’s what’s going to happen, and I hope they do it.' *

So, what would an impeachment really take in the Washington of 2019, and how would it all go down? To answer these questions, POLITICO interviewed more than two dozen sources, including sitting Republican and Democratic senators and members of Congress, current and former Capitol Hill aides, political operatives, historians and legal experts. The story that follows is the most detailed accounting, anywhere, of what dominoes need to fall if House impeachment articles were really to move forward, how a Trump trial in the Senate would go down and what—if anything—might break the Senate GOP majority apart enough to vote to remove their own president from office.

The picture won’t be consoling to anti-Trumpers who hope it will be easy, but neither will it reassure loyalists who see any attack on the president as off-limits.

"Politically, ousting Trump would require the same kind of seismic wave he successfully surfed during his 2016 campaign—nothing less, in fact, than another shakeup and realignment of the Republican Party. A pair of data points will help tell the story here. First, there’s Trump’s overall public approval ratings, which have been at historic lows throughout his presidency. The Real Clear Politics’ average currently has Trump at around 42 percent. His floor to date: 37 percent, in mid-December 2017. “Nothing’s going to change until he hits 30,” said Jim Manley, a former Senate operative who worked for former Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

"But perhaps an even more important indicator on the impeachment front is Trump’s standing among likely GOP primary voters. The latest Gallup tracker shows the president holding an 89 percent approval among Republicans, the very same number he enjoyed right after he was sworn into office in January 2017. As long as figures like that don’t slide dramatically—and Republicans haven’t budged in their support despite nearly two years of White House turmoil—Trump is probably safe from seeing his own party toss him under the bus."

... ...


* I don't necessarily agree with these predictions down to the last detail but the gist of them may be essentially correct in some practical effects. In short, I can easily imagine the Democrats' designs to bury Trump under endless investigations creating a genuine backlash effect--which could be what sees him spared in the end.

Call us when you discover the kind of genuine high crimes and misdemeanors which united Republicans and Democrats in 1974 to ensure the forced-resignation of President Richard Nixon. If and when your lynch-mob achieves that, I'll be quite ready to join them in their effort to see President Trump out of office. You and they are, as I see it, a VERY VERY LONG way from that point. And I'm an original Leftist from the days of the Nixon nightmare.

Meanwhile, good, sincere and principled Leftists ought to, as I do, find it outrageous and infuriating to see any legally-elected U.S. official subjected to this kind of vendetta. There's your very real and very serious scandal and it is doing genuine and very deep and long-lasting harm to the nation---just as, so I suspect-- Putin hoped when he seeded the ground with false and ridiculous snares and delusions, in hopes of setting off a Democratic-Party-led witch-hunt against Trump--one which would sputter and croak on and on at great length and, in the process, split Americans more deeply than ever into two camps bitter and mutual in their distrust--the last thing they have in common.

So, we're now there and Putin has every reason to be extremely pleased with himself.

But, as he knows better than anyone, he could never have achieved these things without morons like the Nancy Pelosis, the Charles Schumers, the Eliot Engels, the Clintons, the Obamas, the James Comeys and, above all, Robert Mueller. And none of them need have had (†) the slightest notion that, behind their partisan ambitions, they, in effect, were doing, and continue to do, (†) the essential work for Putin's clever designs-- to sow serial discord, spun from nothing but Americans' pre-existing partisan suspicions with nothing real in fact to support where these are allowed to lead.

Jan 11, 12:03pm Top

How Robert Mueller Can Write a Report the Justice Department Cannot Suppress
Benjamin Wittes | January 10, 2019

...There are really only a few plausible bases on which the Justice Department might decline to make the Mueller Report public. The document will likely contain some classified material. It will likely contain some grand jury material, which is protected from public disclosure under Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It will probably contain some material plausibly protected by executive privilege. And it might contain information whose public disclosure would raise legitimate privacy concerns. Note that none of these concerns requires the suppression of the whole document; they all affect individual items of evidence or passages within it.

Nothing prevents Mueller from anticipating these concerns and writing an executive summary that contains no classified information, no grand jury information, no executive confidentialities and no material unduly invasive of the privacy of innocent parties. Such a summary might have to be spare, but it could certainly summarize all of Mueller’s major conclusions as to the president’s conduct. This would produce a document that would be hard to suppress even by an administration keen to do so. He could also write a table of contents that is itself telling to give readers a sense of the broader findings. (Depending on how much sensitive material there is, Mueller could even endeavor to write the body of the report itself in a fashion carefully scrubbed of all such information, relegating that material to appendices. I suspect, though I don’t know, that this would be difficult given the elements of the investigation that concern issues of counterintelligence and executive branch management.)

Particularly if Congress knew that Mueller had proceeded in this fashion, it could speedily obtain the summary of his conclusions and then, if the executive branch proved unwilling to turn over the other material, use it as a “road map”—so to speak—to both litigation and also to conducting its own investigative hearings...


Jan 12, 7:18pm Top

The jury is out on Victor Davis Hanson. His fellow conservatives cannot decide whether he is more stupid than racist, or more racist than stupid.

It does seem to me to be a close call. See:


Jan 13, 6:59pm Top

>24 JGL53: I don't know...George W Bush gave the guy a medal...and he does have a wikipedia page...and proximity pasted three (3) (three!) of his public utterancings...I wonder what Hanson thinks about people with collapsed nostrils? I know that isn't racial (except in Michael Jackson's case), but surely it has meaning.

Jan 14, 12:51pm Top

24: Citing Hanson is akin to admitting that all you have left to argue with is dishonesty and racism.

Edited: Jan 14, 1:52pm Top

2) A common feature of tax legislation. I'm still waiting for the revolutionary backlash.

This is an example of the utterly disingenuous nature of most of proximity's commentary. The tax bill hasn't generated a backlash yet for the simple reason that its impact hasn't been felt yet. The provisions of the tax bill aren't going to be felt by most people until this reporting period (i.e. people who are currently preparing to file their tax returns). We'll see how well the tax bill goes over after people work through their returns and see how much the changes in the code affected them. Pretending that a lack of backlash thus far is an indication that everything is fine for the administration is being deceptive at best.

Edited: Yesterday, 6:19am Top

>26 StormRaven: >27 StormRaven:


"Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?"

Prepared by: Brian T. Lynch


The Progressive Tax Code

Our progressive, or graduated income tax was implemented by Howard Taft in 1913. The idea was to create a system where those who did well bore a greater responsibility for funding the government. In fact, the original intent was to only tax the wealthiest citizens. The income tax was never meant to burden the majority of wage earners. The new law taxed individuals making $3,000 or couples making $4,000 per year. $4,000 at that time would be equivalent to about $100,000 per year in today’s dollars. What the law did not take into account was inflation. Much the same as is presently the case with the minimum alternative income tax, the original income tax brackets stayed constant every year while inflation and working class wages slowly rose. Eventually, income taxes became a burden to lower wage earners as well as the rich.

The progressive nature of the income tax is achieved by creating multiple income tax brackets to for rising levels of income. Each tax bracket has a slightly higher tax rate. Between 1913 and 1918 the number of tax brackets that applied to wealthy incomes rose to 56 brackets. By 1940 that number of brackets fell to 24 and there it more or less remained for the next 40 years.

What did rise over this time period were the marginal tax rates. By the 1950’s the top marginal tax rate for the wealthiest earners was 90 percent. The top marginal tax rate was gradually lowered over the next 30 years until it was at 70% in 1980. In 1981 President Ronald Reagan collapsed the top 9 tax brackets to lowered the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%. During is second term he eliminated 10 more upper tax brackets dropping the top marginal tax rate from 50% to just 28%. He also raised the tax rates on the lowest income earners, those who were originally not expected to contribute. At the same time, tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans combined with huge jumps in military spending resulted in huge budget deficits and a large national debt that has been with us since.*

The top marginal tax rate for wage income was eventually raised back to 35% but not before capital gains income was stripped from the progressive tax code and separately taxed at a rate of just 15%. Capital gains income represents the major source of income for the wealthiest Americans. So the original intent of the progressive tax code, that the tax burden should only fall on the wealthiest American’s, was turned upside down.

For a glimpse of the problem with our current tax structure, see the US states map at the following URL to see how much more the bottom 20% are paying in taxes, as a percentage of income, over the top 1%.


* See the bold-face part followed by the additional bold-face & underlined part?
Do you grasp its significance? No, you don't. You won't understand why these statistics are significant because, frankly, you're just not that damn smart.

1988 --> 2019: 31 years. When do we move from "feeling" the "effects" to revolting over them?


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