On Monday afternoon, speaking to reporters before departing for Houston, Donald Trump delivered the “details” of the “major middle income” tax cut he teased while in Nevada over the weekend.
Pressed by reporters for more information on the tax breaks the President said were set to be announced “before November”, he came up a little short, which is understandable because after all, November is next week and Congress isn’t in session.
“We’re putting in a resolution, sometime in the next week, week and a half, two weeks”, Trump said. Asked “where” he was putting in his resolution, Trump demurred, opting instead for a vague double down. “We’re gonna put in … we’re giving a middle income tax reduction of about 10%, we’re doing it now”, he stammered, over the whir of Marine One’s rotors.
Obviously, Trump was lying on Saturday when he said a middle class tax cut was in the works. Last month, an internal RNC poll showed voters overwhelmingly believe the initial tax cuts benefited the wealthy and corporations (an objectively correct assessment), which means the GOP needs to change the optics ahead of the midterms. So, Trump conjured up a make-believe tax cut, forcing Republicans and White House staff to figure out a way to make that fantasy some semblance of real before everyone goes to polls next month.
With no good options at their disposal, Trump’s advisers are now apparently floating the idea of holding a “symbolic vote” on the President’s “resolution” – and yes, I’m serious.
“Advisers have discussed the idea of having Congress vote on a symbolic ‘resolution’ for a future 10 percent tax cut for the middle class,” the Washington Post reports on Tuesday, before noting the obvious, which is that “the resolution would not be binding”.
So what’s the point? Well, there is no point, other than to clean up Trump’s mess, but the hope is that the vote “would attempt to send a signal to the public that Republicans are focused on helping middle-class families.”
It gets better (or worse, depending on how you want to look at it). Congress is out of town, which means they actually can’t vote – even on a “symbolic resolution.”
Nevertheless, the Post says “White House officials have discussed in recent days the possibility of working with GOP leaders in Congress to introduce the symbolic resolution as soon as next week.”
If you’re a middle income family and you’re not insulted by this yet, then you need to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if maybe the person staring back at you would be right at home next to the dictionary entry for the word “gullible.”
Republicans, having crammed through a tax package that math showed would disproportionately benefit the rich, are now going to try and pacify anybody who is just now coming around to the reality of that math by holding a “symbolic” vote on a “symbolic” resolution.
There are two “symbolics” in there and in case it’s not clear enough, what this “symbolizes” is a giant middle finger to middle America.