Manchin Opposes Democrats’ Bill

The Wall Street Journal reports D.C. Statehood Effort Stalls as Manchin Opposes Democrats’ Bill.

Stall is not the correct word. Dead is the correct word.

“If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment,” [West Virginia] Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, said in a radio interview with WV Metro News. “It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote.” 

The development underscores the pivotal role Mr. Manchin plays in the Senate, where he has influenced the course of legislation this year, including the level of unemployment benefits in the most recent Covid-19 aid package. He has also expressed concern about the size of President Biden’s spending plans and his proposed tax increases.

Democrats only have a majority in the Senate if all 50 Democrat Senators vote for a bill. Then to break the tie, Vice President Kamala Harris would break the tie.

Filibuster Rules

The tie-breaking procedure only applies to budget items not foreign policy, not statehood, not immigration etc. 

Otherwise, filibuster rules apply and that means 60 Senators have to agree to legislation. 

Democrats have proposed killing filibuster rules, but guess what? Manchin and  Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) have raised objections to such a move.

Dead on Arrival

Anything that Manchin or Sinema disagree with is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Moreover, Democrats can only afford to lose two seats in the House where there is no tie-breaking vote. 

There are 25 Democrats from New York alone who will not go along with Biden's tax proposals unless SALT is undone. SALT stands for State and Local Taxes. 

Republicans under Trump eliminated SALT as a deduction from Federal taxes. High tax states like New York don't like it.

Raise Taxes on Them Not Us!

The SALT objection highlights the problem of legislators wanting to tax everyone else but themselves or their constituencies. 

Without rolling back SALT, Biden's tax proposals will never make it out of the House. But needing all votes but two means that the effort to roll back SALT can upset at most two others.

SALT Rebellion Irony

In New York, 85% of the benefits of Dems’ proposed SALT cap repeal would flow to the top 5% of income earners, with two thirds of all benefits flowing to households making more than $1 million a year.

25 Democrat hypocrites in New York alone protest a tax hike that mostly affects those making more than $1 million a year. 

Double Taxation Irony

New York Representative Jerry Nadler is leading the SALT rebellion in the House. 

"No one should ever be taxed twice on the same income. It's not fair and it's not just," said Nadler.

Call It a Deal!

Done, call it a deal! Let's get rid of all double taxation items.

Dividends are taxed twice. Estates are taxed twice. 

Honest Assessment 

Trump Tax Cuts

I opposed the Trump tax cuts because nearly all the benefits went to the wealthy. 

There were even provisions on Corp S companies in which I benefitted. But personal benefits aside, I did not feel the tax hike as structured was fair. 

Give Trump Credit

Like Trump's tax cut or not, you have to give Trump credit for the divisive SALT discussion now in play. 

The SALT provision was no accident. It put Democrats in the position of wanting more taxes and less taxes at the same time. 

It's especially amusing to see Democrats moaning of double taxation.

What Else is Dead?

  1. Any proposal in which all 50 Democrat Senators cannot agree.
  2. Any proposal that loses more than 2 Democrats in the House is dead unless there are at least two Republican pickups.
  3. Any non-budget item that is not filibuster proof. 

AOC Pleased With Biden

Biden bills himself as a moderate. He says he wants to compromise. But look at the proposals. 

On April 29 I reported AOC Pleased With Biden's Way "Better Than Expected" Progressive Push.

Socialist "Family Plan" Agenda

Biden is no moderate. And the Progressive wing would rather go down in flames than compromise.

Yet, eventually the urge to "do something" is likely to overcome Progressive inertia. 

I expect some modest tax hike will pass but it will not look like Biden's socialist $1.8 Trillion "American Family Plan"

Biden's "American Family Plan" is misnamed. It should be relabeled "American Socialists' Plan". 

Fortunately, the bulk of it is Dead on Arrival.

Mish