House Democrats have made the decision to ride out the Trump crime spree until November. It’s an understandable decision. They control only one half of one chamber.
The GOP majority on the SCOTUS, GOP-controlled Senate, Trump-controlled DOJ, etc., have signaled they’ll accept and/or abet any crimes Trump and his pack of rapacious grift-mavens commit. Under the circumstances, there’s no point in House Democrats trying to rein in Trump’s lawless behavior.
Trump is a deeply stupid man with untreated personality disorders that compel him to do many self-destructive things. But like most bullies, he has a crude instinct for testing boundaries, and he senses there are none now. Here’s the latest consequence of that:
President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs.
Trump unexpectedly promised the policy action as he signed a directive that aims to help cash-starved Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. The order allows workers to postpone their payroll tax payments into next year but doesn’t absolve their bills outright — though the president said he would seek to waive what people owe if he prevails on Election Day.
“If I’m victorious on November 3rd, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax,” Trump said at a news conference in Bedminster, N.J. “I’m going to make them all permanent.”
How is that not straight-up bribery? Basically, he’s saying, “Here’s a temporary loan, which will accrue for the remainder of my term until a balloon payment comes due. But if you vote for me, you’ll get to keep the money without paying it back.”
In addition to gutting the safety net, the bribe doesn’t even address the needs of the tens of millions who are out of work — no payroll check, no payroll tax break. But it’s not intended to. It’s just a cash-for-votes scheme. And there’s no one who’ll stop him.
To be clear, I’m not arguing that House Dems should hold impeachment hearings or whatever to try to stop Trump’s nutty and criminal schemes — the ones we know about and the ones he’ll hatch between now and November. That would almost certainly backfire.
The truth is the Beltway press controls the narrative. What did it take for them to finally start treating Trump like the malevolent clown he has always been? Only a spectacularly failed response to a pandemic that has so far left 160K dead, 5 million infected and an economy in shambles.
We can’t afford to introduce a new story line now. No matter what, apparently.