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A Point-by-point Takedown of McClintock’s Latest Opinion Piece

Jan 18, 2018 12:45 am

On Tuesday, right-wing outlet The Washington Examiner published an opinion piece by Tom McClintock. We found the substance and timing of this article insensitive given the national uproar surrounding Trump’s “shithole” comments. McClintock has yet to provide any response, and his silence can only be interpreted as support for the President’s racist position on immigration.

It should also be noted that as our nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., McClintock was conspicuously absent and made no remarks to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King online, or via email.

For those of us who have listened to McClintock’s comments regarding immigration at town hall meetings, this behavior comes as no surprise. We remember how in March of last year, he suggested to Doris Romero, one of our local DREAMers, that she should “return to her own country and apply for admission the way millions of legal immigrants have done for generations.” We also recall his frequent comments insisting that immigrants “assimilate” to American culture. This of course, is code-speak for conforming to an Alt-right, white monoculture.

Passing a clean DREAM Act is of paramount importance to Tom’s constituency and we have expressed our desire for him to do the right thing with great frequency, urgency, and in great numbers. Despite our efforts, he maintains his hard-line stance supporting white nationalism. Tom may not be a racist, but he does a damn good job supporting racists.

And so, with DREAMers, immigration, and CHIP renewal at the top of our collective list of national priorities, Tom decided this was a good time to say something in support of Trump’s Tax Scam. As much as we’d like to ignore his divisive words and let his opinion remain unnoticed and forgotten alongside his empty-chamber speeches and Breitbart articles, we cannot let this contemptible work of propaganda go unanswered.

Here we gooooo!!!

“As the tax reform bill entered its final consideration in December, one congressional Democrat confided to a colleague that the reason they so vehemently opposed it was that they were afraid it would work.”

Or MAAAAYBE it’s because we all knew we were about to get screwed:

“With the bill now signed into law over unanimous Democratic opposition, every family is about to find out.”

Wheee! Grab your ankles America!!!

“According to polls, most people believe it will mean tax increases and a declining standard of living for middle-class families.”

Maybe the people taking these polls know how to read. Every independent analysis of your Tax Scam calls this a turd.

They believe it because that’s what the Democratic machine…”

Okay, stop. Way to dehumanize half the country, you hypocrite. Tell us more about how we should be “TALKING WITH each other and not SHOUTING AT each other.” Your ceaseless attempts to villainize anyone who opposes your extreme right-wing ideology and drive divisions within our communities have brought our district to the brink of tribalism.

That’s us alright. A lean, mean, social justice MACHINE!!

“They believe it because that’s what the Democratic machine and the left-stream media have told them.”

BULLSHIT. We believe it because that’s what we’ve been told by the virtually every independent analysis of the bill.

“It will be hard to maintain that narrative, or preserve a shred of political credibility, if people perceive that their paychecks are growing”

Growing relative to what? It’s hard to be grateful for a pittance when you’re sending massive, strip-mining sized dump trucks full of million dollar bills to the uber-rich.

“companies across America began announcing bonuses, pay raises, and major new investment plans”

Haven’t really seen much evidence of people getting raises as a result of the Tax Scam. Yes, there were some highly-touted and well-timed one-time bonuses announced to great fanfare as a part of the GOP’s PR push, but we all know the truth. Companies are loath to provide raises if they don’t absolutely have to as it hurts their projections and subsequently, their stock price.

Besides, companies were already flush with domestic cash and their stock values were at all-time highs before the Tax Scam. If they were going to give out raises and invest in new jobs, they would’ve already done so. Remember this gem?

“A variety of calculators are already available on the Internet so that every family can see for themselves whether they personally benefit from the tax cuts. (Check out for a quick glimpse at how your family benefits)

You can’t be serious. Some sketchy, janky-ass calculator made by conservative wingnut Maxim Lott? Executive producer for John freaking Stossel?? Okay, setting aside the horrible design, the fact that this calculator doesn’t provide projections for future years says all we need to know. You’re trying your best to get everyone to focus on a small, shiny object while ignoring how we just lost a TON of tax deductions, including costs incurred from natural disasters like wildfire. Then, you hope we’ll overlook the fact that our taxes WILL GO UP once these cuts expire in 2025. Nice try.

“Even in my over-taxed home state of California,”

Okay, stop. FIRST of all, our state isn’t overtaxed. WE voted for the propositions that require those taxes, and WE continue to elect representatives put those taxes in place. If we had a problem with taxes, we would’ve done something about it.

SECOND, California is now the 5th largest economy in the world (having recently passed Great Britain after their misguided Brexit) and people keep moving here. In fact, across a broad array of metrics, California continues to lead the nation. Yeah, we’ve got our problems, but it’s not like we have the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world or anything.

THIRD, stop bashing our home. If you’ve got a problem with our state, then we suggest you leave your weird, gated, man-made lake community in Elk Grove (you don’t even live in your own district!) and move to Kansas. You’ll love it there.

We love California and would appreciate you not talking shit about it at every opportunity.

“The rate reductions in the final bill more than compensate for limitations on state and local tax deductions for almost every family.”

Your friend Maxim’s after school project said I’ll save $54 each year, but only for a few years until the cuts expire, then my taxes go up. So, thanks? Let’s just hope there aren’t any more wildfires, earthquakes, or mudslides IN CALIFORNIA.

“lower rates and the take-home pay will jump – even before accounting for the surge in wages that always accompanies an economic expansion.”

You must think we’re idiots. We just had one of the largest & longest periods of economic expansion in our nation’s history, yet wages stagnated.

“By spring, most economists expect a significant burst in economic growth”

Is this how you do propaganda? You just make shit up and hope people believe you? Forbes (not exactly a bastion of liberalism) reports that most economists say the opposite.

“resulting from stranded offshore capital being repatriated because U.S. tax barriers have come down”

We tried this back in 2004, remember? Only a handful of companies repatriated cash holdings and most of the money was used for stock buy-backs and and to pay dividends to wealthy investors. Oh… They also laid off a ton of people.

“In addition to claiming tax reform will produce only middle-class misery and economic malaise,”

Layoffs and store closings last month:

  • Carrier: 215
  • Walmart: 3,000
  • Sam’s Club: 63 stores, 9,000
  • GE: 12,000
  • AT&T: 1,300
  • Macy’s: 10,000
  • Tenet Healthcare: 2,000
  • Allergan: 1,000
  • UAMS: 600
  • Humana: 2,700
  • Pfizer: 300
  • GoPro: 254+
  • ArcelorMittal: 150
  • Northrop Grumman: 82
  • Capital One Financial: 130
  • Wells Fargo: 800 locations
  • Flextronics Americas: 138
  • Absolute Plastics: 100
  • Sodexo: 450 (announced today)

“Democrats have also maintained that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.” 

3.2 MILLION more uninsured since Trump took office. 13 million more as a result of the Tax Scam.

“Because the tax reform removes the stiff tax penalties levied against 6.5 million families who chose not to purchase over-priced Obamacare policies.”

Right, but instead of helping, you forced families to make a Sophie’s Choice resulting millions of Americans taking huge risks by dropping coverage. Meanwhile, those who need coverage the most will see premiums go way up as a result of lower-risk folks dropping out.

Everyone has a body. > Health is temporary. > Everyone needs healthcare. Like interstate highways or national defense, healthcare is a universal need.

“These families will now have that money available to meet their needs according to their own judgment.”

You make it sound like life before the Affordable Care Act was awesome.

Here’s a better idea. Let’s “promote the general welfare” and join every other industrialized nation on the planet with Universal Health Care. Why are we funneling billions into the profit margins of middleman insurance companies?

“13 million Americans now coerced into buying Obamacare plans will choose cheaper alternatives since the mandate is repealed.”

Cheaper alternatives? Do you mean like this??

Hundreds of people line up in the early morning to attend a free health clinic. – 2016

And what have you done to help families who can’t afford these mysterious “cheaper alternatives?” NOTHING!!

“This invites the question, if Obamacare is so wonderful, why must we force families to buy it?”

Nobody said the Affordable Care Act was wonderful, but it was better than nothing which is exactly what you delivered. Nothing. Everyone agreed it needed work and overall it was moving in the right direction, but providing for the general welfare of our nation was simply more than you could bear.

And if 6.5 million families already prefer paying the penalty to buying insurance, what does that say about the signature achievement of the Obama Democrats?”

It says you’re an idiot.

Your question should’ve been “What can we do to get more people covered and lower premiums.” NOT “Let’s kill ACA and leave millions of Americans without healthcare.” Remember your President’s promise “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” Whatever happened with that?

“The Democrats have seized on projections the reform will add $1.5 trillion of new debt over the next 10 years”

You’re trying to make it sound like these projections are “fake news” one-offs. However, these projections came from YOUR budget office, the Tax Policy Center, and the highly-regarded Penn Wharton Budget Model. We know this routine of yours. You tried it with climate change and it didn’t take. It’s not going to work here. We’ll stick with the experts, thanks.

“Yet, when Ronald Reagan cut the top marginal tax rate by half”

Okay, stop. You fail to mention that just a year after that cut, Reagan and the GOP were forced to raise taxes in ’82 with TERFA taking away about half the cuts that had been put in place. Then, we got hit again in ‘83 when Congress increased the tax to Social Security. Finally, in ’84 the Deficit Reduction Act rolled back most of the original tax cuts. By the end of Reagan’s second term as President, he would sign off on 11 different tax increases making him one of the biggest tax-increasing President’s in our nation’s history.

Also, Reagan was a huge Keynesian. Nobody did big government better.

“Several prominent economists, including Martin Feldstein and Arthur Laffer, are predicting an additional $1.5 – 2 trillion of new tax revenues to all levels of government solely due to economic expansion.”

I’d say you cherry-picked your economists here, but it’s likely that these two represent the only notable economists on the planet who would make such a bold prediction. Not everyone reading this will recognize the two gentlemen you are referring to, so it’s worth providing some background:

Martin Feldstein (78) was a major architect of Reagan’s “trickle-down” tax policy, and Laffer (77) is the guy that provided its formulaic underpinning. These are two of the main guys we can thank for our new gilded age that developed since Reagan’s tax cuts and then accelerated by G.W. Bush’s tax cuts. If you think I’m exaggerating, you MUST watch this interview with Laffer where he admits that while the rich were getting ridiculously wealthy off our productivity gains, the rest of us should just be thankful for just having a job. It may be a shit job with shit pay and no benefits, but Laffer asserts that the only alternative was no job.

Tom. Really? Both of these men profited enormously from their work attacking the middle class, and now they’re doomed to spending the rest of their days defending their ruinous economic policies. NO ONE believes them, or you for that matter. Your attempts to spin and defend this tax turd are transparent and only serve to accelerate your demise.

“The strangest attack is that the personal income tax cuts expire in 8 years, leaving many Americans worse off.”

What’s so strange about that? The tax cuts do expire, and most Americans will be worse off thanks to your elimination of deductions.

“This provision was due solely to archaic Senate budget rules.”

God save me… How you love to repeat this old ditty ad nauseam. Yes. You made the cuts temporary to avoid the Senate requirement that when a bill screws our country as bad as this Tax Scam does, that it get at least 60 votes. How is that a bad thing?

“It’s a very dangerous argument for Democrats to make, since every American knows the permanence of the tax cuts depends entirely on which party is in power.”


“Democrats have left no doubt if they are returned to office, the tax cuts are over.”

Oh shit! You mean I don’t get that extra $54 ANNUALLY, but I’ll get my affordable health care back? I’LL TAKE IT!!

“And Republicans have made it just as clear that their unfinished business is to make the cuts permanent.”

Indeed. To do this, you plan to cut Medicare and Social Security. What about all those promises Trump made?

“Let’s see what people prefer this fall.”

Listen to your smug ass. You’re not paying attention. We’ve already decided.

“Ronald Reagan asked a simple question both in 1980,”

OMG. This bit again? We get it… You’re playing to your base.

“..and when he ran against the economic malaise of the Carter years,”

You. Are. Exhausting.

Carter was elected into a recession. Then the oil crisis hit. But, whatever. #RevisionistHistory

“after he had implemented the same pro-growth policies Trump is now implementing.”

REPEAT: By the end of Reagan’s second term as President, he would sign off on 11 different tax increases making him one of the biggest tax-increasing President’s in our nation’s history.

“Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

GOOD QUESTION! You and your GOP brethren have been holding the purse strings to our nation’s budget for the past seven years. During that time your rich donors have seen their wealth EXPLODE while the rest of us flatlined. #WeathGap

“No politician or pundit can spin the answer to that question – every American knows it precisely in their own lives.”

Really? Cause you’re trying pretty damn hard with this BS work of propaganda.

“That question devastated Democrats in both elections, because the answer was self-evident.”

You have a real aversion to facts, don’t you. You act like voter suppression, gerrymandering, and foreign influence had nothing to do with it. You also seem to forget that 3 million more people voted for Hillary than Trump. (That’s a majority.)

“Republicans are now uniquely poised to ask it once again.”

Ask away Tom. You already dug your grave as the only member of the House to flip from a NO to a YES on the Tax Scam that offers us a pittance while handing over MASSIVE amounts of cash to the ultra-wealthy. Now you can go ahead and jump in it.

See you in November.