Congressman Darrell Issa got an early birthday present yesterday–he’s 64 today–from local activists, as more than six hundred people gathered outside his Vista office.
They were joined by Tom Steyer, in the news lately for shelling out $10 million to run TV ads calling for the impeachment of the president. This week’s rally, coming just one day after the Special Counsel’s first round of indictments, was Halloween-themed. The central premise was “we want a hero.”
In the coming weeks, protests at Issa’s office and around the country will shift the focus to the Republican tax plan, which they have yet to finish writing. Tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people are all set in stone; questions remain about who will be punished to pay for them.
Many local news outlets covered this week’s demonstration.
From the Union-Tribune:
The rallies appear to be among the larger sustained weekly protests outside a congressional field office since the inauguration, and Steyer said they have caught the attention among Democratic activists.
“I think what the people are doing here is sustaining a level of commitment and intensity that is awesome,” he said. “It’s just fantastic.”
Inspired by Halloween, some protesters donned political-statement costumes. Among them were at least six cloaked “handmaids” (a coordinated effort between rally organizers), three Ruth Bader Ginsburgs, two Lady Justice statues and one briefcase-carrying Robert Mueller with handcuffs, a nod to the special counsel investigating allegations of Russian interference in the November 2016 election.
At the moment, Issa is in Washington D.C., but his local office has become a focal point for Democratic protestors, who show up week after week. A handful of Republican demonstrators in support of Issa set up camp across the street, with placards opposing California’s new gas tax.
Steyer addressed the crowd of anti-Issa protestors and cited Issa’s support of Trump’s efforts to repeal health care and cut taxes, to benefit corporations and the wealthy.
“We’re down here to say what he is voting for, advocating for, hurt his constituents,” Steyer said. “He is absolutely siding with the red state Republican rich people against the working people of California. It’s outrageous really.“
And my favorite from 10News, complete with Congressman Issa’s whimpering:
But during a trip to the North County Steyer was focused on getting rid of Issa saying,” Do us all a favor and step down. The fact of the matter is I think his time has passed.”
Issa supporters were also on hand across the street holding signs and chanting.
The congressman’s office quickly issuing a response, saying in part, “Instead of soapboxing outside our office, he should head back home to San Francisco where voters are more receptive to his radical left-wing politics.”
The protesters outside Issa’s office will be back next Tuesday at 10am, focusing on the #TrumpTaxScam.
Indivisible and other activist groups are calling for a National Week of Action to defeat the #TrumpTaxScam, November 6-11.
One action being suggested is the Trump Tax Scam Payout.
Groups across the country have become pros at stopping by (or protesting outside) your MoCs office. This time, you’ll be bringing them something. A giant check made out to the 1%, from working families.
Group members arrive to present the check to their MoC or their staff. This can be done with a surprise knock on the door and a Facebook Live (think Publisher’s Clearinghouse), or outside of the MoC’s office with folks set up to make speeches talking about the sacrifices they and their families are making to help give this giant tax cut to the rich. This tactic is most powerful if done at the closest district office of a Representative, or at a public or private event at which the Representative is in attendance. This is a tactic designed to attract attention from passersby and people in positions of power, and can be used to disrupt business as usual at a problematic institution.
Having stymied the Congressional scheme to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, activists around the nation are building up steam to take on part of the Republicans legislative agenda, namely the #TrumpTaxScam.
If you’re wondering why Republicans on Capitol Hill are content to sit back and watch the President defile democracy, look no further than this plan, which cuts taxes for the rich and all but guarantees destruction of the social safety net in the United States.
‘Tax Reform,’ as the propagandists for the right call it, is nothing more than a fundamental reordering of our economy. “One Nation United” will be no more. From the day the bill is signed–should that happen–we will live in the country of “I’ve got mine, screw you.”
Most of the Republicans in Congress will be trying their level best to ignore popular opinion on this legislation. Billionaire donors, led by the Koch brothers, have made it clear they’ll quit giving to GOP candidates if this legislation goes the way of Trumpcare.
How bad is the #TrumpTaxScam?
Here’s Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University in an op-ed published at CNN:
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s call for corporate tax cuts is akin to his request for a government plane for his honeymoon: both are adventures in avarice. Donald Trump, Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and the key billionaire funders of the Republican Party (including the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Robert Mercer) would each reap a fortune from the proposed tax cuts. They are out to loot the kitty, and are close to getting away with this daylight robbery.
Let’s face it: the entire corporate tax cut idea makes no sense. The federal budget deficit is already large and rising. The economy is growing without the tax cuts. Economic inequality is sky-high. The public wants higher, not lower, taxes on companies, according to the Pew Research Center. If ever there were a time to tame the Republican Party’s addiction to unaffordable tax cuts, this is it. Yet nothing tames the avarice of this White House and the Republican Party funders.
Asked about President Trump’s assertion that the middle class will benefit from this sort of taxation scheme, Bruce Bartlett, former staff director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, and deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration told Michael Winship at Moyers & Company:
Well, that’s just a lie… the middle class really isn’t going to get any kind of tax cut and in fact it’s going to get screwed in lots of ways. For example, he’s talked on many occasions about getting rid of the deduction for state and local taxes. He’s talked about reducing the ability of people to save in 401(k)s. These are tax increases, really, that are going to hurt the middle class.
So what his economic advisers have done is come up with this ridiculous rationalization that workers will see a huge increase in their wages if we cut the corporate tax rate. The fact is that we have experience with this. We don’t need to look to some esoteric mathematical model to know what’s going to happen. You can very easily go to bls.gov, which is the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and look up real median wages and you can see what happened after the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which lowered the tax rate on corporations from 46 percent to 34 percent. And if you look at what happened to wages in the 10 years after 1986, wages fell. They did not go up. They fell. Workers were worse off.
Now I’m not saying there’s a cause-and-effect relationship. I’m not saying that cutting the tax caused workers’ wages to fall. All I’m saying is that we have a real-world experience in which the results were the exact opposite of what the administration is asserting.
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell reminds us of this little detail called “statutory PAYGO” buried amongst all the GOP’s bravado about how great this tax plan is:
This legislation has been on and off the books (it’s been on since 2010) since 1990. It says that if all of the bills passed by the end of the current calendar year have the net effect of increasing deficits, then automatic, immediate, offsetting cuts to certain non-discretionary spending programs — including (yikes) Medicare — go into effect.
Here’s how it would work:
If Congress successfully passes a $1.5 trillion tax cut before going home for Christmas, $28 billion would get automatically slashed from Medicare between January and September of next year. And that’s just in Medicare. Other popular programs, such as mandatory spending on student loan administration and farm subsidies, would be wiped out entirely, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
And such cuts would continue for a decade. Not exactly a people-pleaser.
This legislation is harmful, and it needs to be stopped. Furthermore, it’s the exact opposite of what most people think should be done.
…A new poll from the Pew Center shows just 24 percent of Americans favor tax cuts for either large businesses or affluent families. Not even a majority self-identified Republicans like the idea of tax cuts for these groups.
Finally, I’ll just leave this testament to stupidity right here:
I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to early to teach her about socialism. pic.twitter.com/3ie9C0jv2G
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 31, 2017
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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