Is it sinking in for Republicans yet just how much they’ve fucked up? In the eyes of millions of Americans, they’re now the party of COVID-19, election theft, voter suppression, sedition, and smaller checks for fewer people.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is outsmarting them at every turn, having recently brushed back the GOP’s insincere overtures before passing massive COVID-19 relief, which includes direct cash assistance to a vast majority of Americans.
So while Kevin McCarthy was reading Green Eggs and Ham to prove he has the cognitive dexterity to recite children’s books and ignore pressing the needs of his constituents, Democrats were coming through for the American people, just as Joe promised.
So what can Republicans do? Oh, here’s an idea! Pretend that people making more than $400,000 a year are solidly middle class.
Wednesday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley sat down with Fox News’ Charles Payne and, well, it was like watching a dude in a headless Grimace costume interview a bucket of lint. In other words, it was as scintillating a conversation as you could reasonably expect from a pair of rudderless conservatives these days.
PAYNE: “We know taxes were promised and elections have consequences, but I don’t think anyone thought that … President Biden was talking about a household making $400,000. I always tell people, Senator, ‘be careful when you pick up your torch and your pitchforks, sooner or later you might end up in front of your own house.’”
GRASSLEY: “The middle-income people of this country are smart enough to know that when they hear a politician or even the president of the United States say that only high-income people, the very wealthiest, are going to pay the tax, they know better. If you go there, you’re going to eventually end up paying, uh, taxing middle-income people.”
The dynamic duodenum appeared to be responding to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s clarification of Biden’s campaign promise that no one making less than $400,000 a year would face a tax increase.
“The President remains committed to his pledge from the campaign that nobody making under $400,000 a year will have their taxes increased,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week.
She clarified on Wednesday that the $400,000 threshold applies to families, not individuals. Consequently, individuals who make $200,000 could be affected if they are married to someone who earns that same amount, for example.
That’s still a lot of money, dudes. And, hey, it’s not like their tax rate would go through the roof.
Biden wants to increase the top marginal rate from 37% to 39.6% on households making more than $400,000. You know, like it was under Bill Clinton, after Republicans screamed to the rafters that raising taxes even a little on the highest earners would lead to a crushing recession. And since these are marginal tax rates, people earning more than $400,000 will pay the top rate only on the dollars they earn above that threshold.
I think they’ll manage to pull through.
Meanwhile, lots of people who aren’t managing so well these days are getting their Biden Bucks as we speak.
I hope this is the Republicans’ new talking point, because it’s remarkably out of touch, even for them. Even if most people don’t understand the history of marginal tax rates (i.e., they were far higher during the prosperous ‘50s and ‘60s), they sure as shit know they don’t make anywhere close to $400,000 a year. After all, that’s still a pretty rarefied group.
Have Republicans lost their mojo when it comes to fooling ordinary Americans about upper-class tax cuts and the benefits of government spending? Probably not, but this is a great start, and if this is what a “senile” president can do, I say let him take as many naps in his basement as he wants.
”This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on author Aldous J. Pennyfarthing via Twitter. Say “ba-bye” to the former guy. The long-anticipated EPILOGUE to Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump is now available for FREE. Download your copy here! And don’t forget to check out the rest of AJP’s oeuvre here.