Tuesday, December 26, 2017

USA Today Editorial Asks a GREAT question

Why is Trump trying to shut down the Mueller investigation if, as he claims, it is a witch hunt and he is innocent of any wrongdoing? As the following editorial asks, If the Russia story is truly 'fake news' and a 'witch hunt,' as the president and his minions insist, why would they sling mud at the very people and institutions that would place their valuable imprimatur on such a conclusion?  Why, you have to wonder, are they so worried about what Mueller's investigation might reveal?" 

Here is more of the editorial:

"When Robert Mueller was appointed in May to oversee the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, he was universally praised as the perfect choice," USA Today reminded. "Amid the contemptible efforts to discredit Mueller's investigation, let's pause for a moment to remember who he is: A Republican. A Marine Corps veteran who earned a Bronze Star for valor and Purple Heart for a gunshot wound to his thigh during combat in Vietnam. A longtime federal prosecutor before President George W. Bush nominated him to direct the FBI in 2001 and the Senate unanimously confirmed him."

"Yet as the Russia investigation gathered steam with charges brought against four former Trump campaign officials in recent months, a coterie of Republican congressmen, joined by commentators on Fox News and other Trump-friendly media outlets, have started calling for Mueller's head," USA Today explained. "Rarely has the American public been suddenly asked to revile a public figure once so widely revered."

The newspaper says Congress needs to pass legislation to protect the investigation.

"The factions calling the special counsel's fairness into question are laying the groundwork for either undermining Mueller's conclusions or firing him. To pre-empt his possible removal, Congress should promptly pass bipartisan legislation to provide greater protections for the special counsel," the editorial urged.

"Where logic falls away amid the odious campaign to tarnish Mueller and his investigators — bolstered Tuesday by Trump's latest 'FBI TAINTED' tweet — is with the prospect that the president might well be innocent of wrongdoing.

"Imagine if that's true. If the Russia story is truly 'fake news' and a 'witch hunt,' as the president and his minions insist, why would they sling mud at the very people and institutions that would place their valuable imprimatur on such a conclusion?" the newspaper asked.

"Why, you have to wonder, are they so worried about what Mueller's investigation might reveal?" USA Today pondered.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Donald Trump and the Republican Party Just Committed Suicide

Donald Trump and the Republican Party Just Committed Suicide
By Bill Palmer, palmerreports

It was a perfect storm of disastrous proportions. After a handful of conservative billionaires spent a generation gradually buying off every last Republican in Congress, a traitor named Donald Trump conspired with a foreign enemy to rig the election, which left the Republicans temporarily in charge of the White House, the Senate, and the House. In so doing, Trump destroyed the GOP's reputation, ensuring it won't hold another majority for a generation. And so the donors decided to force the party to commit mass suicide today in the name of one last cold hard cash grab.

There is not an ounce of hyperbole in the above paragraph, and if anyone tries to undersell it to you, they're lying. Countless Republicans in the House and Senate voted to end their own careers today by voting for the most hideously corrupt piece of major legislation in United States history. It raises taxes on the middle class to the tune of a trillion dollars, explodes the deficit by another trillion dollars, and takes health care away from tens of millions of Americans, so that all of the money can be given to the wealthy instead. Why vote for something so grotesque?

It's simple, if startlingly evil. Most Republicans in Congress don't even really bother with small dollar donations anymore, because their campaigns are funded almost entirely by the billionaire donors. Those donors demanded that this thieving legislation be passed, and if it didn't happen, they'd have pulled the plug on those donations. That would have left every Republican in Congress with no budget for reelection, and facing a well funded primary challenger. So they chose to end their careers by passing the bill, instead of ending their careers by not passing it. Here's what happens next.

In the 2018 congressional election, we're now looking at the biggest Democratic landslide in history. This will make 1974 look like a non-event. The Democrats will take control of the House and Senate, and if Donald Trump somehow hasn't been ousted by then of his own accord, impeachment proceedings will begin immediately. Mike Pence will likely be impeached as well. In fact, now that so much of the GOP can't get reelected anyway, we'll see a whole lot of Republicans announcing that they're "retiring" in 2018. Some of them may choose not to even finish their current terms. 

The Republican Party just committed suicide. That's all there is to it.

Monday, December 18, 2017

"False Flag UFO Stories" being aired on major media by government?

It appears that stories about UFOs are now being salted in the media by the black budget federal govt., via NY Times and other media channels. The story to the NY Times is said to have come from a Threat office of the Pentagon. This could be exactly what some of the whistleblowers from the govt. have been warning about for years -- that an untruthful disclosure will be floated to the public to prepare for a false flag operation, telling us we are being attacked from outer space.  This scheme was warned about by some of the top people working on nuclear weaponry (most importantly, Dr. Werner von Braun) -- who have tried to let us know that so far the visitors to earth do not mean to harm us -- they are only overseeing this planet to prevent us from nuclear war and extinction of our species.  Best to be prepared with as much knowledge as we can gather, so we can gauge truth from false flag fiction.  Watch this interview with Dr. Carol Rosin, who worked with von Braun and claims he warned her about a plan of this kind to expand "Star Wars" nuclear weapons and war plans--and to further control Earth's population with fear.

Eye-Opening Interview with Carol Rosin About the late Werner von ...

Jun 20, 2004 - by Linda Moulton Howe. from NancyRedStar Website. Bombshell Interview with Dr CarolRosin about. her work with the late German Scientist Dr Werner von Braun. Von Braun anticipated terrorists, asteroids and ETs on America's 'enemies list!' Foresaw and warned of 'war in space' as an eventuality!

From Dr. Greer Sunday Dec 17, 2017

URGENT: Note that the recent NY Times story is couched from a Threat office of the Pentagon: This is a clear ramp up to False Flag FAKE disclosure designed to prepare people for a threat from outer space- so the War Mongers and War Profiteers have a new , bigger enemy . BEWARE
Meanwhile , Unacknowledged is being BLOCKED by media, no coverage even though it is the 2017 # 1 Documentary on iTunes and widely popular on Netflix etc. The secret government is manipulating a false disclosure and threat via their lackeys and 'cut-outs' . Stay tuned!
Please read Dr. Greer's paper: When Disclosure Serves Secrecy.

Dear Eileen,
The New York Times ran two UFO stories this past Saturday which relate directly to Tom DeLonge's To the Stars venture, to his military/intelligence team and to the associated 2004 UFO sighting from the supercarrier USS Nimitz. Tom DeLonge himself was conspicuously absent from the New York Times' reports, where we learn that former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) funneled "Dark money" into the aerospace company of his billionaire friend, Robert Bigelow.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, we saw Hillary Clinton on the Jimmy Kimmel Show talking about the new term for UFOs,
"Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" and we know that her campaign manager, John Podesta is a big fan of whatever "Disclosure" means to him. Despite their not getting into the White House, "Disclosure" appears to be on track.

I joined Dark Journalist Daniel Liszt and the New Energy Movement's Susan Manewich to discuss this calculated UFO acclimatization operation.

Video: (98 mins):

Good question about UFOs

'Why aren't we spending more on this?' Ex-director says government never took UFO sightings seriously enough

Over the weekend a Naval officer revealed an 2004 encounter with a UFO that has still gone unidentified. Now more military experts are coming forward to report their own experiences.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Another must-read if you want to understand how the GOP GAME undermines us (We, the People) time and again

Republicans are exactly what we thought they were (and what are we voters going to DO about it?  Hopefully, vote in a Democratic Congress in 2018):



Monday, December 11, 2017

Interesting article - Obama may have been 'playing' Trump, knowing just how to manipulate him

Obama says to Trump, "Don't hire Mike Flynn."  Of course, Trump, being Trump, immediately decided to hire Flynn. And so the drama began....

Barack Obama's Parting Gift to Donald Trump Was Mike Flynn

by John Kiriakou | December 11, 2017 - 7:13am

— from Reader Supported News

Donald Trump's White House falls apart a little more every day. It seems like every morning there's more news about who among Donald Trump's friends, relatives, and advisors is being subpoenaed, questioned, accused, or indicted or, worse for the president, who has flipped and will testify against him. Meanwhile, Trump flails around, making accusations against everybody from the FBI to the Democrats to the Washington Post and George Soros. It would be great fun to watch if the stakes weren't so high for the country.

The linchpin to this whole "Russiagate" case is Mike Flynn. The former three-star general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was a loose cannon whom Obama had to fire in 2014. While Flynn had a real vision to transform the bloated DIA from a second-tier also-ran in the intelligence community to a primary war zone intelligence service, he was known as a nasty jerk to those around him, he was unnecessarily harsh with his subordinates, and he simply could not or would not follow the president's direction.

Flynn suffered from that very Washington affliction: He thought he was smarter than everybody else in the room and he wouldn't take advice. Trump has the same disease.

After Flynn had proven himself a thorn in the collective sides of Obama and Ashton Carter, then Secretary of Defense, he jumped into the Trump campaign with both feet, famously leading a chant of "Lock her up!" in reference to Hillary Clinton, at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

I believe it was then that Obama decided to have a little fun with Flynn, at Trump's great expense. Here's what we know:

NSA spies on Americans. They also spy on Russians. And when an American is on the phone with the Russian ambassador, or meeting with Russian attorneys with "ties to Russian intelligence," and then reporting back to a major Republican presidential campaign, NSA lights up. So NSA knew that Flynn was in touch with Russian Ambassador Serge Kislyak even before the two hung up the phone.

A conversation between a senior presidential campaign official and a Russian diplomat or intelligence officer is major news in the intelligence community, and that news would have been reported back to Obama posthaste. So Obama knew that Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., and others were meeting with the Russians. And he knew what was being said because NSA had given him the transcripts.

Another thing we know is that in their first post-election meeting at the White House, Obama gave Trump one piece of unsolicited advice: Don't hire Mike Flynn. The meeting was reported everywhere, and most observers thought that Obama had made the recommendation because he had to fire Flynn from DIA for insubordination.

I don't think that was it at all. I think Obama knew that Trump would do exactly the opposite of what he wanted. If Obama doesn't want him to hire Flynn, then, by God, he's going to hire Flynn. And so he did.

Flynn then proceeded to dig himself a deeper hole. We know that he telephoned Kislyak on December 22 and again on December 29 to ask him to either delay or veto a United Nations Security Council Resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Of course, NSA was fully cognizant of these conversations and, as it turns out, provided those transcripts to the FBI.

Was this "collusion" with the Russians? Of course not. It was an overeager, underinformed, and amateurish attempt at foreign policy. If anything, it was collusion with the Israelis to try to block Obama's foreign policy on Israel and the settlements. If anything, it was a violation of the Logan Act of 1799, which prohibits the making of foreign policy by a private citizen, which Flynn still was.

But that's not the point. The point is that the FBI by then had a transcript of the call when they asked Flynn to speak with them about it.

And therein lies the rub. First, I can tell you from personal firsthand experience that nobody should ever, EVER, talk to the FBI, at least without an attorney sitting right next to you. FBI agents will lie, cheat, and deceive to get you to trip yourself up in your response to their questions. Even if you don't remember what you said in some particular conversation months or years ago, or if your recollection is fuzzy, they will charge you with a felony for "making a false statement." That's the leverage that they want over you.

Mike Flynn is a career intelligence professional. He knew that NSA would have been listening to his conversations with the Russians. He knew that NSA would have passed the information to the FBI. But when the FBI interviewed him about his talks with the Russians, he lied. It's as simple as that. He lied. And that's a felony.

In the greater scheme of things, Mike Flynn is a small fish. His son, Mike Jr., who was also implicated in the case, is a smaller fish. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has Jared Kushner in his sights. He has Donald Trump Jr. in his sights. Eventually, he wants to get the president, if the evidence leads him there. Mike Flynn can give him that evidence. That's why he made an agreement to plead guilty to that false statements charge. He likely won't see any prison time, and his son won't be charged with any crime at all. In exchange, the Flynns, along with George Papadopoulos and, probably, Richard Gates, will all be free to rat out Kushner and the Trumps. That's the end game.

And that brings us back to Barack Obama. Obama, whether you like him or not, is undoubtedly one of the brightest and most politically savvy presidents we've had in generations. I think he saw all of this coming. He knew that the Trump campaign was a train wreck waiting to happen. He knew that Hillary Clinton was probably the only Democrat in America who couldn't beat that train wreck. He knew that he could manipulate the narcissist Trump. So Obama planted the seed to bring the entire House of Trump crashing down. It all started with Flynn, the guy who thought he was smarter than everybody else.

The investigation and ensuing criminal cases make for an ugly process, but the country will be stronger once it's all over. We'll have Barack Obama to thank for it.


ABOUT AUTHORJohn Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act – a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

How does a near-death experience change you?

How does a near-death experience change you? Brain surgeon DR EBEN ALEXANDER heard heavenly music and saw waterfalls flowing into crystal pools 

As a scientist, a neurosurgeon and an academic who taught brain science at Harvard Medical School, I am fascinated to know how we all perceived these versions of the hereafter.


OH YES! "IF ONLY" satire by Borowitz of the New Yorker

Broad Majority of Americans Support Moving Trump to Jerusalem

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a new poll conducted on Wednesday, a sweeping majority of Americans said they support moving Donald J. Trump to Jerusalem.

The sixty-three per cent of survey respondents who approved relocating Trump to Jerusalem placed few conditions on such a move, other than that it take place "as soon as possible" and that it be "permanent."

In other poll results, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that they would support relocating Trump to any number of other foreign destinations, including Russia, the Philippines, and "that station where scientists live at the South Pole."

Though Americans were strongly enthusiastic about moving Trump to Jerusalem, in a rare consensus both Arabs and Israelis vehemently opposed the move.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Read all about WORMWOOD, the new documentary/movie series coming on streaming Netflix


Don't miss this documentary/movie. It should be an informative Errol Morris movie/documentary.  I have followed this true story for many years now -- and have heard much about it at Conspiracy conferences Holland and I attended over the years.  Apparently, CIA agent Frank Olson was a guinea pig used by his agency to test LSD (without his knowledge or permission -- of course).  It did not go well -- and he ended up either diving out of or being pushed out of a high hotel window. 

Add this to the list of other government CIA tragedies we will never hear all the truth about, such as the same kind of thing happening to Sec'y. of Defense James Forrestal who plunged to his death from a 16th floor window in a hospital where he was being held hostage by the government (it seems he wanted to tell the public about UFOs and alien visitors to our planet--a VERY BIG No-No)  (Read more about Forrestal and his death here: https://www.richarddolanpress.com/the-death-of-james-forrestal)...and even CIA Director William Colby, who vanished from his house one evening while making supper -- and whose body was found several days later floating in the river.  (If you like true crime mysteries, you'll want to read about this one, entitled Who Murdered the CIA Chief? http://www.pythiapress.com/wartales/colby.htm

For anyone who is curious and prefers truth over lies, there are plenty of these stories online  -- real life "mysteries" that still remain to be solved (and because they are being kept under tight wraps by the federal govt., we'll probably never know the truth).


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Words of Wisdom from Dan Rather on our present "Age of Unreason"

What a welcome relief to hear words of sanity from Dan Rather, instead of the cruel, hypocritical, bigoted madness we have been subjected to by Trump and his (Ugh!) Republican Party.  

When the time comes, and I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot and the defiling of our communal, social, and democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote:

"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it's on booze or women or movies."

Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars and private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth.

I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, and yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America.

I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help and who get no extra pay for their efforts, and in them I see America.

I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills and wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, and in them I see America.

I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital and the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, and in them I see America.

I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, and in them I see America.

I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, and paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly and infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, and in them I see America.

I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, and in them I see America.

I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, and in them I see America.

I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality and dignity, in them I see America.

These, and so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists and moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions.

And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, and all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their "darn pennies" on the simple joys of life.

Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans and the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, and always have. Grassley's comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party and it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that i think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism and a version of top-down class warfare run amok.


Friday, December 01, 2017

Fwd: Tax fraud alert in the Senate

What a ridiculous mess the GOP tax fraud bill is!  Take a look at all this last-minute scribbling in the margins as the Republicans desperately try to put any kind of sense in it -- and are failing.  But they are all committed to passing it, no matter how bad it turns out to be, even though NO ONE really knows what the hell it is--some of the scribbling is completely illegible! It's a zombie-fied mess that should be thrown on the trash pile.  And this is the low place we have sunk to in what we call "representation" and "legislation."   The Republican party is as good as dead, with the last nails in its coffin being hammered in by Trump and Tribe, yet like a zombie it keeps rising with more horrors to perpetrate on WE, the people.  God help us all! 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ryan Grim <info@actionnetwork.org>
Date: Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 7:16 PM
Subject: Tax fraud alert in the Senate
To: eileen@starwisdom.net

People often joke about Republicans that they believe government doesn't work, and when they take power, they set out to prove it. Man, has that never been more true than tonight, as Senate Republicans are literally scribbling tax law into the margins of a document and rushing it through. They plan to vote any minute, and they didn't even try to find somebody in the office with good handwriting. No, really:

Say what you will, at least Republicans have been honest about why they feel so much pressure to get this done. Here are three actual quotes:

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner: "Donors are furious"

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins: "My donors are basically saying: 'Get it done or don't ever call me again.'"

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham: "The financial contributions will stop."

This bill gets talked about in the press as a $1.5 trillion tax cut. It's not. It is, broadly speaking, a $6 trillion tax cut for some people paid for by a $4.5 trillion tax hike on other people.

That makes it the biggest tax hike in American history. (Republicans spent years calling Obamacare the biggest tax increase in U.S. history because it raised about $800 billion in taxes. This blows that out of the water.)

Here's my story laying out the numbers to make the case.

But the GOP has a list of more than a hundred economists who say that it's a great idea! The Intercept's Lee Fang took a closer look at the list and found it was populated by ghosts, cranks, office assistants, an ex-felon (not that there's anything wrong with that) and a lot of retired economists who were claiming to still be working. His story is here.

If you want to take a break from watching C-Span as they inch toward passing this stack of paper, here's an interview I did with TYT's Ana Kasparian on the tax bill.

You're getting this email because you either signed up for it or you took a survey and opted in to this newsletter -- or, probably, you declined to opt out. Either way, I hope you're enjoying it. I'm the Washington bureau chief at The Intercept, and I send this several times a week. If you see an ad here, it's there because sending mass emails turns out to be really expensive. I'm not making any money off of it; it goes to the email service provider and just defrays the cost a bit. If you want to contribute directly to help keep the thing running, you can do so here, though be warned a donation comes with no tote bags or extra premium content or anything. Or you can buy a copy of Out of the Ooze: The Story of Dr. Tom Price, the first book put out by Strong Arm Press, a small progressive publishing house I cofounded.

If somebody forwarded you this note, you can sign up to start getting your own copy here.

Sent via ActionNetwork.org. To update your email address, change your name or address, or to stop receiving emails from Bad News, please click here.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Shirtless" Roy Moore trolled for teens at the YMCA--local voters laughed about it

Poor Fox Noise -- now that their loudly proclaimed "Christian" morals are being revealed to be non-existent, they and the GOP have no rudder to steer their voters rightwards anymore....what to do????  What would Jesus do???? 

'Shirtless' Roy Moore tried to pick up teens at YMCA — and local voters 'treated it like a joke': report

"It was a known fact: Roy Moore liked young girls," recalled one retired Alabama policeman.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Here's the math of the GOP tax plan -- Read it and Weep

Like the Claude Rains policeman character in Casablanca,  "I'm shocked! Shocked!..." that Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class and enrich the wealthy.  GOP voters remain oblivious and continue to vote against their own interests.

If McConnell and Ryan manage to pass this brutal hit-against-the-struggling classes in our country, we will need to hold a funeral for our democratic republic.  The corporate world reigns. Say goodbye to ObamaCare. Medicare will be next to go. That is the GOP plan.  With the insanity that Trump, the GOP, and Company have wrought upon this nation and upon the world, we should all be out marching in the streets every day in protest!!!!  I am angry at our Congressional Democrat representatives who are so mealy-mouthed that they will back down on EVERYTHING -- and that includes Obama's 8 years of bending over backwards.  Our only hope is that Bob Mueller will ASAP take down the entire Trump tribe and the GOP along with it.  If our nation, world -- and planet -- are to survive, we HAVE to START OVER with a brand new slate. First on the agenda should be the environment and global warming!!!!    

The Shocking Math of the Republican Tax Plan

If it gives us nothing else positive, the Republican tax plan—and, in its Senate form, the health-care repeal—at least provides clarity. There is no debate. The middle class will, in the long run, pay more in taxes than under current law, and the rich will pay less. For a brief moment last week, there did seem to be space for discussion, in the form of a disagreement between the centrist and highly regarded Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation, a pro-business group that is generally seen as more biased. Even if poorly matched, having two groups with similar, boring names set the stage for the appearance of a two-handed tax debate. One side says it helps the rich, hurts everyone else, and will lead to a bigger deficit; the other side says the opposite. Our media and political system has long viewed economic policy—and, especially, taxation—as the equivalent of "American Idol." There is a group of judges, loudly disagreeing, and the home audience can pick whichever side they like, based on whatever criteria they have. In past tax-news cycles (2001, 1993, 1990, 1986 . . . ), there were enough serious, respected economists on both sides to make it seem like there was a real, substantive fight over the impact of taxes on jobs and economic growth. (While each individual economist appears to know everything with certainty, as a group, they are surprisingly unsure of the impact of taxes on a nation's well-being. However, most surveys of economists suggest that virtually none accept the simplistic notion that raising taxes on the rich will cripple an economy.)

Surely, we will have other debates in the future with thoughtful arguments on every side. But not this time. The numbers are in and it's clear: this tax bill helps the rich and hurts everybody else. Just ask the very people who wrote it. The U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation is run by the chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee—Representative Kevin Brady and Senator Orrin Hatch, respectively. The Joint Committee's reports of this week make startling reading, or as startling as a series of spreadsheets of tax revenue data can be. The report shows that this bill is much like a teaser rate on a new credit card: there are some goodies in the first couple of years, but those disappear fairly quickly, at least for those below the median income. In 2019, the first full year that this bill would be law, the benefits are concentrated on the bottom of the income stream, with middle-class people, on average, paying just under ten per cent less in taxes than they would if the law weren't passed. With each passing year the benefits shift upward, toward the rich. By 2021, those making between twenty thousand and thirty thousand dollars a year are paying considerably more in taxes, those between thirty thousand and two hundred thousand see their benefit shrinking, and those making more start to see their taxes falling. By 2027, every income level below seventy-five thousand dollars a year sees a tax increase, while everybody above that level sees a continued decrease, with the greatest cut in taxes accruing to those making more than a million dollars a year.

The report shows that the rich benefit and the poor are hurt in every way that it measures. For example, the effective tax rate—meaning the percentage that people, on average, actually pay after they take all deductions—changes in a precisely regressive form. The poorer you are, the higher your effective rate will rise. By 2027, only those making a hundred thousand a year or more will see an actual cut in their effective tax rate. And, as could be expected by now, the more they make, the greater the cut in their effective rate. By 2025, there is a direct transfer of money from the poor to the rich and corporations. This is not a flaw but the whole point, Harvard's Martin Feldstein argues. Feldstein is, arguably, the single most widely respected Republican-leaning scholar of tax policy, and one of the few academics who came out in favor of the bill, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. His defense, though, should not give much comfort to the bill's proponents. He argues that cutting individual tax rates won't increase economic growth and will add to the deficit—which, he acknowledges, is a bad thing. But he's so excited about the corporate tax-rate cut that he thinks the bill should pass nonetheless. This is an odd stance, since the corporate rate cuts are about a third the size of the individual cuts.

That is the state of debate on this current bill. Its most respected defender acknowledges that three-quarters of the benefit are a wasted, harmful gift for the rich, but a quarter of the benefit goes to corporations, and we must assume they will spend it wisely.