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University Presidents Say Tax Reform Policy Will Hurt Texas Higher Education

Guest Column: University of Texas, Trinity University presidents believe the Congressional tax reform bill will limit endowments, student aid.

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Illustration by Anna Donlan


Today, U.S. government leaders have enormous decisions to make about tax reform. Their choices will affect the future of our students and our universities. If the proposed policies are put in place, the ability of Texas students, both now and in the future, to earn life-changing degrees will be compromised.

We are the presidents of two universities in Texas — one public, one private. And many students from both The University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University rely upon financial aid that is drawn from endowments.

Both the House and Senate bills that are now being resolved by a conference committee propose a 1.4 percent excise tax on certain private nonprofit university endowments. This puts the college educations of many current and prospective students at risk, and it jeopardizes the financial stability of many private universities. The recent Senate vote on the tax bill brought Congress one step closer to enacting this and other policy changes that will have dire impacts on affordability at all American universities.

At a time when we face increases in economic and scientific competition around the globe, lawmakers should work to expand access to higher education. An educated and highly skilled American workforce benefits everyone, and it is our responsibility to ensure we maintain our global leadership role. Unfortunately, both the House and Senate tax bills counteract our national effort to do just that.

Endowments are a critical source of student financial aid. Universities across the U.S. provided $54.7 billion in grant aid to their students in 2015-16, much of it from endowment investment funds. In fact, the institutions affected by the proposed tax are among those providing the most generous financial aid from their own resources, including endowment funds. At many of these schools, for example, grant aid spending is 20 times the total amount that students receive from federal programs like Pell Grants, which are capped at $5,920 per award year.

Trinity University is one of these schools, and it spends more than $50 million on student financial aid each year, with endowment funds supporting 95 percent of students. This aid is possible thanks to generous donations by private individuals who believe in the proven value of higher education. Trinity then invests those gifts and uses the returns to help low-income students finance higher education. If enacted, this tax would take away aid from more than 70 Trinity students each year, or, to echo the words of Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos — it would send, in effect, 70 need-based student scholarships directly to the federal government.

Beyond the direct impacts to students and their hardworking families, this tax would set a dangerous precedent in nonprofit tax policy. Public universities such as UT Austin are rightfully concerned.

Every year, UT Austin relies on the generosity of private donors to fund scholarships for thousands of students in a wide range of schools and colleges. These are transformative gifts that reshape the academic experience on our campus. This kind of giving is made possible through proper investment of endowment funds. If the new tax on private nonprofit universities were levied on public nonprofit universities, many UT Austin scholarship programs and others like them would decrease dramatically or disappear completely.

Taxing private university endowments will harm students throughout Texas by making college less accessible and less affordable.

Higher education has brought our nation to the forefront of scientific discovery, propelled our economy and made the U.S. the flourishing country it is today. America’s high-quality pre-eminent private universities — part of the lifeblood of a strong economy — should be celebrated and championed for their contributions to America’s scientific and economic health, not punished with debilitating government taxation.

We urge House and Senate lawmakers to consider the long-term consequences of their policies as they make final edits to this important tax bill. The future of students in Texas and across the U.S. depends on it.

Gregory L. Fenves is the president of The University of Texas at Austin. Danny J. Anderson is the president of Trinity University. Opinions expressed by Texas Monthly guest columnists are their own.

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  • anonyfool

    An educated populace is against the direct interests of the GOP. Just look at exit polls for any recent election. They don’t care about anything other than that and donors according to the tax bill.

    • John Bernard Books

      You saying dems are educated……..hahaha

  • BCinBCS

    The Republican tax reform redistribution bill must tax university endowments and middle class people. Where else can they get the money for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires?

    • John Bernard Books

      I’m keeping my money making you mad?…….

  • BCinBCS

    While we’re discussing the elements of the tax bill, it would be prudent to understand some of the ramifications of that bill. Besides decreasing the funding for student scholarships, graduate research grants and faculty chairs, the tax bill will also cause a reduction in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “How” you ask, since there are no provisions in the bill directly affecting these social programs?

    There is a budgetary provision called PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) that automatically requires a decrease in entitlements when there is a decrease in revenues. Now that the Republicans have cut taxes and will increased the deficit by a minimum of $1.0 trillion to $1.5 trillion, they have also surreptitiously caused the eventual decrease in funding for those programs. Of course, the GOP sees this as a positive aspect of the tax bill.

    Were you going to rely on social security and medicare once you retired? Do you rely on social security and medicare now that you are retired? Did you vote Republican? Did you do nothing to oppose this bill? Well, congratulations.

    • John Bernard Books

      Prez Obama raised the debt from $10,000,000,000.00 to $20,000,000,000.00 and suddenly $1 trillion alarms you?

    • SpiritofPearl

      Shot themselves in the foot by rushing through a bill while Strange and McCain are still on board. Bloodbath at midterms . ..

      • SeeItMyWay

        This is what I hate about ideologues…”My team does it, it’s OK; your team does it, it is a cardinal sin. Here’s the crowning blow…this probably won’t even register with you, or the other true believers hunkered down in the trench to the far left…anymore than it will those lobbing TP grenades from the trench on the far right. Things are going to get nastier and really, really scary and ugly.

        • SpiritofPearl

          What is “TP”? “True believers on the left”? You must be joking.

          Here’s an article from your neck of the woods:

          https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/12/15/putins-proxies-helped-funnel-millions-gop-campaigns

          You betcha it’s gonna get ugly. It already is ugly.

          • BCinBCS

            TP = Tea Party

          • SpiritofPearl

            Thanks. Anagrams . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Have a good weekend.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I’m sitting in the Newark airport. It’s cold!

          • WUSRPH

            But the view across the river is so wonderful.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Not from the airport. Mr. P. remembered pig farms in Seacaucus from when he was kid.

            I’ve become weak living in Texas . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Ideologues are not that much of a problem for blogs like this one….You know that they are soo committed that they can not be moved….so you don’t enter into exchanges with them.

            Even people like the Troll who are so frustrated by the failure of all their dreams and filled with hate that they have to have someone to blame are not that much of a bother….You can ignore most of them…however, you do have to at least let the racists and anti-Semites who show up occasionally know that they are not acceptable…..

            There is more of a problem when you are dealing with the latent racists or latent anti-Semites who, for example, have fixations with the alcohol, drug and sex lives of young black mails and a feeling of moral superiority……

            The real problem is trying to enter into an exchange with the fixed minds of those who deny the truth of any figures, reports or statements with which they do not
            agree……Those who even deny the scientific method exists and believe that all is biased are the worst. After awhile you learn that the best you can do with them is to state the facts and give the citations so that others who see their proclamations will have an opportunity to test their validity….Any exchange with them beyond that is just a total waste of time and effort.

          • pwt7925

            I see the idealogues on the left adopting the Tea Party strategies. The ISIS branch of each party is seeking to remove the heads of anyone who isn’t.

        • BCinBCS

          This is what I hate about ideologues…

          Pearl agrees with me about what I have written about the Republican tax redistribution plan. You dismiss her agreement as that of an ideologue. Even if she was an ideologue, it would not alter the truth of what I have written.

          If you think that the Republican redistribution plan is good policy, then defend it! And, don’t use ad hominem attacks or outright falsehoods, as does your hero, Comrade Trump.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Don’t you need to put this propaganda in quotes and state your source?

      • BCinBCS

        Propaganda?
        You just demonstrated your ignorance (or unmitigated bias) about the tax bill and PAYGO.
        Might I suggest the google, JJ?

    • WUSRPH
      • BCinBCS

        What do you want to bet that JJ doesn’t read it and, if he does, that he won’t believe it?

        • SeeItMyWay

          Oh, I read it and understand it. It seems you don’t.

          • BCinBCS

            Care to explain that last sentence?

          • WUSRPH

            I haven’t seen what he has said…and won’t…but I bet he’s attacking reports as being biased since, as he has told us repeatedly, there is nothing but bias….no truth..

          • BCinBCS

            Somehow he seems to believe that the article that you referenced supports his position that the PAYGO consequences of the Republican tax redistribution bill are propaganda.

          • WUSRPH

            He seems to never read the entire article or at least to understand it….He is probably grasping at the provision that says the Congress can change the law if required as a defense for a claim that, even if it is possible, it won’t happen. But, of course, that overlooks the fact that Speaker Ryan has already announced plans to drastically revise Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security next year to cut the expenditures. And that Trump’s “virtually on my first day in office” but still be unveiled “infrastructure” plan is also supposedly to be financed by cuts in the same programs…..Since they have already made it clear that they want to kill most of those programs anyway why he would believe they would save them from the PAYGO act makes no sense…But you have to remember he is not bothered by facts, logic or reason…

          • SeeItMyWay

            “Facts, logic or reason”??? Who in their right mind would pull benefits from virtually everyone in the U.S. if they ever wanted to be re-elected?

            I happened to think Medicare needs drastic altering. It makes it too easy for recipients to head to the doctor for virtually anything that is bugging them. Often, it is the emergency room for high blood pressure or minor aches and pains. The so-called non-profit hospitals are anything but, and are taking $ in bigtime.

          • BCinBCS

            Who in their right mind would pull benefits from virtually everyone in the U.S. if they ever wanted to be re-elected?

            The same people who would take tax money from virtually everyone in the U.S.
            (see: current tax redistribution bill in congress).

          • SeeItMyWay

            You are terrible at comprehension.

          • BCinBCS

            Care to state your case, maybe with an example?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Oh, there is truth at the bottom of every issue, but most, like you, are unwilling to go look for it. It is much easier for many of you to simply quote or post links to what others think…but only if they support your biases.

          • BCinBCS

            There are people like you who (apparently) pull ideas and claims out of your ass. Then there are people like me, Pearl, Jose´, donuthin and WUSRPH who have ideas and claims and support them with cited sources.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I spend over $400 a year on subscriptions to daily news publications. I would not keep renewing if I was not reading what they publish. The difference in me and you, and the covey you belong to, is that I read and listen to both sides. I do not believe everything I read. It would seem that you read whatever a bird with similar feathers writes, and then posts the link as “fact”. “The world is flat…don’t believe me, here’s what my brother said.” You need to develop a little independence and flush that herd mentality…unless you like matching off of a cliff.

          • BCinBCS

            $400 a year on subscriptions, really? Do you subscribe to gold plated magazines and newspapers?

            If it is true that you read both sides of an argument then why do your opinions always mirror Fox News? Why do you regularly swallow whatever BS the White House is putting out when you should know that the person occupying it is certifiably mentally ill?

          • SpiritofPearl

            He cannot. He lives in Fantasy Land.

  • John Bernard Books

    I get to keep my money dems….deal with it.

  • John Bernard Books

    Hay Ma you’d better pop more corn….this is gooder
    “Clinton and Abedin were permitted to remove both electronic and physical records, claiming “they were ‘personal’ materials and ‘unclassified, non-record materials,’ including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public.”

    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted the gravity of the latest revelations, stating they showed further corruption in the Obama administration and with Clinton.”
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/24711/obama-state-dept-made-deal-hillary-allowing-ryan-saavedra#

    hehehe……

  • donuthin2

    The tax bill appears to be an obscure way for the GOP to do some of the things they have wanted to do such as cut medicare, SS, children’s heath care and no telling what else and at the same time they lined their own or contributor’s pockets. Things they would never have the courage to do otherwise.

    • BCinBCS

      Yup, the modern GOP in a nutshell.

      • Bridgett

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  • John Bernard Books

    how can anyone ever believe anything dems say again……they simply lie about everything.
    “Two senior FBI officials who texted each other about President Trump and Hillary Clinton relied on work phones to try to hide their romance from a spouse and made the bureau’s probe of Clinton’s private email server their cover story for being in such close contact, according to people familiar with the matter.”
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fbi-officials%E2%80%99-text-message-about-hillary-clinton-said-to-be-a-cover-story-for-romantic-affair/ar-BBGNo1j?li=BBnb7Kz

    There is a simple explanation of why dems lie. They think they are so much smarter than everyone else they think they will never get caught……

  • donuthin2

    We like to blame administrative agencies but all too often the root of the problem goes back to congress or the legislature for bad legislation. I can think of many examples, but one topic that receives a lot of attention is the VA’s care of veterans. They probably have some culpability, but the problem lies with Congress who is all too willing to support a military action against someone, but fails to appropriate the money to take care of their obligation to vets. And then Congress becomes most critical of the VA. Doctors, nurses and other staff work their tails off, and then are constantly criticized. The problem is not unique to the VA, it happens often with other agencies, both state and national.

    • BCinBCS

      True. The VA is woefully understaffed.

  • donuthin2

    What is up with the prohibition of several words by CDC. Words like science based and evidence based. Those were once words strong advocated by the conservative regulators. Words that were meant to be the opposite of emotional based. Prohibiting the use of fetus or transgender as if that will make them go away. I have said it several times before, there is nothing conservative about the GOP. They like to borrow and spend, use religious ideology for making scientific decisions, ignore taking care of infrastructure, infringe on personal rights. I am a republican but I sincerely hope we are in the early stages of a wave, one that might right a sinking ship or sink it.

    • WUSRPH

      Straight from “New Speak”. in George Orwell’s 1984.

    • SpiritofPearl

      If you do, then work to make it happen.

      • donuthin2

        Question: Can a moderate republican have more influence on the party by staying and working for change, or changing their party affiliation to democrat? I am not too much of a party guy to begin with, but for the last couple of decades it has all happened in the GOP and the democrats have taken themselves out of the game.

        • WUSRPH

          I tried the “stay and fight” tactic back in the mid 60s to the early 70s when the GOP was a lot less extreme than it is now….and it failed….but that may have been because in those days there were just too few “non-Goldwater” Republicans in this part of the country to have any influence…..As a result, I made the move to the Democratic Party where I did not at least have to continually defend the idea of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and defend the likes of Richard Nixon.

          Whether there are enough of JJ’s semi-mythical “moderate Republicans” to give that kind of an effort a chance today is unknown. We may get a partial answer to your question by how well the Joe Straus-business backed candidates do against the Empower Texans challenges in this March’s GOP primaries. This could be the first real effort to mobilize JJ’s semi-mythical “moderate Republicans” and get more of the “November Republicans” to the polls other than in the Fall. Of course, it took years to create the current climate of extremism in the GOP and one election–despite the fantasies of some–is not going to change it that much. It will take years of dedicated work and the real question is whether that is worth the effort or whether it would be better to let the GOP to grow more and more out of touch with the modern world.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I have read for years that the GOP would whither away and remain influential only in the states of the former confederacy. No one suggested they’d go quietly.

        • SpiritofPearl

          The GOP is too far gone . . .

          Swing voters and independents have a lot of influence now. Do what you can.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Pearl used to catch some of my pointed responses on Twitter to Empower Texans and the local TP Freedom Caucus rep’s from my area. That’s the way I fight the radical loons in my party. I do the same on FB. Half of them have blocked or unfriended me. Like many here on Burka Blog, they are really comfortable in a covey repeating the same squawks and screeches.

  • WUSRPH

    This is Trump’s Tax Plan….straight from his campaign web site….Check it out and compare it to what we are going to get. More Trump Promises NOT KEPT.

    https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/trump-tax-reform.pdf

  • WUSRPH

    For those who care about facts, not just opinions….here is good explanation of what is happening to higher education in this country as state governments “balance” their budgets with no thought of the future…..Spending nationwide is down more than $8 billion since Bush’s Great Recession…..We are doing more than eating our seed corn….we are digging up the dirt in which that corn must grow.

    https://www.spartnerships.com/big-occurring-college-university-campuses/

    • John Bernard Books

      you wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you in the azzzz….
      “From the start, he certainly expected liberal professors to outnumber conservatives, but his data—25 years’ worth of statistics from the Higher Education Research Institute—told a far more startling tale: In the South and throughout the Great Plains, the ratio of liberal to conservative professors hovered around 3 to 1. On the liberal left coast, the ratio was 6 to 1. And then there was New England—which looked like William F. Buckley’s worst nightmare—standing at 28 to 1. “It astonished me,” says Abrams, whose research revealed that conservative professors weren’t just rare; they were being pushed to the edge of extinction.”
      http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/12/20/liberal-professors/

      the liberal dogma has ruined higher and lower edu.

  • SpiritofPearl

    Here are the winners and losers in the Trump attack on the middle class:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/business/the-winners-and-losers-in-the-tax-bill.html

  • John Bernard Books

    Remember when prez Obama lied and said Obamacare was not a tax?
    “It also eliminates the tax penalty placed on Americans who don’t buy medical insurance required by Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5185023/GOP-tax-cut-bill-slashes-rates-kills-Obamacare-penalty.html#ixzz51WYdXg1W

    that tax has been eliminated……

  • John Bernard Books
  • John Bernard Books

    Time to remind dems we know who they are even if low information voters don’t….

    “Then in 1828 under the guidance of “the litte magician” Martin Van Buren, democrats stole their first national election:
    “The 1828 election represented the birth of the democratic party as it is known today, but it also saw the beginnings of another grouping, a coalition of onetime Federalists and other anti-Democrats, led by Henry Clay, who called themselves National republicans.
    On election day the same suspect techniques that were used in the primary were trotted out by Tammany to shape the vote, but with two new wrinkles. One was using underage boys(nineteen and twenty years old) not just to electioneer but to add to the voting total. The other was handing out cash. In 1828, says the Tammany chronicler Gustavus Myers, “For the first time in city elections money was used to influence voting.” The election was a rout. Jackson easily defeated Adams.
    For Tammany Hall, the election represented the final working out of the policy shift brought about by the Emmett affair more than a decade earlier. It was Tammany’s first full scale effort to enlist the many thousands of immigrants now flooding into the city. By 1828 Tammany had abandoned all hostility towards foreigners, seeing them as a handy means of increasing the Hall’s power base. Moreover they were prepared to cultivate them in a variety of ways. Immigrants would be met at the dock, given assistance in finding lodging, tutored in U. S. customs and in the requirements for filing out naturalization forms, provided with jobs(especially in city government) and husteled through the citizenship mill. Eventually, having been duly proclaimed as citizens(or before), they would be sheparded to the polls on election day were they could return Tammany’s kindness.”

    These three paragraphs are from The Tiger, The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall pg 35 by Oliver E. Allen.

    paying cash for votes, using illegals to vote, destroying paper ballots were all used in 1828 to help dems steal their first election in American…….

  • BCinBCS

    From the International Business Times:

    “Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, on Sunday said a tax provision, which could personally enrich key Republican lawmakers, was added to the final tax bill as part of an effort to “cobble together the votes we needed to get this bill passed.” Cornyn was pressed about the provision on ABC’s “This Week,” after an International Business Times investigation showed that Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee suddenly switched his vote to “yes” after GOP leaders added the provision, which could boost Corker’s real estate income. A top Democratic senator, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, responded to Cornyn’s explanation by saying the language put into the bill also “would be a windfall to Donald Trump.”

    As IBT first reported, the provision potentially enriching Corker, Trump and a handful of other top Republican lawmakers, was not part of the House- or Senate-passed bill, but was added by GOP lawmakers to the final bill, which was publicly released on Friday afternoon.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/tax-bill-john-cornyn-says-tax-cut-potentially-benefiting-bob-corker-was-part

    • José

      It would be unfair to suggest that Sen. Cornyn is only a greedy crooked politician. With his comments that undermine the FBI and the rule of law it is clear that he is also a dangerous accomplice of Trumpism and an appeaser of authoritarianism.

      • SpiritofPearl

        They make no pretense of honesty anymore.

      • BCinBCS

        It would be unfair to suggest that Sen. Cornyn is only a greedy crooked politician.

        It gets even better:
        When asked about the provision of the bill that enriched senators and Comrade Trump, Cornyn blamed it on the Democrats. “Our Democratic colleagues simply refused to participate in the process, we probably could have made it better if they had.

        There’s nothing quite like conservative thinking; blame the victim.

        • José

          Yep, those danged Demmacrats didn’t help out one bit with that tax bill that the Republicans wrote in secret. Or was it sent to them from the lobbyists?

          • BCinBCS

            Both

    • John Bernard Books

      The crooks are accusing the republicans of being crooks…imagine that!

  • Johann

    Guess the Universities will just have to raise tuition (again).

  • John Bernard Books

    The Obama economy roars….
    “The CNBC All-American Economic Survey found that for the first time in at least 11 years, more than half of respondents to the survey rated the economy as good or excellent, while a near record 41 percent expected the economy to improve in the next year.
    “We’re not measuring a marginal change in the economy, we’re measuring a different economy,” said Public Opinion Strategies’ ”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/18/economic-optimism-soaring-helping-trump-cnbc-survey.html

    remembering prez Obama’s 21 pivots to the economy….

  • John Bernard Books

    Its a bad time to be a democrat….9th Circus Cheif Justice to “retire”
    “A prominent U.S. appeals court judge announced his retirement Monday days after women alleged he subjected them to inappropriate sexual conduct or comments.
    Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a statement that a battle over the accusations would not be good for the judiciary. He said he’ll step down, effective immediately.
    Kozinski’s retirement leaves five seats open on the 9th Circuit, with two more judges already having announced their intention to retire next year. That gives President Donald Trump potentially seven seats to fill on the largest and most liberal appeals court in the country.”
    http://www.statesman.com/news/judge-steps-down-after-accusations-sexual-misconduct/Jej9FzgJXbLUHcqMl1K63O/

    are all democrats miscreants……nope just most of them.

  • donuthin2

    This is my prediction. Tax cuts will take place, corporations and wealthy will have a very significant benefit, middle class may have some short term benefit, and low income will not be materially helped. The underlying assumption of “trickle down” will not happen, and there will be a sudden realization that the national debt is out of control and something has to be done. And that would be to cut social security, medicare, medicare, education, infrastructure maintenance and on and on. Democrats will take control of the house and perhaps the presidency in 2020. They will of necessity have to chose between increasing taxes or gut the above programs. They will be reluctant to cut entitlements so will gradually increase taxes and become very unpopular by 2024, and the cycle will start again. I doubt that we have the character, integrity or courage to be statesmen in the next several years. If it is to change, it will because we, the voting public, will awaken and realize that we have created one helluva mess while not paying attention.

    • José

      Yup. The gullible folks will will exclaim “Oh no, it’s a train wreck!” and the rest of us will say “We told you so!” But it’s still a train wreck, for both of us.
      A tragedy is one thing. A completely predictable and avoidable tragedy is another.

      • SeeItMyWay

        Yep…know the feeling well after 8 years of subterfuge, and several years of eneptitude before that. WMD lies and fiscal irresponsibility turned into presidentially inspired racial tension, runaway spending, and a “we’ll read it later” health insurance plan.

        • BCinBCS

          JJ, you’re like a mad dog with a bone. You get an idea in your head and it cannot be changed no matter how wrong it is proven to be.

          “We have to pass the bill, so that you can find out what is in it — away from the fog of the controversy.”
          Nancy Pelosi never said the bill was enacted in secret or under cover of night, because it wasn’t. She said it was enacted in a fog of controversy but conservatives truncated her statement in order to sell it to gullible rubes, like you.

          As proof: Prior to passing Obamacare, the Senate debated 25days, filed 506 amendments (228 from GOP) and took 34 roll call votes As that bill was being drafted, the Senate HELP Committee held 14 bipartisan roundtables and 13 public hearings in 2008 and 2009. The Senate Finance Committee held 17 public events and hearings. Democrats negotiated with Republicans for months. Then there were Congressional Budget Office scores that appeared before Congress voted on the bill.

          As for presidentially inspired racial tension, I would say that Obama’s inspiration for racial tension was his being African-American and many Americans being racist.

          • WUSRPH

            Why waste your time on him?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Hahaha. I feel the same way. No way that stink is ever going to wash off you.

          • WUSRPH

            As to “it would have been better to have people dying in the streets”—If you could look back at his posts during that period you will find that is almost what he was advocating…..He kept talking about how we had brought it on our ourselves and needed to suffer. But, of course, those are the entries that somehow have been conveniently whipped off the system.

          • BCinBCS

            As Pearl would say, “How Calvin”.

          • WUSRPH

            To be fair. He did say suffer now so grandchildren won’t but be had no concern for those who did not dezerve lt.

          • SeeItMyWay

            One bad apple spoils the…

            Win as a team, lose as a team.

            I didn’t vote for Obama; I still suffered because of it.

            I could go one.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Of course, I watched Pelosi make that statement as opposed to having some “intellectual” tell me what she said.

            I wonder why my parents didn’t teach me about just borrowing more and spending more instead of cutting spending and servicing debt? I guess because it is a manufactured, can kicking plan that only selfish rubes employ to maintain their standard of living. Great system for protecting one’s self; it sucks for generations that follow.

          • BCinBCS

            You mean like the $1.0 trillion to $1.5 trillion increase to the deficit that your hero Comrade Trump is prepared to sign?

          • BCinBCS

            Of course, I watched Pelosi make that statement as opposed to having some “intellectual” tell me what she said.

            And, yet you still got it wrong.

          • WUSRPH

            Maybe he can hear what was said rather than what he wanted to hear by listening to it AGAIN. But I doubt he will.

            https://www.snopes.com/pelosi-healthcare-pass-the-bill-to-see-what-is-in-it/

          • BCinBCS

            I wonder why my parents didn’t teach me about just borrowing more and
            spending more instead of cutting spending and servicing debt?

            So you’re telling me that if you had a life-threatening disease or needed to send your child or grandchild to college you would not borrow? Did you pay all-cash for your house and automobile?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Hey, were we not talking
            about moves during a financial crunch? Do I have to spell out everything for you?

  • WUSRPH

    Is the honeymoon over? The US Senate has killed three of Trump’s nominees for judgeships and his choice for the import export bank in one week. I wonder what happened to that pledge to nominate only the best people.

  • WUSRPH

    What do you think are the odds of Congress/Trump giving us all a tremendous Xmas gift—a shutdown of the federal government? Time is growing short…they only have three more days….to pass the budget resolution.

    • BCinBCS

      Interesting question.

      Republicans and Democrats, despite DACA and CHIP sticking points, do not want one but Comrade Trump feels that a government shutdown would benefit him.

  • John Bernard Books

    I unresign…….
    “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who urged Franken not to step down to begin with — at least not before he went through an Ethics Committee investigation — said the Minnesota senator was railroaded by fellow Democrats.

    “What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast to post on Tuesday.”
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/18/manchin-franken-senate-resign-300843

    more popcorn Maw….dems are lying….again

  • BCinBCS

    I recently read an analysis of why Republicans are passing such an unpopular tax scam.

    One of the reasons given was that Republican legislators see the handwriting on the wall and expect to lose their jobs in 2018. Since the next step after election is to become a lobbyist or think tank member, these Republicans must make the think tank owners and lobbying firm partners happy. Thus the tax cuts to the wealthiest.

    A less cynical reason given for their support for this trickle-down bill is that, despite incredible evidence to the contrary, Republicans believe that supply side (trickle down) economics works.

  • BCinBCS

    I came across an interesting fact:
    The transition e-mails that Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained that Comrade Trump has his allies fighting against were obtained without the White House’s knowledge. Comrade Trump’s team had turned over some of those e-mails but retained the ones that they felt were irrelevant or were attorney-client work (or the ones they didn’t want Mueller to see). All of Comrade Trump’s staff and relatives who testified did so without knowing that Mueller had all of the e-mails. As Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos shows, Mueller will prosecute for lying during a deposition.

  • WUSRPH

    What’s wrong aith 83% going to the top 1&? Don’t they desrve it?

  • WUSRPH

    Maybe they can make it 85% when they vote on it AGAIN tomorrow….They couldn’t get it right the first time, so the US House has to vote AGAIN.

  • WUSRPH

    I don’t think any realistic observer ever doubted that the Congress would pass a tax bill this year….even Hillary said she wanted one…but I think a few of the more gullible types like JJ actually thought that Trump meant it when he said he would pass a tax bill that primary benefited the middle class and that would include provisions to force American businesses to bring jobs back to America……Of course, none of that has happened….Instead we have a tax bill that gives 83% of the benefits to the top wealth levels and will probably wind up costing the poor…..Just like all the other tax bills the GOP has passed when it had control of the White House. Trump, of course, will proclaim it…but they he would do that to any bill Congress sent him no matter that it totally refutes all the promises he made during his campaign.

  • donuthin2

    Not sure who the republican is that gloats about having a PhD in economics and believes that the tax bill will actually decrease the deficit rather than increase it. He caveats it by including decreased regulations. And he believes the lower income will get the benefit from higher wages, more job opportunities, etc. Hope he is around by 2020 to defend his convictions.

    • SeeItMyWay

      There was 13 full minutes of Hillary on video, in her own unedited words, lying…yet WUSRPH will only make reference to Trump tax cut’s perceived lies.

      What is 83% of zero? I think he wants the wealthy to pay for all the rest of us…just move the “You don’t pay anything bar”up above $200,000 a year and let those above that pick up the tab for anyone below. It isn’t right, and, in fact, economically foolish to unfairly tax large earners.

      • BCinBCS

        …economically foolish to unfairly tax large earners.

        Yea, JJ let’s not tax the rich, after all, how much tax is Comrade Trump paying per year? According to his 2005 income tax return he is paying -$0-. Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, on national TV, compared his tax rate to that of his secretary. She pays a higher rate. So, sure, let’s lower the taxes on millionaires and billionaires all while infrastructure, education, health care and a dozen other government functions wither away.

  • WUSRPH

    Now that we’ve insured that the rich and big business are taken care of (for now)…..the time to begin thinking about what role government will play in the future in the lives of the rest of us….This article is a good way to begin that process. Those of us who are old will probably be left alone to live out the rest of our lives without much change….but the next generation and the one after that will face major threats……Will America continue to be a country dedicated to the well-being of all…or will we follow the lead of the Cruz’s and Ryans into Ayn Rand’s world of we are all on our own…..Who is John Galt?

    http://tinyurl.com/ybzdefn9

  • BCinBCS

    Do you think that the majority would be voting for anything if they thought they were going to displease more voters than they please?

    According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released a few hours ago, only 24% of Americans think that the GOP tax plan is a good idea.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/only-24-percent-of-americans-think-gop-tax-plan-is-good-idea-poll-says.html

  • BCinBCS

    If you had been paying attention, you would find that on many of your comments (mostly those about your hometown and Texas politics, I have not disagreed – as a matter of fact I have voted up some of your positions.

    When it comes to national politics, however, we frequently disagree because you take the conservative side without considering the other side of the argument or the consequences of the agenda that you support.

    The main thing that bothers me is that you get indoctrinated with some idea and, after I clearly show that it is false, you stubbornly stick to it (e.g. the Uranium One deal with the Russian firm and Hillary Clinton).

    You support a demonstrably mentally ill person for president, someone who has the morals of a gutter dog and the intelligence of a teenager. It is your right to like the guy but you and only about 35% of Americans approve of him so I would be wary when claiming that he is so great. (Maybe you are so insightful that you know something that the rest of the country doesn’t know – but somehow, I doubt that.)

    As I have said before, the mantra of conservatives is “I’ve got mine so f*ck you”. I’m not that way. I have no kids but I gladly pay school taxes. I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege. I believe in the common good and am willing to support it politically and financially.

    It does not bother me that we differ politically (after all, what would this blog be without the give and take of ideas) but it disturbs me greatly when you are fed propaganda that is obviously false and will not change your mind about it when you are shown clearly that it is incorrect.

    • SeeItMyWay

      See you are a leftie to your core. Hillary is the devil; Trump is a self centered, win at all costs bore. I can hold my nose as Trump tackles an agenda I mostly agree with. The SCOTUS appointment was a biggie,,wasn’t it? The decimation of ISIS another; and serving notice to the world that we are not longer going to be taken advantage of another. We will see how the tax deal plays out with regards to the economy and creation of more better paying jobs, and what is going to happen with the Dreamer’s, a wall, and health insurance.

      I know what would have happened with Hillary in office. Absolutely nothing. She would be trading licks with Congress. There would be impasse. ISIS would be running wild. It would have been business as usual with the global initiative, one world, mega corp group running things.

      I get the wailing and gnashing of teeth. You guys got clobbered. Blindsided, actually. Out of nowhere you got beat…but the whining has gone on for way too long. The media has become a player right along with You malcontents and keeps everything ginned up. As part of the true believing flock, you digest what you are fed, and then crap it out as “fact”. If served up in a bowl with some name on it that is part of the liberal bias media group, you gorge yourself on it, and swear by it…much like the radical Islamists are fed a contorted view of the Qu’ran that they then project as fact.

      You, of course, don’t see it..don’t get it. You are a True Believer.

      It works both ways. On other social media sites, I hammer on the far right for the same ideological mind washed biases.

      • BCinBCS

        Anyone who consistently claims that facts are false is truly the blind one. Just because you squeaked by with an Electoral College win (not clobbered) does not mean that you can change the rules when it comes to facts. Using propaganda to poison minds against the truth is not a virtue. If you believe that the information that I post is wrong, post your rebuttal supported by facts, not the latest conservative Newspeak.

        If there is some grand conspiracy by liberals, why is it that Comrade Trump is hemorrhaging the support of conservative, white, college educated women and slowly losing the same for conservative, white, college educated men? It would appear that his huge 37% support base is slowly diminishing. Why Is that? Could you have backed the wrong horse?

        Wait until 2018. People are predicting a wave election. Even though I rarely predict such things, I predict a tsunami.

        • SeeItMyWay

          You are as described. A good, faithful lapdog to the liberal cause. You wouldn’t know a fact if it camped out under your nose. Nary an independently formulated conclusion anywhere in that noggin of yours and your true believers…just what some likeminded lemming tells you or writes for you to read.

          Case in point…Trump is obnoxious. We all agree on that….but to suggest that he is not getting things done that those who voted for him asked for is stupid.

          You and your mentor keep touting those polls. They served you well last year while you were running your mouth about how soundly any Repub challenger to the Crooked Lady was going to be trounced. I’m still laughing…while you continue to snivel and moan.

          • BCinBCS

            You are as described. A good, faithful lapdog to the liberal cause. You
            wouldn’t know a fact if it camped out under your nose. Nary an
            independently formulated conclusion anywhere in that noggin of yours and
            your true believers…just what some likeminded lemming tells you or
            writes for you to read.

            O.K., JJ. you just crossed the line with your lies and ad hominem attacks. It is no longer worth the effort to have a discussion with you. Like other conservatives, you are rife with projection and I will not dignify it with further comments.

          • SeeItMyWay

            “The truth hurts”…so does believing so fervently and convincingly that your candidate is going to win, only to be crushed on Election Day.

            The hurt is manifested initially in the whines, and then the anger.

            I don’t care if you respond or not…and that is another thing you guys don’t “get”. Running away and sticking your head in the sand is like still being in the ring with you, but having you drop your gloves down to your side. I can still pop you every time you make a comment. As long as you are in the ring you are going to get hit.