Monday, December 18, 2017

Drip, drip, drip….

When will his political and investment fate
catch up with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)?

Some people may enjoy the revealing, unadorned, unforgettable, and raw political picture bared as President Trump and his GOP sycophantic congressional acolytes displayed their priorities and values in their tax package “for the haves.”   This egotistical President wants the bill on his desk in a week so he can claim he’s giving a “Christmas present” to the American public, yet with buckets of red ink thrown on the backs of future generations..

Our nation would be better off if the POTUS stuck to small gifts of  gold, frankincense, and myrrh and not slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, while hiding lots of other permanent goodies for the wealthy and his beloved “1%.” Oh, a few regular folks got some short term tax relief, which isn’t more than crumbs.

United States economic history, already, has shattered the GOP lies and distortions that undergird their tax legislation, no matter if it’s a 2018 Donald Trump event and not those of President Reagan in the 80’s, which helped create more US millionaires but never cut the deficit.

The 1996 Clinton tax cuts and later the Bush tax cuts in  2001, produced negative tax credits which grew the deficit, along with the social security, Medicare, and other spending programs which faced few cutbacks.

In fact, some cynics believe that part of the GOP’s rationale for the Trump tax cuts is to lay the justification—later in his term in the name of deficit reduction--to slash the remaining federal social safety net because of the growing deficits caused by these, mainly, unneeded 2018 corporate tax reductions.

In the past, our markets almost never grew at 3% or 4%, replaced lost revenue, and paid down existing deficits.

Yet this is the predictive policy swill the R’s have huckstered and a majority in Congress asks you to believe.

Markets don’t operate that way and all of the R spinning and insistence this time things will be different, ignores the tremendous giveaway most of these changes represent not for capital investment, new jobs, and repatriated dollars earned overseas, but for additional,  gushing red ink which will be add to our growing federal deficits.

Already companies are lining up to do corporate stock buybacks not build new plants or educate their work forces.

But who cares? In this bill, the GOP Senate and House—and their major campaign contributors—will get theirs. (Here’s hoping they will reap the corrective political consequences for their tawdry/transparent actions.)

Corker the phony statesman

A few blogs ago I said nice things about Sen Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), when he went after President Trump using language I might use in describing the President’s fecklessness, lack of character, and leadership. Corker deserved that praise for figuratively declaring “Emperor Trump is not wearing any clothes.”

Ironically, my regular gadfly “Anonymous”—who gives me grief over things progressive—suggested I was being hypocritical for lauding Corker after chewing him up for years over his GSE antics.

OK Anon, I’ve seen the light and I am back to “chewing up Corker.”

If possible, Corker’s performance during the tax debate and votes was even more mocking and derisive. And that was before this weekend’s revelation about a major tax provision—which was not in either the Senate or the House passed bills—added by the conferees which could heavily benefit Sen. Corker’s personal tax situation and his major development investments. (See story link below.)

For those who missed Corker’s early bravura performance, shortly after he verbally speared President Trump, Corker held himself out as an opponent of deficit spending, vowing he would resist the generous Senate tax bill which reportedly had a TRILLION AND A HALF Dollars of ADDITIONAL FEDERAL RED INK, spread over 10 years.

Well ‘hold tight” Bob—our Horatio at the Budget Deficit Bridge-- disappeared pretty soon.

As Bob hid behind his faux persona as a deficit hawk, “Corker the Conman”  added his crucial and deciding vote when the tax bill--at its procedurally most vulnerable--was in the Senate Budget Committee and Corker cast the tie-breaking vote, 11 to 10, to report the legislation to the Senate floor.

So Corker, mooting his "tailored for the public Consumption"  anti-red ink position and his symbolic but useless floor vote, sought to have it both ways and claim he “opposed the tax legislation” but strategically rolled over for the GOP and cast the pivotal and winning vote to bring the tax bill to the floor.

Bullshit, Senator Both Ways Bob, Bullshit!

Corker and the GSEs

Nobody should be conned, fooled, swayed by the added Corker-Warner bull pucky with their new GSE bill, which reportedly will be introduced next year in the Senate.

Yes, it purports to keep the GSEs alive (remember, this %^$#@*& devil is in the details), but as bloodless husks until their new mortgage Guarantors can be inflated with enough life-generating big bank capital and new Uncle Sam mortgage securities guarantees  until Fannie and Freddie can easily be discarded.

Neither Corker nor Warner are looking to do anything positive for Fannie and Freddie and nobody should be fooled by any sweet words or conjecture of same. If the Senate Ethics Committee had any stones or the federal courts looked carefully, Bob Corker could face charges for his financial dealings.

The two-GSE Senate uglies are shilling for the same bank-centric model which was featured in a handful of  similar ploys over the years, all of which rejected.

Systemically, Fannie and Freddie currently block those commercial bank apostles of greed from treating borrowers unfairly, overcharging them, or otherwise abusing the mortgage process.

The anti-GSE schemers want the GSEs dead or neutralized, ergo Corker-Warner 2.0.

They would have killed Fannie and Freddie three years ago if the Senate Banking Committee Democrats and low income advocates hadn’t blown the whistle on C-W 1.0 and its TBTF fans.

Anyone suggesting that Corker retiring next year or Jed Hensarling (R-Tex.) doing the same will be a boon for the GSEs, fuggadeaboutit.

My best advice to Fannie and Freddie fans, people who would like to see them as shareholder owned entities go forward, is vote against as many House and Senate incumbents as you can in hopes that a new crew coming in after next year’s elections will be less biased and more open to the real GSE history and success.

Ask anyone running for federal office their position of on this matter and vote accordingly, especially against any incumbent who will blunder and tell you they support the nation’s largest banks over the safety, soundness, efficiency, fairness, and innovation of the GSEs.

The Senate and House has a lot of slow wits. The people of Alabama did heroic work last week in squashing one of them. Many of those votes against Roy Moore and for Doug Jones were cast by women with children, who also are part of households which own homes or aspire to do so.

Just as they did in supporting Jones over Moore—to support their own best interests--we all need to inquire more, educate more, do more and make sure everyone who seeks a congressional seat knows about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, since chances are the next Congress will have to vote on their futures.

Merry Christmas and have a healthy and happy holiday and new year.

Maloni, 12-18-2017


Bill Maloni said...

What others are saying: This is EJ Dionne's lede, in a column published today in the Washington Post, which I read after I put out my blog this morning.

"The tax bill the GOP is trying to foist on the country is not only an unfair and deficit-bloating hodgepodge written on the fly. It is also deeply corrupt. Every Republican who votes for this bill will be joining a festival of venality.

"Corruption is not a word to be used lightly, so let’s be disciplined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definitions: “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people” and “inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means.”

"We can stipulate that the tax bill is not illegal. But it is a dishonest power and money grab by — and on behalf of — the already powerful. As for “inducements,” well, there are those long-term investments of tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions (enabled by the collapse of all the guardrails around political money) from wealthy individuals and regiments of interest groups. They will have a merry holiday season if the bill passes as expected.

"This legislation proves that Washington is, indeed, the “swamp” that President Trump described during the campaign. But instead of draining it, he and his partisan allies have jumped right in. Actually, they have polluted it further."

Bill Maloni said...

Late today from POLITICO

Republicans rebut charges of 'Corker Kickback' in tax bill

By Seung Min Kim
12/18/2017 01:17 PM EDT
"A top Senate Republican on Monday tried to douse a growing political firestorm over suggestions that Sen. Bob Corker is backing the GOP tax bill only after winning a provision that could personally enrich him.

"Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sent a letter to Corker (R-Tenn.) strongly disputing the claim, which spread quickly over the weekend following an International Business Times report that people who own real estate holdings through a limited liability company will be able to take advantage of a new deduction for "pass-through" businesses even if they have few employees. Pass-throughs are companies that pay taxes through the individual, not the corporate, side of the tax code."


From Maloni:

Someone must take the Corker possibility seriously, if the R's already are rebutting it.

Anonymous said...

Where are your numbers man? Here's a number: the last admin raised the deficit by $10 Trillion over ten years and there was no benefit to business - nearly no jobs grown - anemic economic growth - all went to the elite liberal class. This $1.2 Trillion will allow businesses to grow, hire, trade and spend! And further growth will be allowed by shedding more ridiculous and restrictive government regulations. It's pro business and business is how the world works my man, it's how innovation gets started - it's how new technologies and jobs get created. Government subsidies (my tax dollars) gifted to one or two darling entrepreneurs can only go so far, and in the end, are wasted as industry ultimately chokes them out. Get on the home team brother! And let's drive some growth!

Bill Maloni said...

Anon--welcome back.

Where are my numbers? Look in the mirror!

Yes we've seen some economic growth in the past year under Trump (and stock market growth, too), but all of that started under Obama. And have you seen any big companies lose lots of money lately, especially the financial institutions about which we argue??

Trump--until this tax bill-- authored nothing but bravado, promises, and threats to minorities. Oh, I forgot rolling over for Putin and Russia.

And there is bubkis in the tax bill to those making less and $150K and in comparison, tons to the truly wealthy. Oh and don't forget and barrels of red ink for our "Uncle.”

Obviously, you disagree. Time will tell.

Happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

Since you are so against the tax cuts maybe you could contribute whatever you gain to a great charity, which is also still deductible. Have you ever invested (risked) any hard earned money in an idea? Ever created a job? Ever been in a position to depreciate capital investment or equipment? Paid the endless government fees to keep one employee? My strong guess from reading your writings is you wouldn’t have a clue on what it takes to create jobs. It’s foreign to you. Liberals always have ideas on how to spend others wealth. The major part you miss is “what to people do with their wealth”? I mean from day one until they breathe their last breath? Please answer honestly. Include anyone or everyone. Rockefeller, Gates, Buffet etc., etc. etc. not Corker.
You continually rant about increasing the National debt, right after the past Administration added $10 TRILLION. Are you kidding? How you do that is just shocking.
Not sure how old you are but I am old enough to remember what transpired under Jimmy Carter. IMO, what happened then was worse then the 2008 crash. While you may have had a secure salaried government job, it’s wasn’t that way for millions of people. And the Clinton Dot.Com bubble? BHO was the greatest hypnotist in America History. All lies, (on tape) and no achievements to speak of. An eight year Hollywood tour. A useless street corner hustler in a nice suit who cared more about PP then creating jobs. I suggest you stay calm, watch and learn how to create jobs, build patriotism, build infrastructure, create respect in the world and Make America Great Again!
PS. Fact is I really don’t care but thought you needed a rebuttal since your posts are going way, way, way left.

Happy Holidays? It’s Christmas. Just say it. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later the minority gig is going to be up just like the Russian Conspiracy. Try to remember where it all started. With disrespecting Law Enforcers, Police, Border Agents and law abiding citizens. Union workers were next. Although the corrupt Unions are still voting Democratic, their members are not. They know what’s going. They know they are at risk of LOSING their livelihood to illegal aliens, all for future votes for the DNC. Next up, our Jewish friends. After all the LIES and ranting that Trump was anti-Semitic, they will remember what he did for the Jewish people. Keep going? Sure. Every person who is ashamed of what our Courts have done will see many reversals. No more pandering to a few minority groups from LA and NY who try to stuff their perversion on the people across the middle of the Country. EPA, exactly. Way past time to reign in their extortion methods. DOJ, FBI, CIA, IRS as you would say, drip, drip, drip. Slowly but surely they will get fixed. The people want a government of people with integrity. Not someone who when asked to provide a Birth Certificate took years to provide it.

Anonymous said...

Donald J. Trump
A story in the @washingtonpost that I was close to “rescinding” the nomination of Justice Gorsuch prior to confirmation is FAKE NEWS. I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!

Bill Maloni said...

Anon--I say "holidays" because I don't know if you are Jewish or Christian and I wanted to be respectful. (Earlier, I sent all of my Jewish friends a personal “Happy Chanukah email.)

On all of your other blather, really, honestly, truly, how can you believe anything Trump says after he's been exposed for blatant lying so many times, since he took office???

They have him on video tape "grabbing P-----s," but he says it wasn't him; Billy Bush said, "Of course he said that and i was there."

He suggested Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate JFK.

DJT declared the biggest crowds in history turned out for his inaugural, but it wasn't true and the Interior Department photos showed that. He said Obama wasn’t born in the USA and then agreed he was.Oh—and unlike every US President for the past 60 years—he likes/admires Russia and Putin and it shows.

Trump claimed....oh, you get the point.

Fact checkers have shown the POTUS utters 5-7 untruths (lies) per day!!

Go back and read old Maloni blogs and you see where I OD'd on Obama for several major matters, not only GSE issues. Ditto Pelosi and other D's.)

You know so little yet you claim so much about what I believe, how I was raised, what jobs I've had.

You are a registered Independent, who thinks conservatively. I can live with that.
I go back and forth with you, indulging your biases, without resorting to personal demagoguery.

Try it.

Anonymous said...

If you continually insult the electorate, why are you offended?

My bias is TRUTH, not what you print here at times.

Anonymous said...

In a hypothetical situation of a small privet company earned $1,000,000. profit for the year after all expenses are paid. Their previous tax liability is $360,000 but with the new plan it will be $200,000.
In your opinion, what do you think these small business owners would/will do with this $160,000. windfall? Please offer a realistic and non sarcastic opinion.

Bill Maloni said...


Just like you can watch Fox over CNN--or the reverse--there are other blogs you can engage.

Not a small business expert, but assuming I have no monster debt which requires part or all of that revenue, Maloni would use some of that return to enhance my next year's profits, i.e. capital investment.

Bill Maloni said...

I wouldn't get too excited by the FHFA announcement today (I predicted somethign like it two weeks/blogs ago), since it just is transferring Traesury money form one pile to another.

It also could be seen as keeping the GSEs alive until support for next year's Corker-Warner 2.0 legislation arrives.

We'll see how much the suddenly politically joyous GOP, ecstatic over their tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporate America, feel about this latest GSE move.

Ho Hum, likely.

Bill Maloni said...

More Corker---

Rolling Stone's recent article by Matt Tabibbi