Republicans abandon failing economic message in Ohio special election

By Dan Desai Martin-
July 22, 201`8

A new Republican ad in Ohio from a group linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan spews hate-filled anti-immigrant rhetoric instead of focusing on the economy.
The special election race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, a traditionally Republican area, is turning into an extremely close race between Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor and Republican Troy Balderson.

The 12th District special election is on August 7, only about two weeks away. Trump carried the district by 11 points in 2016 — but the race is now a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report. And the most recent internal poll from O’Connor’s campaign shows him neck-and-neck with Balderson.

Republicans are panicking that O’Connor might turn yet another congressional seat blue. So they’re turning to a classic Trump tactic: abandon any economic message and focus instead on spewing anti-immigrant rhetoric to try to energize the far-fight fringe base.

Ever since Republicans passed their $2 trillion, deficit-funded tax scam, GOP strategists have insisted that messaging on taxes and the economy will help the party win in the 2018 midterm elections.

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New layoffs show GOP tax scam benefits Wall Street, not Main Street

By Dan Desai Martin –
May 11, 2018  Republicans promised their tax scam would benefit workers, but tech giant Qualcomm is laying off 1,500 employees while lining the pockets of its Wall Street investors.
Despite the promise from Republicans that their tax scam would dramatically grow the economy, more than 1,500 Californians are set to lose their jobs with technology company Qualcomm.
One group that doesn’t have to worry is Wall Street investors, as Qualcomm also announced a massive stock buyback initiative. In other words, rich corporate investors are set to profit, while workers in San Diego and San Jose are out of luck.
When the Republicans passed their tax scam, it was sold as “rocket fuel” for the economy.
Two California Republicans who voted for the bill — Reps. Mimi Walters and Steve Knight — echoed those promises. Walters boasted the tax bill would “generate significant economic growth.” Knight declared it would be “a tax code that puts American families first.”
Just a couple months after the bill passed, Speaker Paul Ryan infamously boasted about a high school secretary whose paycheck had increased by $1.50 a week as evidence of the tax scam’s supposed success.
But the empty rhetoric means little to workers who will soon receive a pink slip. The layoffs — 289 in San Jose, and 1,231 in San Diego — are part of an effort by the multinational company to trim $1 billion in costs, according to CNN.
When the bill was moving through Congress, critics warned that corporations would not use the massive kickbacks from the bill to invest in workers, but would instead use the cash to enrich shareholders.
“Democratic lawmakers who have been critical of the GOP bill have claimed it would be used for such things as share buybacks to enrich shareholders, rather than for capital expenditures or improving worker pay,” CNBC noted at the time.
Qualcomm proved the critics right.
Not even a month after announcing the massive layoffs, Qualcomm announced $10 billion stock buyback plan. In its announcement, the priority of the company could not be clearer: “Consistent with our commitment to return capital to our stockholders, we are pleased that our Board has approved a new stock repurchase authorization.”
Stock buybacks are used by companies to boost the price of their stock, thus benefitting wealthy investors and executives with lucrative stock options. Rather than invest in workers, Qualcomm joins other companies in lining the pockets of investors.
“Share buybacks in 2018 have averaged $4.8 billion a day, double the pace for the same period last year, according to market data firm TrimTabs,” reports CNBC. Some pharmaceutical companies are increasing the prices of their medicine while at the same time lavishing Wall Street investors with stock buybacks.
Republicans made big promises around the tax scam, but the reality doesn’t match the hype. Job growth isn’t booming and wages continue to grow at the same rate as before the bill became law.
Wealthy corporations and rich Wall Street investors are growing even more wealthy. For the rest of America, the only thing growing is our national deficit — to the tune of more than $1 trillion.
CNN is right: “Shareholders, not workers, are far bigger direct winners from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.”

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Trump, Ryan meet at Mar-a-Lago amid calls for action on gun violence

By Julia Manchester – 02/18/18 07:57 PM EST

© Greg Nash
President Trump on Sunday met with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at Mar-a-Lago to discuss the Republican Party’s agenda, as calls grow for both the administration and Congress to take action on gun control in the wake of a deadly shooting at a nearby Florida high school.
The shooting in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead, was among the issues the pair discussed during the meeting, the White House said in a statement, although no details were provided.
Trump, who has said he is “working with Congress on many fronts” to prevent future shootings, has not yet weighed in on his stance on tougher gun measures in the wake of the shooting. He did, however rail against the Obama administration on Twitter on Sunday for supposedly failing to pass gun control legislation when it had the chance.
Ryan for his part has warned against new gun control measures following the latest deadly shooting.
“There’s more questions than answers at this stage,” Ryan said in a radio interview Thursday. “I don’t think that means you then roll the conversation into taking away citizens’ rights — taking away a law-abiding citizen’s rights.”
The meeting came as a growing chorus of lawmakers, activists and students called for the government to take action on gun violence.
Thousands gathered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday to mourn the deaths of those in Wednesday’s shooting and call for restricted access to firearms, while on Sunday students appeared on television to call for an organized march in an effort to hold lawmakers accountable.
Some Democrats and Republicans on Sunday also urged lawmakers to consider varying degrees of reforms, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a former presidential contender, pleaded with Trump to take the lead on the issue.
Trump and Ryan also discussed immigration and infrastructure reform, according to the statement.
The immigration debate hit a roadblock last week after the Senate failed to pass legislation that would address the fate of young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The Senate on Thursday rejected Trump’s plan for immigration reform by a 39-60 vote, making it the fourth proposal in a row denied by the upper chamber.
The Trump-backed measure, which was led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), provided a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, who could face deportation as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is scaled back.
The White House’s infrastructure plan was also thrust into the spotlight last week when the administration released its 55-page proposal. The plan puts forth a framework for lawmakers draft legislation for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that would focus on public-private partnerships and funding from state and local governments.

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