Editorial Roundup: Tax Cuts For The Rich Edition

This week editorial boards all across the country ripped into President Trump and the Republicans for their tax plan that will crush the middle class to pay for billions in tax breaks for the super rich and explode the deficit for generations to come. Additionally, Trump took his boldest step yet to undercut the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, made a racist slur about a sitting US Senator, and was rebuked for re-tweeting hateful anti-Muslim propaganda videos.

Here’s what Americans read in their local newspapers this week:


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Estate Tax Repeal: ‘Donald Trump In A Stretch Limo, Not A Farmer On A Tractor’

Trump’s claim about “millions” of farms and family businesses is not even close to the truth. The Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution found only 80 of them among the 5,500 estates subject to the tax last year. Most fortunes are amassed, like Trump’s personal fortune, in investment holdings, 55 percent of which were capital gains and never subject to tax.

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat: Climate Report Has Dire Predictions For California

Climate change is happening now. We are feeling its effects, and they will become increasingly severe and costly. This is a horrible time for the United States to abdicate its leadership role in dealing with the crisis.

The Trump administration allowed this report to be released without watering it down. We wish that were a sign that things are changing, but we fear it’s more likely that no one high enough up bothered to read it before it came out.


Norman Transcript: A Year Later, Trump Tweets Continue To Confound

His tweets also seem intensely personal. And whether he intends it or not, Trump’s targets are most often people of color: Colin Kaepernick, Lavar Ball, Jemele Hill and Marshawn Lynch, for example.

But it doesn’t look like Trump intends to stop tweeting, to stop challenging or to stop insulting. One year into his presidency and Trump has made it clear no one, not his chief of staff or his press secretary, can curb his constant communications, to the detriment of his administration and the embarrassment of the nation he represents.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Cloudy Future For Financial Consumer Watchdog Agency

Every American who puts money in a bank account, has a credit card, retirement savings, mortgage or loan should be alarmed by Trump’s plan to weaken the agency, which has been the consumer’s best friend.

Glens Falls Post-Star: Big Tax Bill Needs More Deliberation

This bill is a rush job, pushed by a president and Republican majority in Congress desperate to pass something — anything — that they can brag about, however unworthy of praise the bill may actually be.

Look at the way a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — the requirement to buy health insurance or pay a penalty — was jammed into the tax bill at the last minute. This is a cob job, a slapped-together structure that has every sign of eventual collapse.


Wisconsin State Journal: U.S. Senate Sticks Up For Great Lakes Protection

Congress is wisely reversing President Donald Trump’s rash and irresponsible attempt to cut $300 million in annual funding for Great Lakes restoration.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Grand Illusion

Take our president and tweeter-in-chief’s word for it, if you can. He’s had a long and heartening conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin who, it turns out, is no longer to be feared but favored. You heard right: This country’s Fighting Russian Allies are back. Between this country and the Bear that Walks Like a Man, there is now to be a new and lasting era of Mir y Druzhba, peace and friendship, for ever and ever. It’s not a brutal world of unpredictable dangers out there but a fairy tale sure to come true. Tell us another one.


Charleston Gazette-Mail: Trump, The Republicans, And The 2018 Elections

Still, Trump has taken it to a new level, at least for the American presidency. Unable to let even small personal slights go without one or more angry tweets in response, the president has forgotten the influence that comes with the dignity of his office.


Tampa Bay Times: Congress Must Help Haitians Being Forced Out Of U.S. By Trump

The Trump administration’s abrupt decision last week to kick more than 50,000 Haitians — including more than 32,000 living in Florida — out of the country after they have been living here legally for years is unnecessary and inhumane. The world’s richest nation should not be forcing immigrants who have been contributing to their communities back to such a poor nation where they have few ties and little hope of leading successful lives. This is another example of President Donald Trump’s helter-skelter approach to immigration that is disrupting millions of lives and countless neighborhoods throughout Florida and the nation.


Raleigh News & Observer: Action On Haitians Is Not Credible

Even if there were some tangible reason to talk about ending TPS for the Haitians, and there does not appear to be, the Trump administration would not have credibility in leading such a discussion. The president campaigned for his office on a decidedly anti-immigration platform, talking about “America First” even in his inauguration speech and making it clear he wants U.S. borders shut tight. So it’s not a surprise that his administration is cracking down on people who cannot defend themselves.


Middlesex Home News Tribune: Don’t Let Feds Make Pesticide Call

It isn’t New Jersey’s job to await great wisdom to be handed down from Washington. The state must combat the feds whenever it’s appropriate – and that figures to happen often. It’s worth remembering just how backward-thinking the Trump Administration can be on the environment, scoffing at climate change and ravaging our parks. This is an administration that wants to gut environmental protections not just to help business, but because it genuinely seems not to care about our land, air and water.

Pittsburgh Times-Tribune: Fresh Air Scarce

Ignoring plain facts and acting directly contrary to them in favor of ideology and narrow interests is dangerous policy that the Trump administration should reverse.



San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s Offensive Remarks Can’t Be Brushed Off

His self-justifying world is filled with mirrors that reflect only him. It’s natural to grow tired of his narcissism, but it’s impossible when Trump showcases himself so often. He’s cheapening his office and the nation.

His deluded self-absorption hit another low point this week via a news report indicating he didn’t believe an infamous “Access Hollywood” video clip showing him bragging about groping women was authentic. But his original words are real, and he’s already acknowledged it and tried to apologize.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Trump Will Try To Sell Tax Cuts In St. Charles County. Be Skeptical

Trump himself is unlikely to deal with any nuance in his St. Charles Convention Center remarks. He has spoken only in broad terms, as when he told a Cabinet meeting last week, “We’re going to give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas — hopefully that would be a great, big, beautiful Christmas present.”

Policy details are not the president’s strong point. He previously said he won’t personally benefit from the tax-cut deal, when he almost certainly would save hundreds of millions and his heirs up to $1.2 billion. He has claimed that economic growth stemming from corporate tax cuts would create $4,000 a year in savings for the typical American family. But a University of Chicago survey of 42 economists from across the political spectrum found only one who thought the bill would significantly increase the gross domestic product.


Tampa Bay Times: President’s Tweets Invite Foreign Crackdown On The Press

It’s one thing for President Donald Trump to demonize CNN and other reputable news outlets for doing their jobs and exposing his mistakes out of a desire to gin up his right-wing audiences back home. But it’s another altogether for the American president to use his bully pulpit as the leader of the free world to all but invite authoritarians across the globe to declare open season on news reporters. His Twitter rant over the weekend captures perfectly how this president’s thoughtless words can pose immediate harm and danger to those he targets. It was a deplorable display that should worry all Americans who value truth, free speech and the safety of journalists abroad.


Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

President Donald Trump welcomed three of 13 surviving veterans of the “code talker” program to the White House on Monday to honor their service. These Navajo men used their native languages during World War II to transmit secret messages. But then Trump resorted to his own code in making the most tasteless of remarks about Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump told his guests. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” That’s just offensive in any language — and on so many levels.


Raleigh News & Observer: Keep The Internet Open To All

Most people have no idea what is meant by the arcane term “net neutrality.” But the Trump administration is committed to providing a clear explanation through your cable bill. Losing net neutrality means most consumers will pay more for high-speed access to all of the internet.


Concord Monitor: Trump Retweets For A Reason

As troubling as we find the pro-Trump people who wear the word “deplorable” as a badge of honor – and enjoy a good anti-Muslim video on Twitter – we are just as disturbed by the silent supporters who consider him personally reprehensible but a godsend when it comes to padding their bank accounts. While the president oozes mendacity and malice – and in the process makes the world a more dangerous place for everybody – their focus stays on the economic and environmental policies that will make them wealthier.

In Trump’s America, a spoonful of deregulation helps the racism go down.


Los Angeles Times: What Makes Trump’s Anti-Muslim Retweets Different From Other Stupid Tweets

By retweeting these videos, Trump has put the enormous power of his bully pulpit in service of their cause — sadly, just one of many times he has blithely uttered or repeated things far beneath the dignity of the presidency. On Twitter, Fransen exulted: “Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44 million followers! God bless you Trump! God Bless America!”

In a remarkable rebuke, the prime minister’s office also said: “It is wrong for the president to have done this.” This points to another problem with Trump’s impulsive decision to recycle these inflammatory videos: the unnecessary damage it has inflicted on relations with one of America’s closest allies.


Boston Herald: A Tweet Storm Of Hate

The bottom line is that yesterday’s tweet storm — which in separate tweets also hinted at spurious allegations against MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack — simply demeans the office of president. That Trump either doesn’t care or sees some political advantage in this craziness is deeply troubling.


Chicago Sun Times: Trump And Republican Tax Plan Gives Democracy A Beating

President Trump and Republicans in Congress are dead-set on ramming through a new tax code that rewards the rich, hurts the poor and, in a few years, pulls the rug out from under the middle class.

Democracy is taking a beating.


Niagara Gazette: We Can’t Stay Neutral On ‘Net Neutrality’

It’s incredible to think a president like Trump, who rode into the White House based largely on populist support from working and middle-class families, is now keenly interested in repealing rules that prevent internet providers from blocking or dialing down traffic as well as selling so-called “fast lanes” to wealthier companies that can afford to pay in order to reach more customers more quickly.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Reality-Proof President Sows Doubt About Sleaze He Previously Admitted

Most politicians bend the truth at times, but Trump is something new: He won’t recognize the existence of recorded, verifiable fact. In traumatized children, psychologists describe a phenomenon called “primary process lying,” or instinctive lying in the face of the obvious. A damaged child doesn’t know that the person to whom he’s lying knows the truth. Trump lies like a traumatized child.


Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Californians Embrace Obamacare Despite Trump Attacks

Nationally, the story is similar: Almost 1.5 million people signed up in the first weeks of open enrollment in the 39 states tracked by healthcare.gov. That’s a 47 percent increase in enrollees over the same period a year ago, although the share of new consumers signing up is down slightly. The remaining states, like California, run their own exchanges, and they also report an increase in total enrollees.

The surge is remarkable, given the president’s many attempts to undermine Obamacare. On Twitter and elsewhere, Trump has repeatedly claimed that President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement is “imploding,” despite independent assessments that it’s still viable and that some facets — including coverage of pre-existing conditions — are overwhelmingly popular.


Topeka Capitol Journal: Kobach Ignores Trump’s Awful Behavior

While Trump’s behavior on Wednesday morning was divisive and grotesque, it certainly wasn’t surprising. From his proposal of a Muslim registry and ban during the campaign to his false assertion that thousands of American Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks to his insistence that “Islam hates us” to his claim that he’d “strongly consider” closing mosques in the U.S., Trump always attacks Muslims when he thinks it’ll give him a popularity boost.


Raleigh News & Observer: Consumers Better Hunker Down

Trump has populated the financial regulation part of his bureaucracy with millionaires who are looking to protect other millionaires but not anyone else.

And without action from the courts standing up for the independence of this valuable watchdog, it appears that’s exactly what’s going to happen.


Houston Chronicle: Whitewashed Courts

At what point do we call it affirmative action for white guys?

Donald Trump has started filling the ranks of the federal judiciary, and a single pattern has emerged: Few women. Few candidates of color.



San Diego Union-Tribune: GOP Tax Plans Have Become — In A Word — Monstrous

The most obvious shortcoming is the fact that by far the biggest beneficiaries of the tax cuts are America’s wealthiest people — the top 1 percent of taxpayers. Both the Senate and House plans would eliminate the alternative minimum income tax and lessen or eliminate the estate tax, resulting in half or more of total tax savings going to the very rich. The Senate plan would let the personal income tax cuts expire in 2026. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, this means half of Americans would pay more taxes in 2027 compared to now, while corporations and the very rich would continue to pay less.

This is utterly at odds with public opinion — and with Mnuchin’s and Trump’s promises that a tax overhaul wouldn’t be a love letter to the tycoon class. Instead, it’s the latest iteration of trickle-down economics — the discredited theory that the less taxes the rich pay, the better that life gets for everyone.


Anniston Star: Lack Of State Department Personnel Called ‘National Security Emergency’

“So we don’t need all the people they want,” Trump said in a recent TV interview.

He added that when it comes to diplomacy, “I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

We’re sure that’s not the sort of jaw-jaw Mr. Churchill was thinking about.


Winston-Salem Chronicle: Net Neutrality Must Be Save From Destruction

It’s happening again. Agents of President Donald Trump are leading the way against a popular rule that is helping people of color and those less fortunate. The rule now prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from charging people and companies extra money for fast internet service. President Trump and his agents want to drop the rule. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) makes the rules.


Portsmouth Herald: Trump Again Spreads Hate

Trump does not work to unite people. He instead works to spread hate around the world, damaging U.S. relationships with other countries. Think back over the course of history and other infamous leaders who did the same will come to mind.


Baltimore Sun: Alternative Fact Of The Week: Made-Up Muslims

Of course, the last place Mr. Trump’s defenders can hide is to make the claim that, well, this is Twitter, the social media equivalent of the Wild West, and users don’t show much concern for the truth on Twitter. Or perhaps they’ll say the president didn’t originate the videos, he was just sharing. But he’s still the president, he’s still setting the example, he’s still leader of the free world (assuming the part of the planet not governed by Vladimir Putin hasn’t given up on us yet). And, as the Netherlands Embassy in Washington tweeted to @realDonaldTrump hours after the president’s retweets, “facts do matter.”


Santa Rosa Press Democrat: What President Trump Says About The Tax-cut Plan And Other Myths

President Donald Trump is no stranger to sharing conspiracy theories and manufactured facts. But Wednesday was the day he truly sealed his credentials as America’s purveyor-in-chief of populist mythology.


Chicago Sun Times: Trump Goes To War Against Agency Protecting Your Wallet

But however this appointment shakes out, Trump has again made clear his priorities — Wall Street over your street.

This is all part of a bad pattern. The president has repeatedly attempted to subvert the legitimate and necessary work of federal agencies and departments by appointing administrators who openly oppose the agency or department’s very mission. He has done so, most notably, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department and the Education Department.


San Francisco Mercury News: Trump’s Anti-muslim Bullying Is Trickling Down To Local Schools

Donald Trump’s tweets Wednesday morning promoting rabid anti-Muslim videos might seem distant from the bullying of Muslim kids in Bay Area schools over the past year  — and now, in San Jose, the bullying of a Muslim teacher by schoolkids.

But these incidents are linked to Trump’s behavior as indelibly as smoke to fire. Any president of the United States sets a tone and an example for the nation — and this anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant president behaves like a bully.



Tulsa World: Trump Should Apologize For ‘Pocahontas’ Reference

Standing in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson at an event to honor Native American Code Talkers who served heroically in World War II, President Trump went out of his way to use an insulting American Indian reference against a political opponent on Monday.

It was a dim-witted, ignorant stunt, and Trump should apologize.


Wisconsin State Journal: Coal Plants Will Continue To Shut Down

Trump this year made a big show of rescinding his predecessor’s requirement that utilities significantly reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions over time. Yet utilities in Wisconsin and elsewhere still plan to proceed largely as the Obama administration wanted — with some going further in reducing carbon — because that’s what makes the most financial sense.

Trump can continue to undermine regulations on dirty coal. But he can’t repeal reality.