2016 Election Thoughts – Part V (Random Matters)
Donald Trump plans tax cuts. Estimated cost? $7,000,000,000,000, over 10 years. (That’s $7 trillion, if lots of zeros challenge you.) How does Mr. Trump plan to cover the $7 trillion shortfall? Easy. The tax cuts will grow the economy. Just like they did didn’t under Presidents Reagan and Bush II. Alas, as former Vice President Dick Cheney told Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill in 2004: “… Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.”
From a personal perspective, the tax cuts will affect me. I looked at a variety of sources. The consensus reflects a roughly $4,000 increase in my federal income tax bill if when the Trump plan passes. (Truth be told, I should hope for the Trump plan, for if Congress had its way, it might well give even more benefits to the wealthiest of the wealthy.)
[Note: I went to a tax breakfast this morning, after this piece first appeared. I might only be paying 15% on all earned income. Might? The Trump tax plan reads like something a fifth grader wrote. Inconsistent gobbly-de-gook. That said:
Donald, everything I have ever said about you? Never mind. You da man!
Just kidding. Not happy about a tax increase, but this country can’t function if people like me are paying 15% of our income. Doesn’t work!]
National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre celebrated his 67th birthday on Election Day 2016. I’m guessing he went to sleep about as happy as Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation. Why? Well, the NRA thrives on fear, and now it has its Second Amendment POTUS. Big budget hit!
The Trump U Lawsuit
I know very little about the Trump University lawsuits. Fraud and RICO (Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations cases are hard. That said, Donald Trump sought summary judgment in 2015. (A defendant’s summary judgment motion tells the court it should deny claims even if all of the disputed allegations are true because, as a matter of law, the plaintiff cannot prevail.) With very limited exceptions, Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Donald Trump’s motion for summary judgment.
The trial starts on Monday, November 28. The Trump defendants have asked the court to continue the trial until after January 20, 2017, claiming President-elect Trump will be too busy to attend. Yes, I know, he seems to claiming he’ll be less busy once he gets this transition thing-y over with.
Donald “I never settle” Trump’s attorney said, last week, that he’s “all ears” about settlement. Talks have begun, apparently.
Most civil lawsuits settle. When they do, the defendant routinely requests and gets a confidentiality provision. No one can say anything to anyone, other than that the case has settled.
In the Trump U case, the plaintiffs find themselves holding a wee bit of leverage. Mr. Trump does not want a trial. He also won’t want the public to know just how much he pays to make the matter go away. And, while confidentiality comes with settlements, nothing requires it. So, if the class representatives dig in about confidentiality, they will get a princely amount for the cases or, alternatively, the curtain will rise on the 28th.