GOP’s Targeted Messages

Republicans’ skill in “messaging” has been a consistent theme of comments on this blog.

One of those skills is the ability of the GOP to tailor its communications–telling one group of people one thing , while assuring a different group (wink, wink) that the party has absolutely no intention of doing precisely what it is promising others it will do.

A recent illustration can be seen in an exchange between Rick Scott (The Florida Senator with a private-sector history of engineering Medicare fraud) and Mitch McConnell, aka the smarter but most evil man in America.

Recently, Scott  unveiled an 11-point plan that he identified as the GOP’s agenda–the party’s “to do” list once it retakes control of Congress. As Dana Milbank introduced a discussion of Scott’s plan in the Washington Post,

Suppose, for a moment, that the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the group overseeing the 2022 campaigns of all Democratic senators and Senate candidates, announced that Democrats, if they keep congressional majorities after November’s elections, would enact a plan that would raise taxes on working families more than $1 trillion over 10 years.

Further suppose that this top Democratic official also pledged that the Democratic majority would “sunset” laws that provide Americans with Social Security and Medicare, military retirement benefits, veterans programs, unemployment compensation, student loans, deposit insurance and more. Additionally, the Democrats would require U.S. businesses to shut down $600 billion a year in foreign trade and abandon countless billions in overseas investments.

The cry from Republican officials and the Fox News echo chamber would be deafening. Socialism! Defund! Tyranny! They might not even have time left to blame President Biden for Russia’s Ukraine invasion or high gas prices.

Of course–as Milbank proceeds to document–that’s really a description of the bulk of the Republican agenda Scott outlined. (Anti-gay, anti-CRT measures comprise most of the rest.) It is worth noting that Scott is hardly a “rogue”–he heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee. However, the agenda he unveiled was so politically toxic that McConnell disavowed it.

Scott’s plan would eliminate (sunset)  all federal legislation over five years. Scott assures voters that “worthy” laws would then be reenacted; presumably, policies that Republicans find  “unworthy” would stay dead. As various pundits have pointed out, that would probably mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other social programs that offend today’s GOP.  

As Milbank writes,

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s how McConnell recently described the Scott plan: “We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.”

About that provision raising taxes on half the American public: Analysis of Scott’s tax plan by the Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the “Republican plan would raise taxes by $100 billion a year, or more than $1 trillion over the standard 10-year budgeting time frame. Almost all of it would be shouldered by households with income of $100,000 or less.”

As a column in Common Dreams explained, Scott introduced his tax proposal by saying “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.”

To the mega-rich Scott — and his fellow Americans of ample means — this proposal no doubt seems entirely reasonable. To Americans who understand how our overall tax system works, Scott’s proposal just seems cruel.

All Americans, for starters, pay some taxes. They have “skin” in the game. They may not pay any federal income tax. But if they work, they pay federal payroll tax. If they don’t work, they still pay sales tax on goods they purchase. They face other state and local taxes as well.

Analyses of the plan found it would “increase taxes by more than $1,000 on average for the poorest 40 percent of Americans.”

“Low-income families with children would pay the most,” notes the Tax Policy Center analysis, “Achieving Scott’s goal would slash their after-tax incomes by more than $5,000, or more than 20 percent.”

Meanwhile, points out a Patriotic Millionaires analysis, those “uber-wealthy Americans who avoid federal income tax thanks to a series of loopholes that allow them to claim little to no income” would continue to face no more than a minuscule tax on their mega millions under the Scott “11 Points.”

“In the end,” the Patriotic Millionaires sum up, Scott’s plan amounts to “a wink and a nod to his wealthy donors to keep stealing.”

No wonder McConnell wanted to shut Scott down–the official GOP message machine keeps telling people that Republicans will cut taxes. Poor people don’t understand that only wealthy folks will see those cuts–and that they are the ones who will pay for them.


  1. The problem is that paying taxes is one problem, and printing money is another. The American people only know what their TV tells them. Either party can say a lot and even do a lot, but the people will understand what is said to them by their trusted news anchors who sell shit to shit farmers.

    I read a Substack article from a journalist on the ground in Poland talking with Ukrainian refugees who are all women with children, and they all want Zelenskyy’s “No-fly zone.”

    When asked why they understood that it would protect their husbands and remaining friends back in Ukraine.

    Zelenskyy is an actor who’s playing a president of a country. He’s being allowed to appeal to several government chambers because he talks well and plays well to the people who think he’s some sort of war hero.

    He’s not, but what he can do is fundraise for billions of dollars going to Ukraine. Who get’s those dollars?

    We were supposed to have a congressional hearing about the trillions spent in Afghanistan that apparently accomplished nothing in twenty years except create a national heroin epidemic in the United States. 😉

    Is anybody calling for a congressional hearing now while Americans are all hugging their flags and blessing Ukraine?

    The stockpiles of weapons just got blasted by a hypersonic Russian missile. The excursion in Ukraine is over and Biden has a mess on his hands because of all the sanctions he dropped down on Russia. If he tries the same thing with China, the USA is toast. Saudi Arabia is looking again at the petrodollar and considering severing ties and going with the yuan. Any idea what that will do to the dollar?

    How’s that for messaging?

    We are a paper tiger kept together by propaganda. We have deluded the people and ourselves into thinking otherwise.

  2. I was going to post a comment but saw that Todd had already spoiled the comment section with his b.s. about a President doing everything he can to protect his country and I just lost my train of thought. 🙁

  3. The disproportionate “share” of the tax burden that exists now could easily be changed by a simple change to the tax system. Change the so-called “progressive” income tax system we have now to a truly progressive system, one which taxes wealth instead of earned income.

  4. AgingLGirl,

    Yeah. He does that all the time. BUT, I will add that I’m sick to death of pinheaded Republicans (are there any other kind?) feeding B.S. to the people who pay them: Corporations and Banks. The rich stockholders are tails that wag the dogs of those entities. Those “people” care not a whit about working class people except when they have to work to keep making them rich.

    This situation is the fundamental reason socialism is so important to ANY kind of capitalism. It’s what Marx talked and wrote about. It’s why Lenin sought to overthrow the elites of Russia. It’s why banana republics are in constant turmoil and governments get overturned.

    And, of course, all this idiotic divisiveness plays right into the hands of evil people like Mitch McConnell and Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. THEY are the deliverers of the messages from the rich sponsors of corruption. Oh, Putin fancies himself a powerful, rich dictator, but his oligarchs have made him rich.

    Now Putin is going to have to pay the piper. But what of the corrupt and evil Republicans who are “messaging” to screw everyone? They will play the race card to scare the crap out of rural, white America in order to keep screwing everyone out of their money. History has shown us that this is the way of the human being. So, when you go to church today, be sure to ask yourself how much glory God has given this species. Think of the pencil-necks like Scott and the glassy-eyed wickedness of Mitch McConnell. That should make you turn the page.

  5. If I recall correctly, Stephen Colbert once called Rick Scott a Mayan Snake God. Florida is the only state where a guy who is so obviously a thief could get elected first to the governor’s office, then to the Senate. We love our crooks!

  6. McCons shutting down ricks rehetoric is merely a mid term shutup. and i believe rick is also,the
    most wealthy among his gang. but as we listen,and also read,(imagine that), the tribe they rally becomes a blairing noise. anyone even on that has older folk who collect retirment. so the echo reverbrates and hopefully dies. any tripe,(yep) who even suggests soc sec,and medicare die, would have to think about grandma,or,how they now would support them with the crumbs they desire in thier own meagar living standard. would they,or could they.not all rightwingers make a living wage,and more taxes on them,well would be a wakeup call to many,NIMBY. and many it would shoot over their heads in denial. but some would catch hold and hopefully pass that sad fact that someone who they hired will now tax them..(im tired of voted for when its a rightwing thing,scuse me) of course after reading about texas partisan voting precent judges yeaterday,whereas one voting area near dallas/ft worth,couldnt accomadate democrates because there were no democrate judges,because of,lack of staff at that voting hall. and,now they cant vote.some how i feel this will fianlly reach the supreme court. join in the conversation when you can,hopefully face to face with the other side,show some knowlege and the bull shit thats now the norm is that,bullshit. that article from commondreams is in my file.. though it slants to the left at speed,it still relevant that ricks bullshit 11 pointmplan,makes him and his cronies money while taxing the very working class people he represents and leads them to the slaughter. the talk between rich and poor is paramount when the inequality is screaming. the billionaires have tied up trillions into thier own blackrock accounts when that money could well be spent on our mainstreets by a living wage to all.. the conversation has to be directed at the fact why we barley make it and who makes those decisions. policy that reward people like rick,need to be discussed and now. florida is no shangrala when it come to wage and living standards. ive spent many a mile and year hauling out of there.(and the rate for shipping sucks to.i usually deadhead out with no freight because im not going support cuthroats in this industry)the inequality should be part of conversation..
    florida and rick ,isnt disneyland..

  7. Smekens; your ugly, lying comments regarding President Zelensky are disgusting and incomprehensible even for your predominantly small mindedness ever seen on this blog. You belong with the Goetz/Taylor Greene level of contemptuousness. I would comment further but, out of respect for Sheila and all other commenters here daily; I will struggle to keep my profanity filled thoughts regarding you, and the ass you rode in on, to myself.

  8. JoAnn,

    Chill, my sister. Todd isn’t worth the energy, although some of us feel better after venting about his disjointed rants. He reminds me of that ex-FBI agent I’ve written about. This damned fool brags about how many people (103) are in his bullshit network. The truth is they use this guy to feel smart, because ex-FBI is dumber than a box of rocks.

  9. Of course the GOP’s plan for decades has been the harvesting of America in a flurry of redistribution of wealth away from those who built and build the country. It’s theft in the grandest of scales and there is no better demonstration of that in the world today than Putin’s war on civilization. He’s just less patient than the Republicans of the States formerly United.

    Can Putin and/or the GOP be stopped? We see everyday what may stop Putin – almost unimaginable courage of and sacrifice by Ukrainians that is reminiscent of the States formerly United military during WWII, demonstrating to Russians what they must do (again) if they want to be free.

    Are these the final battles in humanities never really ceasing wars in the struggle between privileged power and the freedom of democracy and diversity?

  10. You missed the part where he said in an interview defending his plan, where he wants to defund the IRS and cut the force by 50%. So not only would good ol’ W2 earners be subject to more strict “automated” enforcement, the top 30% or 40% of income earners could be free to do what ever they want without fear of audit.

    Worst part about it about 50% of his electorate will be convinced he is a better choice than the (insert some culture war adjatiave here) democrats.

  11. Sheila, did you mean to rattle chains of your readers?. I thought your article was well done, but not a tnt producer.

  12. Vernon you’re correct in calling out politicians and calling them pinheads. Unfortunately they are spread across both parties. Trickle Down does work if it balanced. During Reagan and Trump the tax cuts were too heavy for the rich. Businesses albeit mainly small businesses and farms need the most support not big business. Trump did target blue states with eliminating tax deductions for the liberal elites on the coasts, Pelosi almost slipped a total reversal of that through the tax breaks for the rich in the Build Back Better plan.
    Does everyone need to have skin in the game? Yes. Everyone needs to feel the pain but even then a heavier tax burden needs to go to the rich as those on low end of the rung see the effects of a burgeoning national debt. Atleat thats the argument as those who don’t pay taxes will continually vote for larger and larger amounts of aid. George Washington warned our government will survive unless the populace discovers we can borrow against ourselves. We have borrowed an additional $20 trillion in 13 years. Eventually there will be a reset and according to sites like the US dollar will or could use its dominance and international monetary reserve status. The yen for the first time instead of the dollar was used to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia.
    If we want to have healthcare for everyone then everyone must now pay into the process. Canadas plan is only partial and many Canadiens who have the finances travel to the US instead of wait for emergency spending. Why not?
    ESG standards are important but shouldn’t overburden the middle class and low income wage earner through expanding inflations rise as money supplied by the government (increasing demand) raced past the supply of goods.
    Here is where Scotts plan is untimely. No one can afford more taxes especially the poor in a recovery period.
    In regards to Social Security being privatized only part should be invested and not beyond 20%. Just think if the average citizen was to avail trades in the market the way politicians do.
    The poorest of the poor still pays taxes state by state and locally like Prof Kennedy states. They do have skin in the game. The federal tax cuts implemented by Trump by doubling the standard deduction did help the poor.

  13. Todd,

    Man, why are you posting this kind of stuff? I would figure that maybe you’re trying to stir the pot and promote discussion, but, I don’t think it’s working too well.

    There’s too much free source information out there to refute your opinion.

    Concerning the AZOV brigade, you know the old saying, the enemy of my enemy is my friend! Russia was once America’s friend, Russia was once Germany’s friend, all in the same war! Japan was America’s enemy, now they’re friends. The same with italy! Even Vietnam for that matter.

    Politicians will speak with a forked tongue. A tongue that is split can tell two different stories, one one that sounds agreeable and truthful, and the other which is sadly less truthful and much more hurtful.

    My great-grandfather used to talk about snakes who’s split tongue pointed in different directions. The snake that deceived eve, and the snake that will kill and eat rats, and the snake that asked a turtle for a lift across the river, and then bit the turtle on the other side.

    Speak with a split tongue, you might tell a little truth, but a whole lot of lies.

    Without a doubt there are many who prefer the lie, because it’s an alternate form of reality for them. It doesn’t work to when you attempt to live in a manufactured reality. It does no good to promote the lie, because in the long run, it will bring to ruin those going along with it because it’s unsustainable! Without a firm foundation, society cannot stand. Then history repeats itself.

    ‘Sissela Bok’ States in her book,”lying – moral choice in public and private life” ‘in law and in journalism, in government and in social sciences, deception is taken for granted when it is felt to be excusable by those who tell the lies and to tend to also make the rules.”

  14. War Is Peace
    Freedom Is Slavery
    Ignorance Is Strength

    We are on the right side of history!

  15. Scott would have been indicted if he’s not received a phone call the night before giving him time to resign from the CEO position he’d used to defraud the government.
    He is a slimeball, but will probably never retire from the Senate, unless he wins the presidency. He’d then make Spiro Agnew look like a saint!

  16. John Sorg,
    I recently heard a quote that said while in the short term there may be some advantage, the enemy of my enemy, will in the long run, still be my enemy.

  17. Hello everyone – this blog is a not so small miracle, a constant fascinating and joyful learning opportunity (yes, though reasons for grief abound, very few here have given up). Each of us has many chances to add to the usefulness of the whole. Why does Todd misuse and blithely waste his?

    This is what I think he is trying to tell us: Be skeptical of information, especially from ‘mainstream’ sources. Seek a wide variety of information sources. Neither participant in the two party system can be trusted. It is important to follow the money. Use your own intelligence aggressively to lead you toward the truth. When you believe you have arrived there, keep your skepticism working.

    Probably many of us make use of these and/or similar principles. We could agree, as Sheila does by letting him have a say in these pages, that he may have something to teach us.

    But, Todd seems in love with his own nasty attitude. Here is another view of his constant comments: Being poisonously cynical is the sole honest approach to our current world. There are no new ideas. Todd is the sole judge of reliable sources of information. Nasty energy, the truest kind of energy, is a dependable result of poisonous cynicism. The perfect is correctly the enemy of the good. This world is occupied by fools. Todd is not a fool. This apparent status as a non-fool proves he is righteously superior to all others. Being a non-fool makes it necessary to jump in ahead of every conversation and re-establish hegemony over every other human being at all times.

    So tiring, so disrespectful, so sad, so unhappy, but, how to find, much less hold, sympathy for such a trollish waste?

    The more Todd repeats and repeats his vitriolic nihilism, the less seriously he can be taken. He is wasting his own life and resources. Large, hopeful numbers of humans choose to move on instead and listen to and engage with others who may have creative ideas and strong inclinations to work together with like minds to move out of the sorts of cul de sacs that folks such as Todd champion every day.

    This blog supports that hope and possibility. It is a help to remember, I think it was Pete, who a number of years ago, used to say, “Republicans and Democrats want the same things, Democrats just want it for every one.”

    Note bene: it is sadly enthralling to stomp around the bridge under which the three billy goats hang out, so an apology for the above would certainly be dishonest. I can attest that the journey has its amusing sides.

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