Taxes

Is Gary Cohn “Dumbfounded” or Just Dumb?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

While Republicans have finally passed sweeping tax cuts for the rich for first time since the early Bush administration, they may not have necessarily done themselves any favors with the general public.

The GOP bill is wildly unpopular, far less popular than President Obama's stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act, the Bush tax cuts, or any other major piece of legislation of the past 20 years.

Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn can't imagine why that is, nor can he imagine why the overwhelming majority of the public believes Republicans are lying about the bill as he personally continues to lie about the bill.

Bloomberg reports that Cohn attended an event in Washington yesterday where he was "dumbfounded" by the lack of public support.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know,’’ Cohn said Tuesday at a Washington event hosted by Axios, when asked why the plan lacked public support. Middle-income Americans “are getting the largest percentage tax savings of anyone in the whole distribution. So we have clearly not communicated that.”

My gut says the bill wouldn't be quite as unpopular if Republicans stopped insulting average Americans and told the truth about it.

Middle-income Americans will not see the "largest percentage of savings" in the bill. In fact, over 80 percent of the benefits will be distributed to the top 1 percent.

The idea that middle-income Americans will see the largest benefit is clearly a lie, but it's worse than that; Americans in the upper-middle class will actually be hit the hardest as they lose most state and local tax deductions. This class of Americans make enough money to itemization those deductions, but not enough to qualify for the tax cut Republicans added to the bill at the list minute for top income earners.

The entire bill is deeply regressive and everyone knows it. Everyone except Gary Cohn, apparently.

I don't know which is worse. Gary Cohn is either dumber than anyone would have guessed, or he's lying.

  • Christopher Foxx

    “To be honest with you, I don’t know,’’ Cohn said Tuesday at a Washington event hosted by Axios, when asked why the plan lacked public support. Middle-income Americans “are getting the largest percentage tax savings of anyone in the whole distribution.

    This is like the car salesman who is dumbfounded why you won’t take the deal:
    Cohn: “I got the monthly payment down to what you want? I just don’t know why you still won’t take this deal!”
    Middle class: “Yeah, but to do that you jacked the interest rate up to 25% and the term to 50 years. With your terms I’ll be paying for this car for decades after it’s in the junk pile.”
    Cohn: “But the monthly payment is what you want!”

  • Christopher Foxx

    The GOP bill is wildly unpopular, far less popular than President Obama’s stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act, the Bush tax cuts, or any other major piece of legislation of the past 20 years.

    Something the Republican’s political opponents could really use to their advantage. Except, the Republican’s opponents are Democrats so, so much for that idea.

  • What really scares me are all the hidden nuggets of conservative bullshit policy undoubtedly spread throughout this thing. We’ll probably be discovering new horrors for weeks.

    • months.

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    • ninjaf

      Let’s see, there is the end to the personal mandate and the declaration that life begins at conception. And this is without a thorough reading of the bill.

      Yeah, it’s going to get ugly.

      But her emails!!!1!! /snark

  • muselet

    Think of Gary Cohn as the shill at the three-card monte table, loudly and enthusiastically working to attract the marks.

    You can also think of him as the huckster trying to sell you a time-share as a terrific investment.

    Either way, whenever he opens his gob, hold onto your wallet.

    (Dumb or lying? Yes.)

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    Cohn’s bill basically says, “Let them eat cake.”…only the fine print says the cake shall be made of shit.

  • Badgerite

    I don’t suppose it has occurred to Cohn that one of the reasons that the average American does not believe the GOP sales pitch is just the common sense idea that if you have to do something in the middle of the night, hidden from public view and shrouded in secrecy, there is probably something wrong with it that you are trying to hide.
    It is that “regular order” thing that Senator McCain talked about. It has been conspicuously lacking. The impression I have, and I believe most people do, is that this bill was written mostly from a corporate lobbyist’s wish list cabled together behind closed doors in the middle of the night. There has been no bill presented to the Congress or the public for debate. Tammany Hall would be envious. What has leaked out about this bill is not at all encouraging. And besides which, Americans can still add.
    For me, personally, whatever I pick up from the temporary increase for a couple of years for the standard deduction will be offset by the elimination of the exemptions which was at least around $4000 for the individual and $4000 multiplied by the number of dependents ( children) you could claim for families. In short, in a couple of years when the standard deduction reverts to its previous amount, this will be a whopping increase for everyone but especially for families with children. $4000 per child. And yet there is a deduction available for the maintenance costs of a private jet. WTF.
    Can’t possibly understand why average Americans think this is a scam, No clue.
    It is just simply indisputable that this bill is a big payoff to the ultra rich contributor class.
    And Kurt Eichenwald points out, this bill will put this country’s finances on the chopping block in about 10 years.
    And the GOP knows it.

    • And when the Democratic party takes over Congress and has to reverse this godawful bill the GOP will claim that the Dems raised taxes again. They are despicable.

  • Aynwrong

    “I don’t know which is worse. Gary Cohn is either dumber than anyone would have guessed, or he’s lying.”

    This is what I’ve wondered about Republican voters for years now. Are they really stupid enough to believe all the nonsense that the party and Fox News feeds them or are they just cynical? Truthfully, I don’t really care. It’s merely a curiosity. The results are the same regardless.