When this whole reconciliation mess began, I noted-- a thousand times-- that the real problem in the end wouldn't be Manchin, who the media has focused on, but would be Psycho-Sinema, who has been infuriated when Manchin gets attention instead of her. And now that Manchin is ready to sign off on a bill, she has dug in and decided to kill it. That's Kyrsten Sinema, crazy as a loon and not giving a shit about anything but the limelight-- even if it means infamy.
Jonathan Chait seems to finally be "getting" what a monster Sinema is. His New York Magazine column yesterday screamed: Sinema Bent On Destroying Biden Presidency To Keep Taxes On The Wealthy Low. "News reports this week," he wrote, "have portrayed Democrats in Congress as slowly converging on a deal to pass a shrunken version of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. But the main centrist protagonist in those stories is Senator Joe Manchin, the crusty dealmaker who has long been identified as the Democratic party’s 50th and most pivotal vote. There has been scant reporting on Senator Kyrsten Sinema. The Wall Street Journal today reports that Sinema 'has told lobbyists that she is opposed to any increase' in taxes on high-income individuals, businesses, or capital gains. Her opposition is reportedly 'pushing Democrats to more seriously plan for a bill that doesn’t include those major revenue increases. If this report is true, it would likely be a death blow to Biden’s social agenda. Senate rules require that creating or expanding any social program-- health care, child care, education, or anything else-- can only be made permanent if it has some funding source. If Sinema refuses to support any tax increases on the wealthy, there’s no financing available to come anywhere close."
What makes her opposition to taxing the wealthy so peculiar is that it is not a public opinion winner. Democratic promises to raise taxes on the wealthy are one of the most popular elements of their plan. What’s more, Sinema voted against the Trump tax cuts-- and those tax cuts completely failed to produce the promised increase in business investment that was their rationale.
The Democratic party’s main political asset is its willingness to make a very tiny number of people pay more money that can finance programs that benefit a very large number of people. That only works up to a point -- at some level, you can raise taxes on the rich so high it fails to yield any new revenue-- but there is no evidence the current tax code is anywhere near that level. Indeed, after the Trump tax cuts, the tax code for the wealthy has become scandalously lax.
...Democrats have torn their hair out trying to discern Sinema’s motives. In all likelihood, she has simply been persuaded by the arguments made by the rich people and lobbyists she is hanging around with constantly. But unless either the reports are wrong or she changes her mind, she is setting Democrats on a course for an utter debacle.
Between The Journal and the Washington Post, she now has all the attention she feels entitled to. Tony Romm and Jeff Stein wrote that the White House has told congressional leaders that the tax plans are dead and they have two come up with another way to pay for their social programs. Now the Sinema has killed a hike in corporate taxes, they're going for a small wealth tax on billionaires. I can't image Psycho letting that through either though. They wrote that "the potential new plans reflects the scramble among Democrats to find a set of new revenue to pay for their vast policy ambitions as they struggle to unify around Biden’s economic vision. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (W-VA) have raised concerns for months about the extent of the tax hikes proposed by the White House, arguing they risked hurting the competitiveness of American businesses. Sinema, in particular, privately has voiced staunch opposition to significant tax increases, according to two of the people with knowledge of the call, who chiefly attributed the change in thinking at the White House to the Arizona [corrupt psychpath]. A spokesman for Sen. Sinema declined a request for comment. A corporate minimum tax and a new tax on accrued billionaire wealth could still raise hundreds of billions of dollars from large corporations as well as taxes on the wealthy, although it remains unclear exactly how the new plans would be structured." It is insane to think Sinema and Manchin would ever permit anything like this. Sinema has gone full blown corrupt now and she's not letting go. Tax fairness is her enemy.
This is what she loves to see: Andrew Duehren, Richard Rubin and Kristin Peterson are giving her her due: first paragraph in The Journal: "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to tax increases is causing Senate Democrats to look at financing their social policy and climate package without raising marginal rates on businesses, high-income individuals or capital gains, according to people familiar with the matter." I wonder how long she's going to remain in the Democratic Party. My guess: not long. And remember, her abhorrent behavior in the House is what attracted Schumer when he recruited her to run for the Senate.He then cleared the field and financed this insane person. Never trust him again when it comes to picking candidates. He's always wrong-- even when his shit candidates win, which is rare. Help support progressives for Senate seats, not more Sinemas.
This is what she doesn't like to see: Julia Rock exposing her corruption in black and white. "Medicare Advantage-- the privatized version of the national health insurance program for people over the age of 65 and people with disability status-- has become a cash cow for private health insurers," explained Rock. "As small- and medium-sized employers struggle to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of health care, private insurers are increasingly expanding into the Medicare Advantage market to buffer their profits. A provision being considered as part of the reconciliation bill would add dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare without including those benefits in the calculation of the rate at which the federal government reimburses Medicare Advantage plans. Doing so could cut the cost of expanding Medicare benefits by 41 percent, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution. The vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans already provide dental, hearing, and vision benefits. But that hasn’t stopped private insurers and their front group, the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), from demanding more money from Congress and spending $3 million on advertising campaigns since September to try to ensure their reimbursement rates go up if those benefits are also added to traditional Medicare plans. Some of the BMA ads misleadingly thank conservative Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, claiming the two main opponents to expanding Medicare have actually 'fought for seniors' The Sinema ad says: "We need her now more than ever, because Washington listens to her.'" This isn't distorted; it's flat-out lie: