Beleaguered US President Donald J. Trump might be on the brink of scoring his first legislative victory if the Republicans' much-touted tax plan passes through Congress. After being elected over one year ago and in office for 10 months already, Trump has yet to succeed in passing anything of significance through Congress, mostly owing to opposition within his own party from the so-called "Republicans In Name Only", or RINOs, and this is making his supporters very nervous. The unease was apparent in the latest Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections earlier this week when the Democrats trounced the Republican candidates, which observers interpreted as some Americans sending an ominous electoral message to Trump in advance of next year's midterm Congressional elections.
This combination of grassroots and Mainstream Media pressure might convince more RINOs to jump ship and prevent Trump's tax plan from passing, which is officially called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and was officially unveiled last week in the House of Representatives. From what's known so far, the bill is estimated to provide tax relief for approximately 2/3 of Americans, while dropping taxes on small businesses in order to improve their international competitiveness and encourage them to keep jobs at home. As for the companies which are already involved overseas, the plan proposes a one-time tax of 12% on all corporate profits held and accumulated abroad in order to incentivize them to reinvest their capital in the US.
All in all, the bill appears to follow through on much of what Trump had campaigned for during the election, though it's unclear if it'll pass through Congress. One of the reasons for this is that reports have begun to emerge that a particular clause in it would compel graduate students to pay taxes on their tuition waivers, which might potentially affect roughly 145,000 individuals. Although this number is a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the Americans who stand to benefit from Trump's tax plan, it's easy to envision how the traditionally Democratic and politically active student demographic might be mobilized by interest groups in order to put grassroots pressure on relevant RINOs to vote against the bill under the threat of potentially losing next year's midterm elections if they don't.
Joseph Davis, independent blogger based in Memphis, TN who runs the site jdavismemphis.com, and Eric C. Anderson, Retired technology worker from Washington DC and long-term resident of Manaus, Brazil, joined the show.
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