Enough stalling, time to get aggressive.
Hooray. Democrats won the 2018 election. We now have subpoena power due to having the chair of House committees. Now we will be able to stop the abuses of power Trump’s White House has been known for. Finally, Congress will impose its Constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibility on this administration.
Or so we thought. After months of posturing, the Democratic chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, who by law is entitled to receive copies of any tax returns upon request, finally sent a letter to the IRS requesting Trump’s tax returns. Trump’s response? No. Even before subpeonas were issued, Trump vowed to block all requests, despite their strong legal grounding.
In another example of the Democrats’ timidity, in New York, where Democrats control the Governorship and both legislative chambers, there is discussion over whether to release Trump’s tax returns. Discussion? In Washington, the Republicans used their control over the government for two years to block any oversight over Trump. In Democratic New York, they’re discussing whether to take steps to do something?
The IRS falls under the authority of the President. So it’s not surprising that it would hesitate to release Trump’s tax returns.
But in New York, the state taxing authority falls under Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Hello! The only thing Democrats have to fear is fear itself.
There is a lot of hand-wringing among Democrats over whether to start impeachment proceedings or not. One thing everybody agrees upon, however, is that investigations by the committees need to proceed. With the slow pace Democrats are moving, however, Trump will be able to stall any revelations until well after the election. Clearly, that’s his plan.
In Washington and across the country, the Republicans play hardball, protecting the President and pushing an overtly political agenda no matter how much hypocrisy they reveal. Democrats, however, still worry about rocking the boat too much. The house is on fire. The time for half-measures is past.
Part of the reason voters in 2016 turned their backs on the Democratic party is a sense that the Democrats won’t do anything but talk. They may say that they want to help average folks, but when push comes to shove, they back down.
That impression is not without basis. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, people were calling for Obama with his legislative majorities to do something to help average folks who were losing their homes and to punish the bankers who caused it. Obama and his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, however, backed down and, much to the amazement of the bankers, actually helped the bankers out of their problems. At the same time, they did virtually nothing to help average folks. The result was a big increase in income inequality brought to us by… the Democrats.
There’s an old saying: never bring a knife to a gun fight. Republicans fight for keeps. Democrats worry themselves into inaction. The House Democrats have a gun. All they need to do is bring it to the fight they are in.
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