a framed letter from a woman named Natoma Canfield — Jeanne Lambrew, The White House

Hanging on a wall outside the Oval Office, there’s a framed letter from a woman named Natoma Canfield.

For years, Natoma did everything right. She bought health insurance and paid her premiums on time. But one day, the fear of so many became her reality: She was diagnosed with cancer. She fought for her health and had been living cancer-free for some time, but her insurance company kept raising her insurance rates, year after year. She needed the coverage, but she couldn’t afford it. So she had to surrender her health plan and live merely on the hope that she would stay healthy.

She shared her story in a letter to President Obama in 2009. In the following year, during the heated political fight to pass the health care law, President Obama carried Natoma’s letter with him every day as a reminder that health care reform would help change the lives of millions of people who were clinging to hope.

President Obama will be talking about people like Natoma today in Miami at 1:55 pm ET: the brothers and sisters, moms and dads, and sons and daughters across America whose lives have been improved, and even saved, because we worked together to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act.

After more than six years of this landmark law, let’s look back at the progress we’ve made:

Twenty million Americans have gained health coverage — not counting the 3 million more children gaining coverage during this period of time. More than 90 percent of Americans have health insurance for the first time ever. Up to 129 million people who could have otherwise been denied insurance because of a preexisting condition now have access to coverage — even as we have seen the slowest growth in health care prices in 50 years. And, the quality, coordination, and effectiveness of the health care we receive has improved.

Just last year, Natoma wrote another letter. She thanked the President for the Affordable Care Act and told him that she’s remained cancer-free. Her note now joins a collection of letters to the President from people who have been helped by the law. People like Astrid from North Carolina, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was able to get the surgery she needed. Or Ann Marie from Connecticut who was able to detect an early stage of breast cancer thanks to better preventive care.

You can read these letters and more right here.

As someone who has worked alongside the President, I can tell you that these are the letters that inspired him to put so much work into making health care reform a reality.

So read these letters — and tune in today to hear how far we’ve come since we passed the Affordable Care Act, and what more is needed to further improve the health of the nation.



Jeanne Lambrew
Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy
The White House

Visit WhiteHouse.gov

Recent Polling numbers …GOTV4DEMs AZ,NV,CO,WI,PA,GA,CA,FL,NH all in Play for DEMs

MN-03, NV-04, TX-23: A recent poll from Global Strategy Group for the DCCC argued that, regardless of whether Republican House candidates recently unendorsed Donald Trump or if they continue to stand by him, they were in real danger of losing critical votes. The DCCC is now up with ads in three House contests arguing that the Republican incumbents supported Trump for months when they should have denounced him long ago. Their ads are running against Erik Paulsen in Minnesota’s 3rd District, Cresent Hardy in Nevada’s 4th, and Will Hurd in Texas’ 23rd.

Paulsen, who represents an affluent seat in the Twin Cities suburbs, has been a particularly frustrating target for Team Blue. While Barack Obama carried the district just 50-49 in 2012, a recent independent poll from SurveyUSA showed Hillary Clinton dominating 48-35 there. However, the same poll gave Paulsen a huge 49-38 lead over Democrat Terri Bonoff; the D-Trip’s allies at House Majority PAC also recently cut their entire planned ad buy, another sign that Paulsen is doing well.

If the DCCC wants to win this seat, they’ll need far more anti-Trump voters to take their anger out on Paulsen, and their new ad encourages them to do just that. The narrator argues that Paulsen “has had plenty of time to speak up for Minnesota, and speak out about Donald Trump.” It then shows a clip of Paulsen declaring, “I plan on voting for the nominee.” The commercial proceeds to feature some of Trump’s worst clips: Trump is shown saying, “You take a look at her. She’s a slob,” “She ate like a pig,” and agreeing that “[t]here has to be some sort of punishment” for a woman who has an abortion. The narrator then reminds the audience that Paulsen has had 18 months to speak out, before the congressman is shown saying, “That shouldn’t be up to any of us to denounce presidential candidates.”

The D-Trip tries something similar in the other two races. In Texas, they show clips of Trump mocking disabled people, women, and POWs, and the narrator says that Hurd refused to disavow him, and even was open to major cuts to veterans’ care. In Nevada, they go with clips of Trump hypothesizing that “putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing,” and calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded. The narrator argues that Hardy backed Trump and has similar policies, while Democrat Ruben Kihuen is the exact opposite. We haven’t seen any recent polls of either House contest.


FL-Sen: In a largely unsurprising move, the DSCC has cancelled the last TV reservation it still had on the books for Rep. Patrick Murphy. The ad time, worth $2 million, was for the final week of the campaign. In total, the DSCC had planned to spend $10 million on Murphy’s behalf in the fall but wound up moving all of those funds elsewhere. Senate Majority PAC alsopulled out of the state weeks ago.

While Murphy suffered both from GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s unexpected decision to run for re-election and a trumped up story claiming Murphy had lied about his resume, the real issue here was cost. Florida is an enormous, and enormously expensive, state, especially with the presidential contest competing for airtime. As a result, it made more senseto shift money earmarked for the Sunshine State to three other contests that became competitive late: Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina—a three-for-one trade, in other words.

It’s not completely over for Murphy, since the occasional survey still keeps surfacing that shows him within striking distance (like Marist the other week and now Quinnipiac—see our Polls section below). The Daily Kos Elections polling average has Rubio ahead 46-40, but reportedly, Republican internals have the margin at half that size. Hillary Clinton’s lead also seems to keep growing in Florida, which at least offers some hope for Murphy to cling to. But what was once a promising tossup race is now most decidedly a serious long shot.

MA-Sen: This is an actual quote from former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling on a 2018 U.S. Senate run against Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Warren:

“I’ve made my decision. I’m going to run. But—but—I haven’t talked to Shonda, my wife. And ultimately it’s going to come down to how her and I feel this would affect our marriage and our kids.”

As you can probably guess, Schilling, a Republican, isn’t exactly preparing a credible campaign in this dark blue state. Indeed, a September MassINC poll found Schilling losing to Warren 54-29, while a UMass Amherst poll from the same month had him down 47-28.

While Schilling is well-known for helping the Red Sox break their long World Series losing streak in 2004, his post-baseball career has not gone so well. In 2010, his video game company 38 Studios collapsed after receiving $75 million in taxpayer loans in Rhode Island, and Schilling stillrefuses to accept any responsibility for the debacle. Schilling is also a prominent supporter of Donald Trump, which is unlikely to be an asset.

Polling Roundup: Here are the latest Senate and gubernatorial polls:

• AZ-Sen: SurveyMonkey: John McCain (R-inc): 48, Ann Kirkpatrick (D): 45 (44-41 Trump)

• CA-Sen: SurveyUSA: Kamala Harris (D): 45, Loretta Sanchez (D): 24 (56-30 Clinton) (Sept.: 40-29 Harris)

FL-Sen: Quinnipiac: Marco Rubio (R-inc): 49, Patrick Murphy (D): 47 (48-44 Clinton) (Oct. 5: 48-44 Rubio)

FL-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Rubio (R-inc): 51, Murphy (D): 45 (45-43 Trump)

GA-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Johnny Isakson (R-inc): 50, Jim Barksdale (D): 46 (45-41 Clinton)

NH-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Maggie Hassan (D): 47, Kelly Ayotte (R-inc): 42 (47-36 Clinton)

NH-Gov: SurveyMonkey: Colin Van Ostern (D): 53, Chris Sununu (R): 43 (47-36 Clinton)

NC-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Deborah Ross (D): 48, Richard Burr (R-inc): 42 (51-43 Clinton)

NC-Gov: SurveyMonkey: Roy Cooper (D): 54, Pat McCrory (R-inc): 42 (51-43 Clinton)

NV-Sen: Monmouth: Joe Heck (R): 45, Catherine Cortez Masto (D): 42 (47-40 Clinton) (Sept.: 46-43 Heck)

NV-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Heck (R): 48, Cortez Masto (D): 47 (47-46 Clinton)

PA-Sen: Quinnipiac: Pat Toomey (R-inc): 49, Katie McGinty (D): 45 (47-41 Clinton) (Oct. 5: 50-42 Toomey)

PA-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Toomey (R-inc): 47, McGinty (D): 47 (46-40 Clinton)

WI-Sen: St. Norbert College: Russ Feingold (D): 52, Ron Johnson (R-inc): 40 (47-39 Clinton) (April: 51-41 Feingold)

WI-Sen: SurveyMonkey: Feingold (D): 51, Johnson (R-inc): 46 (43-38 Clinton)

We have a ton of new polls to feast upon thanks to SurveyMonkey, but many of their results contain some truly funky numbers in a few states that are out of line with the Daily Kos Elections polling averages. They find Democrats doing much better up and down the ballot than other pollsters have in Georgia, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, while they also give Arizona Sen. John McCain one of his lowest recent leads at just 48-45. Note that the presidential numbers for Nevada and North Carolina exclude minor parties, since SurveyMonkey unfortunately included Jill Stein in those polls, even though she isn’t on the ballot in those two states. (The rest all reflect four-way matchups.)

SurveyUSA gives us another infrequent look at the California Senate race, and Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris maintains a wide 45-24 lead on Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a fellow Democrat. Sanchez has thus far tried and failed to cobble together a winning coalition consisting of Republicans and more moderate Democrats, since Harris even leads with self-identified Republicans and conservatives.

Quinnipiac also published a couple of new surveys that show vulnerable Republican incumbents narrowly ahead in Florida and Pennsylvania, outrunning Trump by several points each. However, they paradoxically show Democrats with a better shot in Florida than in Pennsylvania, something most polls and national Democrats’ recent ad spending patternscertainly do not seem to indicate


OR-Gov: DHM Research takes a look at next month’s gubernatorial race for Oregon Public Broadcasting, and gives Democratic Gov. Kate Brown a 46-33 lead over Republican Bud Pierce, up from her 43-35 edge in September. The sample gives Hillary Clinton a 43-36 lead in the state. The only other poll we’ve seen here in the last month was from SurveyUSA, which had Brown up just 46-42 last week. Neither national party has shown any interest in running ads here, which suggests that DHM’s numbers are closer to what the DGA and RGA are seeing.

WA-Gov: We have over our first major outside spending in what’s been a pretty dull race. A Democratic group called Our Washington, which springs up every four years for the state’s gubernatorial election, is out with a spothitting Republican Bill Bryant for taking money from industries with business before Seattle’s port commission, on which he used to serve. There is no word on the size of the buy, though Our Washington reportedly has raised $1.3 million so far.

The only recent poll we’ve seen shows Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee up 50-40, and Bryant’s team says they’re having trouble raising enough money to run their commercials. National Republicans haven’t spent anything on Bryant’s behalf, and there’s no indication that this will change. While it’s possible that Our Washington’s leaders are spending out of caution, it’s more likely that they’re just trying to run up the score.


CA-49: Well whaddya know? Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who spent years styling himself as the chief inquisitor of the Obama administration, is now so desperately worried about his re-election chances that he’s sending out a mailer touting his cooperation on a piece of legislation with none other than Barack Obama himself! The entire back of the flyer, in fact, is devoted to a large photo of the president sitting at a desk and, presumably, signing the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which Issa co-sponsored (and was passed unanimously).

While it’s not unheard of for politicians to try to tie themselves to popular office-holders of the opposite party, it’s extremely unusual to see it happen in a red district like California’s 49th. A rare example came in Nebraska’s 2nd District back in 2008, when then-GOP Rep. Lee Terry was on the hunt for “Obama-Terry” voters. But that year, Obama succeeded in turning Terry’s seat blue, and thanks to Donald Trump’s poisonous unpopularity, Hillary Clinton may do the same in Issa’s district. Terry narrowly survived, but Issa may not be so lucky.

IL-10: Obama Alert! Brad Schneider has the honor of being the first Democrat in the nation to air a 2016 general election ad starring the president. (Obama appeared in a few spots in primaries.) Obama speaks to the camera and tells the audience that “[t]his is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies. It’s about who we are as a people.”

The president goes on to ask the viewer to vote for Schneider and the Democrats to help “keep America’s promise to our seniors, protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, and preserve a woman’s right to choose.” Obama concludes by imploring the audience to “reject cynicism and fear.” The spot was partially paid for by the DCCC, which explains why Obama asks people to back “Schneider and the Democrats,” rather than just the candidate. Schneider faces Republican Rep. Bob Dold! in a suburban Chicago seat that Obama carried 58-41 in 2012.

MI-08: National Democrats have lately shown an interest in this Lansing seat, and the DCCC recently released a poll showing Republican Rep. Mike Bishop leading Democrat Suzanna Shkreli by a not-insurmountable 47-41 margin, on the basis that the undecideds favor Hillary Clinton. The NRCC has now dropped their own poll from Public Opinion Strategiesgiving Bishop a very different 49-31 lead, not too different from the 53-34 Bishop edge POS found a month before. Team Red did not release presidential numbers. Romney carried this seat 51-48, and the D-Trip had Clinton up 44-37.

So far, neither the DCCC nor the NRCC appear to have reserved any money for this seat. However, the NRCC’s allies at the Congressional Leadership Fund recently reserved $700,000 here, making this one of 12 new districts that they’ve recently committed money to. CLF’s leaders recently told Politico that some of their investments were going to seats that aren’t currently competitive, and that they were only spending as an “insurance policy” in case the national climate got worse for Team Red. This is spin, of course, but even spin can be true. But the problem is that even if CLF is being honest, we can’t know if Michigan’s 8th is a seat they’re genuinely worried about, or if they’re just playing it safe. We’ll also find out soon if Democrats act on their own poll and spend here.

MN-02: SurveyUSA continues its tour of Minnesota’s competitive congressional districts on behalf of TV station KSTP, and they give Team Blue some good news in the state’s suburban 2nd District. Democrat Angie Craig leads Republican Jason Lewis 46-41, while Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 44-36. Obama won this seat by only about 0.1 percent in 2012, but this is the type of affluent and well-educated district where Trump is bad news for his party. Note that the poll did not test Independence Party nominee Paula Overby, a left-leaning congressional candidate who took 5 percent here in 2014.

Craig and her allies have badly outspent Team Red here, and they’ve aired several ads using recordings of Lewis’ many racist and sexist commentsagainst him. One sample quote from Lewis that’s made it to a Democratic ad: “You’ve got a vast majority of young single women who couldn’t explain to you what GDP means. You know what they care about? They care about abortion. They care about abortion and gay marriage. They care about ‘The View.’ They are non-thinking.” While the DCCC has continued to advertise here, their allies at House Majority PAC recently cut much of their planned ad campaign, a strong sign that they felt good about Craig’s chances.

However, while this poll gives Craig a lead, it indicates that this contest is far from over. Indeed, the NRCC recently released a poll showing Lewis up 36-33, while Craig dropped a survey in response giving her a 46-42 edge. (Craig’s poll was done in early October, before the tape of Trump bragging about sexual assault was released.) The NRCC recently began running commercials against Craig, and they’re now out with a new one that aims to use Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s words against her.

The narrator first insists that Craig is just using Lewis’ words out of context in her spots. (No, Lewis’ words aren’t any less vile in context.) They quickly transition to a clip of Craig saying she would expand the Affordable Care Act. The commercial then shows Dayton saying, “The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable.” Dayton called for actually doing more to improve the program, but of course the GOP doesn’t mention that part. You’ll be shocked, shocked! to learn that the NRCC doesn’t actually care about putting people’s quotes in context. The group recently allocated $535,000 to this race, though they have another $2.9 million reserved that they could send here or to another competitive Minnesota seat.

MT-AL: On Tuesday, Politico reported that the House Majority PAC would invest $451,000 in Montana’s House race on behalf of Democrat Denise Juneau, signaling they think she has a shot against GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke. While Montana is a red state, Juneau’s proven to be a strong fundraiser, and her own polling from earlier this month found Zinke ahead just 45-42. Of course, Zinke’s internals had him ahead by a much wider 49-38 margin, but evidently, HMP either believes Juneau’s numbers are closer to the mark—or Donald Trump’s deterioration has reached into Big Sky Country in the two weeks since those campaign polls (conducted before the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out) were made public.

No outside groups have yet come to Zinke’s aid, so we’ll have to see if anyone steps in to help him, or if D.C. Republicans are confident enough to let him rise or fall on his own.

NY-03: The NRCC recently canceled almost their entire $1.8 million ad reservation for this Long Island seat just before Siena released a poll showing Democrat Tom Suozzi leading Republican Jack Martins by a wide 50-34 margin. Martins is now out with a poll showing him and Suozzi tied 43-43 to try and make the case that he’s still worth spending on, but it is not convincing.

To begin, the survey comes from Clout Research, which is run by the former team that brought us Wenzel Strategies, a Republican group that was one of the worst polling firms in the business. Clout did not help their reputation with a late July Oregon poll that showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump just 43-40. That memo strangely mused that Trump could improve on past GOP performances “because the last two Republicans to run with the GOP nomination have been less than a ‘man’s man’,” and speculated that The Donald could “motivate non-traditional male voters” to turn out for him.

This NY-03 poll also only contacted voters with landlines, meaning cellphone-only households were completely ignored, a practice almost every reputable pollster has abandoned. The memo also claims that an unreleased poll from early October had Suozzi up by 10 points. However, nothing seems to have happened that would have caused such a shift in Martins’ direction. Indeed, the national political climate has gotten worse for the GOP since early October thanks to “man’s man” Donald Trump. The memo also notably left out any presidential results. This seat is located in the ultra-expensive New York City media market and national Republicans aren’t going to spend here unless they think they can win, and this poll probably didn’t convince anyone in D.C.

The one good sign for Martins in the last few weeks is that the Democratic group House Majority PAC recently ran an ad against him, an indication that Team Blue doesn’t quite think this contest is over. However, HMP’s commercial aired on TV rather than on pricey broadcast TV, and their FEC filing says that they put just $250,000 behind it. If HMP keeps spending money then something probably is up, but right now, it doesn’t look as though they think this race is very competitive.

NY-22: On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that they were endorsing Martin Babinec, a wealthy independent. Babinec has pledged to caucus with the GOP if he wins, but that’s cold comfort for national Republicans who fear he’ll just take votes away from Claudia Tenney and hand this seat to the Democrats. The Chamber hasn’t spent much in the general election this cycle compared to previous years, so it’s far from clear if they’ll air ads for Babinec in this Utica district. But if this endorsement only helps Babinec take a few extra conservative voters from Tenney, Democrat Kim Myers and her allies won’t mind.

Indeed, the Democratic group House Majority PAC is up with another adthat aims to move some Republicans from Tenney to Babinec. The commercial features two elephants butting heads, as the narrator says that two Republicans are “fighting it out for Congress.” Just like in another recent HMP ad, the narrator argues that Tenney backed policies that gave New York City billions in housing subsidies, while Babinec “wants to eliminate Obamacare. And Babinec will caucus with Republicans in Washington.” He sums up the two candidates by insisting that Tenney is dirty and Babinec is “too conservative.” Once again, HMP is pretending to attack both candidates equally, but they’re hoping to convince Republican voters that Tenney is bad news while Babinec is worthy of their support.

PA-16: A new poll for Democrat Christina Hartman finds her in an unexpectedly tight race with Republican Lloyd Smucker—and Smucker’s confirmed that he doesn’t have things locked up since he just started airing his first negative ad. We’ll start with the poll. Hartman’s survey, from GBA Strategies, has Smucker ahead just 45-42 in this open seat race, with the Libertarian candidate taking 9 percent; at the same time, Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump 47-43. The poll also shows Hartman making significant gains, since unreleased July numbers has Smucker in front 44-34.

What makes these numbers so noteworthy is that Pennsylvania’s 16th District definitely tilts to the right: Mitt Romney carried it 52-46 four years ago. But they aren’t implausible, since Barack Obama actually narrowly beat John McCain 50-49 back in 2008. And it appears Trump has suffered here lately, since Hartman’s memo says that Clinton’s current 4-point lead is a “reversal” of her position in July, when she was presumably trailing by 4.

That’s still something of a surprise, though, since this district, located in the western Philadelphia suburbs, isn’t especially affluent or well-educated—it’s roughly in the middle of the pack on both metrics. But it may well be that Trump’s malign campaign is experiencing rejection in suburbs like these, too. Hartman certainly seems to believe so, since she recently launched an ad tying Smucker to Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” vulgarities.

And while Smucker hasn’t yet commented on Hartman’s poll or provided contradictory numbers of his own, his decision to start running attack ads is an answer in and of itself. (His spot slams Hartman for wanting to accept refugees and for supporting the Iran nuclear deal.) Smucker’s also getting some outside help from the pro-GOP Congressional Leadership Fund, which just the other day said it would spend $400,000 on TV time here. It’s not clear whether CLF is genuinely concerned or just playing it safe, but even if they’re only taking out an insurance policy against a further collapse, that’s still saying something.

But what will say even more is whether outside Democratic groups like the DCCC decide they believe in Hartman and start shelling out some bucks for the stretch run.

UT-04: Democrat Doug Owens is out with an Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll showing him losing to Republican Rep. Mia Love 50-40, with Constitution Party nominee Collin Simonsen at 6. What would convince Owens to release such an awful poll this close to Election Day? Owens’ team argues that he’s “shown significant movement in the last two weeks,” though they didn’t allude to any earlier internals. Two weeks ago a Love poll showed her leading 55-35 while two weeks before that, an independent poll had her up by a similar margin. While trailing by 10 is certainly better than trailing by 20, it’s still not at all good.

Several recent polls show that Donald Trump is actually in danger of losing Utah, and there’s little doubt that he’ll at least do much worse than any other GOP presidential nominee in recent memory. However, even Owens’ poll shows Love surviving the devastation, though they did not release presidential numbers here. Owens’ team insists that their poll found him down by a similar margin around this time in the 2014 cycle, but he only lost 51-46. Even if that’s true, Love does have incumbency on her side this time, and that’s still a ton of ground to make up in a short amount of time.

The Democratic group House Majority PAC reserved $403,000 heremonths ago, but the DCCC has yet to engage. The good news for Owens is that the Congressional Leadership Fund recently reserved $500,000 for this seat, so Team Red isn’t quite doing a victory dance yet. But if Democrats have a winning argument for why conservative voters should ditch Love, they’re almost out of time to make it.

Ad Roundup:

IN-Sen: GOP Rep. Todd Young celebrates the life of a deceased fellow Marine who “made the ultimate sacrifice” and contrasts him to “career politicians.”

LA-Sen: Democrat Foster Campbell deploys his biggest gun in the jungle primary: Gov. John Bel Edwards, who reminds viewers that he endorsed Campbell months ago and wants to see him elected so that they can work together to “raise the minimum wage,” “pay women the same that we pay men,” and “continue to make health care available and affordable for everybody.”

MO-Sen: In another very effective spot, Democrat Jason Kander once again features the owner of a family business castigating GOP Sen. Roy Blunt for his family business: lobbying. It also features an audio clip of Blunt addressing the topic and cluelessly saying, “I don’t even understand why that would be a question. Everybody’s family does something.” The businesswoman narrating the ad throws some more jabs at Blunt, saying “He doesn’t even live in Missourah anymore”—and yes, she definitely pronounces it “Missourah.” The NRSC, meanwhile, calls Kander a politician and trial lawyer who voted to make it easier to sue the businesses he’s litigated against.

NH-Sen: The DSCC says that GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte likes to give tax breaks to the wealthy while screwing over regular folks.

NV-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club hit GOP Rep. Joe Heck for voting against the interests of Nevada’s solar energy industry and for supporting tax breaks for big oil instead. The spot is the second in a joint $1.85 million TV and digital buy.

PA-Sen: Great spot—you’ll want to watch this one. For VoteVets, an Afghanistan veteran slams “for-profit colleges” for trying to “scam us when we returned home,” then trains his fire on GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who served on the board of one such school and “tried to turn our military benefits into his financial gain.” But, spits the veteran, “Toomey’s bogus school was stripped of its accreditation.” He finishes, “Ripping off our military to make a profit? Pat Toomey—he’s Washington at its worst.” The ad is part of a $550,000 buy.

Senate Majority PAC hammers Toomey for supporting NAFTA, voting for trade deals “that sent our jobs overseas,” and backing “special trade status for China.” Senate Leadership Fund scaremongers over the Iran nuclear deal to attack Democrat Katie McGinty. (The narrator repeatedly pronounces it “Eye-ran,” for some reason.)

WI-Sen: Democrat Russ Feingold says he’ll “work with both parties” to lower premiums and healthcare taxes, then attacks GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for “voting to make Medicare a voucher program.” Johnson goes positive with a painfully awkward ad featuring his daughters talking about how their dad is the right guy to clean up Washington as he changes a diaper on one of his grandkids. Amazingly, we actually see the baby take a whiz on gramps. Seriously, WTF?

trumps “NEW tax plan” will add to the $19 trillion U.S. debt.

Updated August 10, 2016.

Donald Trump - Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a boxing match on October 17, 2015 in New York City.  Photo by Al Bello/Getty

Donald Trump’s 2016 economic plan focuses on “making America great again.” He is negotiating “the biggest deal of my life” with voters who feel they have lost the American Dream. Keep in mind that most of his promises require Congressional approval. There’s no indication that he’ll get it. Here are Trump’s economic plans, and how they would impact you if they did pass.

“5-Part Tax Plan”

On August 8, 2016, Trump modified his tax plan to appease Republicans in Congress. He raised the top income tax rate to reduce the deficit compared to his previous plan. That original plan would have increased the debt by $10 in the next ten years. That’s because today’s top tax rate is 39%. Trump’s new plan still lowers taxes from today’s level. That means it will add to the $19 trillion U.S. debt.

Trump would also add a childcare deduction. It would allow parents to deduct the average cost of childcare expenses. (Source: “An America First Economic Plan,” Donald J.

Trump. “Donald Trump Just Made Major Changes to His Tax Plan,” CNBC, August 8, 2016.)

Eliminate the marriage penalty, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and the inheritance tax. Quadruple the standard deduction. Simplify tax preparation by reducing the current 7 tax bracket to three. Create the following tax schedule:

Trump. “Donald Trump Just Made Major Changes to His Tax Plan,” CNBC, August 8, 2016.)

Eliminate the marriage penalty, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and the inheritance tax. Quadruple the standard deduction. Simplify tax preparation by reducing the current 7 tax bracket to three. Create the following tax schedule:

Tax Rates Income Levels for Those Filing As:
Current Plan Prior Plan Today’s  Rate Cap Gains/ Dividends Single Married Head of Household
0%  0% 10% – 15% 0% $0 – $25,000 $0 – $50,000 $0 – $37,500
12%  10% 15% – 25% 0% $25,000-$50,000 $50,001 – $100,000 $37,501 – $75,000
25%  20% 25% – 28% 15% $50,000 – $150,000 $100,000 – $300,000 $75,001 – $225,000
33%  21% 33% – 39% 20% $150,001 + $300,001 + $224,001+


Lower the maximum small business and corporate tax rate from 38% to 15%.  Get corporations to bring money back into the United States. Keep companies in this country. The United States is the highest taxed nation in the world.  He would get the right people into the room and all agree how to do it. The effective tax rate is only 15%. That’s because most corporations have figured out how to avoid it. Nearly half pay no taxes at all since they pass those taxes to their shareholders. A lower corporate tax rate would increase profits without necessarily creating new jobs. That’s because supply-side economics doesn’t work at today’s relatively low tax rates. (Source: “Donald Trump Tax Reform,” OnTheIssues.org.)

The taxes for the rich would go up somewhat. If I increase it on the wealthy, they’re still going to pay less than they pay now. Trump has given conflicting statements on how his tax plan will affect high-income taxpayers (the top 20%). They would receive a 9.5% decrease in the tax rate. (Source: “Donald Trump Tries to Clean Up Economic Comments,” CNN, May 10, 2016.)

Trump also says tax cuts would be offset by eliminating loopholes. The Tax Policy Center says it would add nearly $1 trillion a year to the debt. That’s because capital gains tax cuts stimulate investment more than it does economic growth as measured by the GDP growth rate. Lower income taxpayers spend a greater proportion of their income, boosting Gross Domestic Product. Trump only gives the middle class a 4.9% increase in after-tax incomes.  (Source: “An Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan,” Tax Policy Center, December 22, 2015. “Indecent Disclosure,” The Economist, January 2, 2015.)

End tax deferral on the $5 trillion in corporate cash held abroad. Allow a one-time repatriation that will be taxed 10%. Eliminate loopholes available to the very rich and corporations, such as the exemption on life insurance interest. Steepen the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions. Phase in a cap on business interest expenses. (Source: CNBC Interview, March 10, 2016. “Tax Reform,” DonaldJTrump.com.  )

Eliminate the “carried interest” deduction.  It allows managers of hedge funds and private equity funds to be taxed at  the capital gains tax rate (15%) instead of the income tax rate (39.6%). (Source: “Hedge Fund Managers Are Getting Away With Murder,” Fortune, August 24, 2015.)

“Cut Government Spending”

Make the U.S. military so strong no one will mess with us. Get more equipment. Bomb ISIS and send troops to Syria. Cancel Iran nuclear deal. Use Russia as an ally in Syria. Use waterboarding. Use military force against terrorists’ families. Opposed Iraq war. (Source: “Donald Trump on War & Peace,”  “Donald Trump on Homeland Security,” OntheIssues.org. “Donald Trump and the Defense Budget,” National Interest.org, December 30, 2015.)

Cut defense spending, but 3% of GNP for military spending is too low, it should be 6.5%. U.S. military spending is almost $800 billion a year. It’s larger than anything other government expenditure except Social Security at $967 billion. It’s bigger than the deficit of $503 billion. It’s greater than those of the next 10 largest spenders combined. It’s four times larger than China’s military budget of $216 billion. It’s almost ten times bigger than Russia’s budget of just $84.5 billion.

Reform the Veteran’s Administration. Give veterans vouchers to use either with the VA or their own doctor. That competition would give the VA an incentive to improve service. The VA would provide transitional benefits, such as business loans, job training, and placement services, to help veterans find jobs. Increase funding for battle-related mental and chronic illness. Add OBGYN and other women’s health services to every VA hospital. Fire corrupt VA executives. Change the culture of the VA to reduce inefficiencies. These programs would work and are sorely needed. The VA budget ($75.1 billion) is only 10% of total military spending. (Source: “Veteran’s Administration Reforms,” DonaldJTrump.com.)

Update medical technology. That’s happening anyway. It’s one of the three largely unknownbenefits of Obamacare.

Reduce the deficit by cutting waste. He would have to cut $500 billion in waste to eliminate thecurrent budget deficit. That’s a 12% cut in the $4.147 trillion budget he will inherit from President Obama. As any business owner knows, a 12% cut is doable but extremely painful.  For more, see 5 Myths About Cutting Government Spending.

Eliminate the Departments Education and the Environmental Protection Administration. That might save $69.4 billion for Education, unless Trump reprogrammed the funds for education block grants for the states, as he mentioned elsewhere. Defunding the EPA would only save $8.3 billion and who would enforce the existing laws?

Keep existing Medicare and Social Security benefits intact. These benefits were created by prior Acts of Congress and cannot be changed by a President. Social Security is self-funded until 2035. Medicare is only 53% self-funded. These two programs cost $1.565 trillion, or 38% of total spending. For more, see Mandatory Budget.

Repeal Obamacare. Allow health insurance companies to operate across states lines. Remove the mandate to buy insurance. Allow tax deduction for health insurance premiums and Health Savings Accounts. Expand Medicaid to all states by making it a block grant program. Allow consumers to purchase drugs overseas. Offer a universal “market-based” plan that would offer a range of choices similar to that offered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Trump’s plan is what Obama initially proposed, and Congress rejected. For more, see Obama’s Original Health Care Reform Plan. (Source: “Healthcare Reform,” DonaldJTrump.com. “Donald Trump Health Care,” OnTheIssues.org. “Donald Trump Hates Obamacare,” July 31, 2015.)

“Smart Trade, Not Stupid Trade”

Do a better job of negotiating trade and trade agreements. China taxes our exports, but we don’t tax its exports. That’s true to some extent. China requires American companies to set up factories to hire and train local workers before they can sell to its market. The United States could easily do the same thing. See more about China’s economy.

Renegotiate NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with smart and cunning people. If Trump re-opens negotiations on NAFTA, the Mexican government would immediately require that the United States allow Mexican trucks on its roads. That was promised in the first NAFTA agreement but withdrawn by Congress. Mexico is in much better economic shape now than when NAFTA was first negotiated. A new agreement would probably be worse for the United States, no matter how smart and cunning Trump’s people are. (Source: “Trump: NAFTA Trade Deal a Disaster ,” AP, September 25, 2015.)

Label China a currency manipulator. Trump claims that China artificially undervalues its currency, the yuan, by 15% to 40%. Part of China’s cost advantage is its cheaper standard of living that allows lower wages. Trump ignores that. He incorrectly rails against the yuan’s fixed exchange rate that’s pegged to the dollar. In 2000, the yuan was undervalued by 30%. But a lot has changed since then. First, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson convinced the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to increase the yuan’s value against the dollar. It increased 2-3% annually between 2000 and 2013. Second, the dollar has strengthened by 25% since 2014, taking the Chinese yuan with it. Now China’s products cost that much more than its Southeast Asian competitors. In August 2015, the PBOC began to carefully let the yuan/dollar exchange rate float in the free market. The yuan immediately plummeted. If the yuan were undervalued, as Trump claims, it would have risen instead. Now, China’s central bank is forced to take extreme steps to keep it propped up. That’s why many economists now think China’s currency is over-valued, not under-valued as Trump claims. For more, see Dollar to Yuan Conversion and History.

Impose countervailing duties on all imports from China. The United States imports $481.9 billion in consumer electronics, clothing, and machinery from China. A lot of those “imports” are from U.S. companies that ship raw materials to China, and ship them back when they are completed. Trump’s tariffs would reduce profits for these American companies and raise prices for American consumers. China might retaliate, raising its tariffs on imports from U.S. companies. For more, see U.S. Trade With China.  (Source: “U.S.-China Trade Reform,” DonaldJTrump.com.)

Hit Mexican imports with a 35% tariff. The United States imports $294.7 billion from Mexico, nearly as much as from China. Trump’s tariffs would raise prices of the manufactured products, fruits, vegetables, coffee, and cotton we import from Mexico. Tariffs would benefit U.S. oil companies by raising prices on imported Mexican oil. By law, President Trump could only raise tariffs by 15 percent for 150 days without Congressional approval. For more, see U.S. Imports by Year by Country. (Source: “Trump’s Trade Policy Is a Big Loser,” USNews, April 19, 2016. “So What Exactly Is Donald Trump’s Economic Policy?” CNN Money.)

Trump advocates a protectionism that does not work in today’s globally integrated economy. Other countries would retaliate, reducing American exports. It would also raise prices for American consumers. One reason for slow U.S. growth since the recession is that international trade hasn’t rebounded. Tariffs and a trade war would only worsen that.

“Be the Greatest Job-Producing President in U.S. History”

Trump would have to create at least 21.5 million jobs to take that title. That’s how many jobs President Clinton created in his eight years in office. That was a 19.6% increase. Trump would have to create at least 29.3 million jobs to beat that record. For more, see Job Creation by President.

Create jobs by eliminating outsourcing and bringing jobs back from Japan, China, and Mexico. Trump correctly identifies the problem. The U.S. lost 34% of its manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2010. Many were outsourced by U.S. companies to save money. Others were eliminated by new technology, including robotics, artificial intelligence, and bio-engineering. Government-sponsored training for these specialties might create more jobs for U.S. workers than Trump’s trade war.  For more, see 3 Ways to Fix IT Outsourcing.

The National Association of Manufacturers recommends lowering U.S. manufacturing costs, which are 20% higher than other countries. First, reduce regulations that cost $180 billion a year. Second, lower the corporate tax rate (which Trump wants to do.) Third, expand (not end) free trade agreements.

Keep the U.S. minimum wage where it is so U.S. companies can compete. The dollar rose 25% since 2014. That automatically makes U.S. workers 25% more expensive than those in India, Mexico, and other countries whose currencies have fallen. Since China’s currency is fixed to the dollar, its labor costs have also gone up 25%. Although this situation is temporary, it is still a bigger drag on U.S. competitiveness than raising the minimum wage. The U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, although many states with higher cost-of-living have mandated a higher wage. Ireland, the UK, Australia, and six European Union countries have a higher minimum wage than the United States. For more, see Minimum Wage Pros and Cons.

The U.S. jobs report is not a real number. The true unemployment rate is 18%, not 5%. The real unemployment rate includes those who are marginally attached or discouraged and part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs. As of February 2016, that rate was 9.9%, not the widely-reported 4.9%. The worst real unemployment rate was 16.7% in January 2010, compared to 9.8% for the widely-reported rate. The real unemployment rate is typically double the widely-reported current unemployment rate.

“Reduce the Debt by Growing the Economy 6%”

Grow the economy by 6% annually to increase tax revenues. That’s too fast for healthy economic growth. It would create inflation, a boom-bust cycle, and then a crash. For more, seeWhat Is the Ideal Growth Rate?

Reduce the debt by eliminating waste and redundancy in federal spending. He uses this in his campaign by using Twitter instead of expensive PR campaign. His emphasis on finding ways to contain the costs is one of his strategies outlined in his book The Art of the Deal. (Source: “Donald Trump’s Campaign Blueprint: His Own Book,” WSJ, Monica Langley, March 2, 2016.)

Borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. U.S. will never default because you can print the money. These are the most alarming statements Trump has made. The first one is blatantly untrue. If the economy collapsed, there would be no one to make a deal with. It would send the dollar into a collapse. That would send the entire world into anotherGreat Depression. The second comment would send the dollar back into decline. Interest rates would rise as creditors lost faith in U.S. Treasuries. That would create a recession.(Source: “U.S. Will Never Default Because You Print the Money,” CNN, May 10, 2016. “Donald Trump’s Economic Plans Would Destroy the Economy,” The Atlantic, May 8, 2016.)

Perhaps former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who endorsed him in January 2016, would be a good running mate. She achieved a balanced budget while Governor of Alaska.

“Send Illegal Immigrants Back”

Erect a wall on the Mexican border, and force Mexico to pay for it. Open a door for legal immigrants.  As Mexico’s economy improves, it’s begun gaining immigrants itself. Since 2000, more Americans have immigrated to Mexico than the reverse. For more, see Mexico’s Economy. (Source: “If Donald Trump Was President, Here’s What Would Happen to the U.S. Economy,” The Street, March 3, 2016.)

Compare Trump’s Plan to Hillary Clinton’s Economic Plan

Trump’s “OLD” Tax Plan: The Best, Most Luxurious Tax Plan For Those Already Living In Luxury

Compare contrast what he said 9/15 and today


Donald Trump Releases His Tax Plan, A ‘Uge Tax Cut For The Wealthiest Few 9/2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump released his tax plan today and—shocking no one familiar with American politics—analysis by the Center For American Progress Action Fund shows the plan would be another ‘uge windfall for the wealthiest few. In fact, Trump’s family stands to gain more from his plan than almost anyone, with the elimination of the estate tax giving the Trump family a tax cut of up to $3.48 billion, and the dramatic cut to the corporate tax rate also benefitting the family.

The “losers” under Trump’s plan will be anyone that relies on Medicare, Medicaid, or investment in things like infrastructure, education or job training—in other words middle class families. Like Jeb! Bush before him, Trump makes the tired argument that his tax plan is focused on the middle class, when in fact it is a big, beautiful tax cut for the wealthy. Here are three ways the plan favors the wealthy few at the expense of the middle class:

A simply tremendous gift to his kids. Among the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s pitch to eliminate the estate tax? The Trumps themselves. The estate tax only applies to estates worth $5.43 million, and only two out of every one thousand estates pay any estate tax at all.

  • Eliminating the current 40% estate tax could mean that Trump’s kids could stand to save as much as $3.48 billion in estate taxes—given Trump’s claimed net worth of $8.7 billion.
  • Because it is easy for wealthy people to use loopholes to lower their estate tax bills, using a more cautious estimate that assumes Trump pays near the average estate tax rate of 18.8 percent, Trump’s plan would result in giving his kids $1.64 billion.

The best, most luxurious tax plan for those living in luxury. Trump’s tax plan would slash corporate, individual income, and capital gains and dividends tax rates—three moves that give bigger boosts to the nation’s richest.

  • The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 78.6 percent of the country’s corporate taxes—meaning a tax cut on corporate income would be a huge boost for them, but do little to nothing for the other 80 percent.
  • Trump would cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent—even lower than Jeb Bush’s proposed top individual rate of 28 percent. An analysis by the Center for Tax Justice predicts that the top one percent of Americans would see an average break of $184,000 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to an average annual cut of only $250 for the bottom 20 percent.
  • Trump’s plan to cut tax rates on income from capital gains and dividends is yet another gift to the nation’s wealthiest people. The 400 richest taxpayers alone received 12 percent of all capital gains income and 8 percent of all dividend income. As shown in a recent Center for American Progress report, a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code worsens inequality by helping those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth.
  • Even the hedge fund managers who Trump says are “getting away with murder” might get a tax cut on their carried interest. Trump claims to close this loophole, but if investment funds pay taxes as businesses their tax rate on carried interests would fall from 23.8% to 15%. And even if Trump requires hedge funds to pay taxes using his individual rates, taxes on carried interest would only go up from 23.8% to 25%. Not to mention the fact that Trump would still give hedge fund managers huge tax cuts on the rest of their income.

A ‘uge increase to the deficit. Trump claims that his plan “doesn’t add to our debt and deficit,” but any reasoned analysis of the plan suggests that it would be extremely costly. The plan jeopardizes programs that working and middle class families depend on for economic security, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • The Center for Tax Justice estimates that Trump’s plan would cost $10 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • Though the plans vary in some ways, Bush’s and Trump’s plans pledge to make some very similar tax cuts, which would inevitably force budget cuts from crucial programs. And even the team of advisors Bush recruited to support his plan say that it would cost $3.4 trillion over the next ten years.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite Trump’s populist rhetoric, his tax plan would only be the best, most luxurious tax plan for those already living in luxury. It gives his own family a potential $3.48 billion tax cut, jeopardizing programs that middle class families depend on for economic security along the way.

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