Just when Trump thought things couldn’t get worse, centrist Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is threatening to stop his pro-rich tax cuts in their tracks.
Today, Collins told Bloomberg News: “I do not believe that the top rate should be lowered for individuals who are making more than $1 million a year . . . I don’t think there’s any need to eliminate the estate tax.”
The president’s tax reform bill is his final attempt to get even one item on his legislative policy agenda passed by the end of his first year in office. Collins already shattered Trump’s dreams of repealing Obamacarewhen she voted against the “skinny repeal” and announced her opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.
Trump’s tax plan benefits the 1%, hurts the poor and middle-class, and explodes the deficit, according to Trump’s own alma mater, the Wharton School of Business. If Sen. Collins prevents him from getting it done, she will be persona non grata amongst Trump and congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan who don’t mind this administration destroying our democracy, as long as it means they can steal from the poor to give to the rich.
Collins made clear she wants to get a “pro-growth” bipartisan tax bill through the Senate, but that she couldn’t promise to vote for just any bill, “because I don’t know what’s going to be in it.” In other words, she’s still a Republican who wants small businesses like farms in Maine to get a tax break, but she’s not willing to do so while giving the very richest Americans an even bigger piece of the pie than they already have.
Collins’ suggestion that she won’t support Trump’s tax bill must be the cherry on top of that pie à la mode for this embattled president. Today, his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and deputy, Rick Gates, were indicted on twelve counts by a grand jury called by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. The president’s foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos was convicted of lying to the F.B.I. about his contacts with agents of the Russian government on behalf of the Trump campaign. A judge blocked Trump’s ban on transgender military members. And the F.B.I. is probing the $300 million power contract in post-hurricane Puerto Rico that went to WhiteFish, a two-person company in the Montana hometown of Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The president once said we would be tired of winning when he became president. Today may have been the day his prophecy came true.
Although Collins has been critical of certain of the president’s actions and words, she has never denounced him as full-throatedly as her Republican colleagues, Senators Flake and Corker, who did so while announcing they would not seek re-election. Collins has announced she will seek re-election, forgoing a Maine gubernatorial bid.
While she tempers her words, when it comes to standing up to this treasonous president, Senator Collins’ actions speak louder than those of any of her fellow Republicans.