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It really shouldn't be any surprise that Donald Trump is now making campaign promises that are literally impossible, like assuring rally crowds he's totally planning a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, to be put in place before the midterm elections. Since Congress is recessed until after the election and presidents can't just declare tax cuts on their own, It's pretty easy to fact-check that one! So of course Trump keeps saying it again and again, and spinning out completely bullshit "explanations" of how it will definitely happen, because what consequence is there for lying anymore? His fans believe him whether it's true or not. (Just to be clear: Nobody in Congress has any idea what he's talking about.)

The nonexistent tax cut "plan" first popped out of Trump's mouth Saturday while he was talking to reporters in Nevada. In that iteration, Trump insisted he

was working on a "very major tax cut for middle-income people." He said the White House and congressional leaders are "studying very deeply, round the clock" to create another tax cut "not for business at all" that will be announced on November 1 or sooner. Axios was first to flag the remarks.

He repeated the claim Monday before flying off to lie to Texans about how many people were unable to get into his rally/lovefest for his best friend, Ted Cruz. Here, enjoy the official White House transcript, in which a reporter points out Congress isn't in session, and Trump just makes more shit up.


Q: You said "lower tax cuts." You said that you wanted tax cuts by November 1st. Congress isn't even in session. How is that possible?

THE PRESIDENT: No, we're going to be passing — no, no. We're putting in a resolution sometime in the next week, or week and a half, two weeks.

Q: A resolution where?

THE PRESIDENT: We're going to put in — we're giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 percent. We're doing it now for middle-income people. This is not for business; this is for middle. That's on top of the tax decrease that we've already given them.

Q: Are you signing an executive order for that?

THE PRESIDENT: No. No. No. I'm going through Congress.

Q: But Congress isn't in session though.

THE PRESIDENT: We won't have time to do the vote. We'll do the vote later.

Q: Congress is out.

THE PRESIDENT: We'll do the vote after the election.

We should note here that "Q" means "question," and Donald Trump is not actually speaking with 4Chan's imaginary friend who knows everything before it doesn't happen. OR IS HE?

We should also note that while, yes, Republicans have been floating the idea of a sequel to their disappointing 2017 box-office flop My Big Fat Fat Tax Cuts For Rich Fuckwads, there's no bill that resembles a "10 percent tax cut" that would go only to the middle class. Politico reported yesterday that neither White House officials nor congressional Republicans had any earthly idea what Trump was talking about.

One senior administration official on Sunday night had not even heard about the president's tax cut remark on Saturday in Nevada and said they had no idea what he was talking about. "I guess I'll hear about it when I get to work on Monday," the official said.

Trump said that House Speaker Paul Ryan was involved in crafting the plan. But Ryan's office shed no light, referring questions back to the White House.

Well you'd better believe there's a big new tax cut coming by election day, because Trump said it again Monday night at his Ted Cruz Is A Lion, A Liar, I Was Saying "Lion Ted" The Whole Time rally. Trump even named a Texas congressman who also has introduced nothing of the sort:

"We are going to be putting in a 10 percent tax cut for middle income families," Trump said at the rally. "It's going to be put in next week. Ten percent tax cut. Kevin Brady is working on it. We have been working on it for a few months. That is in addition to the big tax cuts you have already gotten."

Vox added Brady's "committee staff could not offer any details on this proposal."

Of course, now that Trump sees a beautiful new tax cut that no one else sees, we won't be at all surprised if other Republicans start praising the wisdom and beauty of the nonexistent plan, and who knows, maybe they'll even cobble some sort of draft together this week so they can say Yes, this is the president's beautiful new suit of clothes!

Weirdly enough, media outlets that should know better are even reporting it as if there were an actual proposal there. We expect that nonsense from Fox News, sure, but here's Reuters, saying with a straight face, "Trump eyeing a 10 percent middle-income tax cut plan." Jesus Comatose Christ duct-taped to a prototype driverless car smashed into a light pole, that story goes out of its way to pretend Trump wasn't just pulling things out of his ass and demanding reporters praise how lovely they smell. The story acknowledges that Congress is out of town and there's no actual legislation, but then simply summarizes Trump's pledge to "do the vote" after the election as if that counted as having passed a real thing:

The president clarified on Monday that the proposed tax cuts would be unveiled before the election but would have to go through Congress afterward.

Even Politico published a credulous follow-up story (with a different reporter) presenting Trump's imaginary tax cut as something more than pure bullshit.

In other news, Donald Trump announced plans in his bathtub last night to invade Iran via a giant stealth rubber ducky that could hold a million troops wielding magic guns that only kill terrorists and members of the Revolutionary Guard, but which simply put ordinary civilians to sleep, after which they wake up Christian or at least in love with John Bolton. Reuters will report that the president "appears to have been referring to an early prototype."

[Vox / Politico / Vox / Reuters / The White House / Politico]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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