Who Does Arizona's Wendy Rogers Love More? Literal Nazis Or Kyrsten Sinema?
Congratulations are due to Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose grit and determination to make it functionally impossible for Democrats to do literally anything not only now surpasses Joe Manchin's, but has won her the praise and admiration of Arizona Republican State Senator Wendy Rogers, who usuallysaves her gushing for white nationalists like Nick Fuentes.
This weekend, in an interview with One America News, Rogers said she was not at all worried that the assault weapons ban that just passed in the House would pass in the Senate, not because of her fellow Republicans, but because of Sinema.
\u201cAZ MAGA State Sen Wendy Rogers on why she thinks the assault weapons ban won\u2019t pass the Senate: \u201cBecause we have AZ\u2019s own Kyrsten Sinema, and even though she\u2019s a Democrat, she\u2019s voted right on many issues.\u201d\u201d— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1659352894
It's interesting that Rogers chose Sinema to point to here, because the legislation can't pass unless 10 Republicans get on board, thanks to Sinema's beloved filibuster. Even if Sinema were to vote for it herself, it wouldn't matter, because there's almost no way that 10 whole Republican senators would get on board with this. She wanted people to know that she, Wendy Rogers, thinks Kyrsten Sinema is a swell lady. Perhaps it's the blonde hair and fair skin or perhaps it's because she believes Sinema will consider a ringing endorsement from a Big-Lie-promoting, blatantly racist and anti-Semitic, far-right state legislator to be a major coup for bipartisanship and thus be more inclined to listen to her otherwise. It's probably the blonde hair though.
There is, however, another situation right now in which Sinema will be the deciding vote — the reconciliation bill, now titled the Inflation Reduction Act, a $739 billion compromise that Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin have worked out over the last few weeks. Sinema is reportedly very against the portion of the bill that would increase taxes on the rich by narrowing the carried interest loophole.
While Sinema has yet to give Democrats any hint as to how she will be voting on bill overall, she has long opposed closing or even narrowing the loophole, which taxes wealthy investors and hedge fund managers at rates that are about half what the little people like us pay on our income that we actually earn.
What is carried interest?
Carried interest is the percentage of an investment’s gains that a private equity partner or hedge fund manager takes as compensation. At most private equity firms and hedge funds, the share of profits paid to managers is about 20 percent.
Under existing law, that money is taxed at a capital gains rate of 20 percent for top earners. That’s about half the rate of the top individual income tax bracket, which is 37 percent.
The 2017 tax law passed by Republicans largely left the treatment of carried interest intact, following an intense business lobbying campaign, but did narrow the exemption by requiring private equity officials to hold their investments for at least three years before reaping preferential tax treatment on their carried interest income.
What would the Manchin-Schumer agreement do?
The agreement between Mr. Manchin and Mr. Schumer would further narrow the exemption, in several ways. It would extend that holding period to five years from three, while changing the way the period is calculated in hopes of reducing taxpayers’ ability to game the system and pay the lower 20 percent tax rate.
Perhaps ironically, there actually is wide-ranging bipartisan support for closing or at least narrowing this loophole — it's supported not just by Elizabeth Warren and Joe Manchin, but also by several Republican politicians, including (ugh) Donald Trump. Why? Because it is very clearly a bad look for these people to be taxed less than wage-earners. You would think this would excite Sinema, given how much she loves bipartisanship and finding common ground with Republicans, but not with this one. Who will defend the hedge fund managers if not her?
Salon notes that "Sinema counts private equity firms among her top contributors, with the securities and investment sector donating more than $2.2 million to her since 2017, according to OpenSecrets." Maybe part of that is that she has said she won't close this loophole, and they want someone in office who is going to protect their money. Or because they like her hair.
It probably won't change anything if Wendy Rogers is right and Sinema votes against an assault weapons ban, but it will very much matter if she refuses to help pass this other one. So perhaps we should all just cross our fingers and hope she sees Rogers's supportive comments as a wake-up call. If that lady thinks you're doing the right thing, you're definitely not.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse