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The Trump Agenda

Update: 2016-11-16
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Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Obamacare repeal, deportations, and the House Democrats leadership fight.

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the following podcast contains explicit language the big question about Trump a site which agenda takes priority even seem like a big question about the welcome to another piece of the weeds boxes policy podcast and Kathleen at work I met Ruth Lacy said joined by my colleagues to Ezra Klein and Sarah got a thrilling thrilling episode post election back to traditional beads for matters such as Time better rest a day eating right for once a full week but at least several days of the week can also try to keep the episode two s contained time period because there's some important reporting journalism that has happen after reporting journalism which I know poor eating and I love the Journal for a day yeah um so I think we were to kick things off by talking out what they seem to be the top policy making parodies of the AT new era in Washington when is that doing something on an immigration enforcement and the other is doing something on repealing and possibly replacing Obamacare and something I think is interesting here is of that and this is speaking to a dynamic that is going to be important throughout the term Presidency one of these priorities is clearly Donald Trump's top party and the other of these parties is congressional Republicans' top priority and both these things can happen simultaneously because they use different avenues and mechanisms of power but I do think something that will be fascinating here is the way in which these things play out differently I think that Trump is much more commited think deportation then Paul Ryan is Paul Ryan who wanted a conference immigration reform bill I went to Paul Ryan want to come for him has he said the one she's been to produce he's been a daylight advocate for Weiner co sponsor one or bring one to the floor to house miners die could be wrong my understanding is that he has been pretty steadfast they said that we should do that okay we checked in you can check the of Matt things as are as to prejudice about Paul Ryan Hare enough but the point either way I think it is fair to say Paul Ryan his He has also not been proposing large deportation projects around our videos take medicine from Port evenings a difference when it is like Paul Ryan thinks alike why poor people black people Hispanic people for people all kinds need to be drastically lower their standard of living right like that's his top certainly the social services they get he wants to cut this right so that their standard of living is low I think he would I'm in a continuing series as was going to be more generous to people's motives and that I think Paul Ryan has a flawed but nevertheless a view about how to create human uplift eyes or talk about it let's talk about the Fairview the star of the eye of reading of Republican repeal plans and I think one thing I've been thinking for reading this is for the past year that I think we have said a little too glib way that all Republicans don't have a replacement plan and I've been convinced as I've spent hours reading them there are lot of replacement plans they haven't coalesced around one a place I don't have a singular the replacement plan but I do feel a bit as of now i've spent her time reading these I would like to apologize ever chided Republicans for not taking this seriously there has been a lot of thinking about what they would do instead and give what is this the Republican view of what replace would look like me can talk about whether we'd even get to a place at any point some later but what her place would look like is a world where more people have insurance than pre Obamacare but it's tough when fewer people than the current situation so you end up with anything liberal economists in the third one is generally agree on this that there be a decline from Obamacare levels but it probably won't be to the level pre AC a pleasant surprise the reading on these plans is a lot of the structures of the AC a stay in place and the idea of giving people tax credits for health insurance sticks around on there some motions towards making it easier for people to get coverage if they have preexisting conditions there isn't ways that the CA is really influencing what the marketplace looks like in these Republican plans that being said there is a different vision the vision that Matt talks about where this is a health insurance market the one that comes up and most Republican replacement plans that advantage is healthy young people and disadvantages older sicker people and this is something you think the conservative economists have been talking to are quite upfront about that they think this is a Marquette will get healthier mix of people and a lower premiums and I think the rating is a market where if you are twenty five year old you will probably find cheaper premiums but if you are a sixty year old you might struggle to find affordable health insurance and so it's a different vision of who who has helped add to our people being held in a way that they weren't before Obamacare but it'll be it'll be a shift in which people have the same as the total amount of federal spending would be would be higher would be lower that's a great question I mean that was outside of like what Republicans decide to do all these taxes and raising just on the subsidies are like the entire pack I mean I think it's important to understand what is the overalls structural cool here right as I understand it the plans do not say let's keep the total federal spending commitment constant let's keep federal taxes constant re jig or who the beneficiaries are the goal is to reduce the amount of money that is spent on subsidizing people's health insurance so that you can scale back the amount of taxes paid of finance the system yes I think that's part of a goal as getting that a lot of these taxes in Obamacare but do you own to complete their different ways they want to finance that is why there is and this is actually an interesting question is how important accounting is a winner and that's when I say you are a multi billionaire real estate investing Rafe and the Medicare is the multi hundred investor who is anybody here taxes like if you visit or you're David Koch so right yes the EO big when I like personally to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year like much more so than a typical young healthy person looking to buy insurance that the financial gains David Koch will be astronomical if the Medicare taxation of capital gains will be all right so there's a specific tax in Obamacare that is is quite punitive on the very very rich as Matt says the Medicare cap gains tax and I think in all of these plants disappear I have a different question for this are taking is a premise that all these plans cut total federal spending on subsidies and enters in general much less generous health insurance system in a do that by May cases are much more focus on catastrophic and high deductible plans and then Obamacare which already has fairly high deductibles Republicans complain about and they do it as you say bye bye changing the locus of the system I do think it's interesting that Democrats who have coalition that focuses on young people created a health care plan is particularly generous to old people and Republicans of coalition that focuses on old people keep criticizing it and want to change it to be much more focused on young people much more advantageous for young people and again I think Democrats could something that is oriented towards the SEC and Republicans I think of creating something that is more oriented towards getting people where not get sick catastrophic insurance but you keep talking about the plans and I would like to get a little bit of a sense of the range what is the planet that is taken seriously by Republicans of it is maybe on the more generous and of the spectrum and what is a plan taken seriously by Republicans that is on the less generous and on the of the spectrum what are we looking at its poles in this debate because I don't think I grossly overstating the amount of agreement here are taken seriously is a hard thing to sort out right now are after after the election of the Republicans are figuring out which means they take seriously the range from straight up or peel so this is the bill was passed in twenty fifteen which as I guess is arguably the least generous planet does nothing to help people who lose coverage there how many of the incoming Republican senators voted for that I assume all the pain yes like every like there was so that there is consensus no just and that's the repeal places or people plan out the replaceable so all of the Today Act legislation that would take all the health insurance away from who is with no guarantee that there's a reply was this two year transition period the idea of being the idea the past with this in these two years will call us around the planet you're totally right it does not have the replacement part in and there's no guarantee that there ever would but I think there is a lot of political force studio to pass some of the This is something we talked about and the weeds last week but could you kick twenty million people off their insurance would you end up with these like delays that they don't get it done in two years but is it that someone and is just like straight up plays do nothing I think and this is a debate within the Republican Party right now or do they do replace and repeal this in time to this book the pit of replacing delay is a new term that's like coming up so they went so this is one and like lace and delay and delay Sorry with someone it's on Amazon review and a way that's like kind of the extreme and also click on the extreme and I would say Donald Trump and nine this plan from senators Senator Ted Cruz idea where you just get rid of Obamacare reform you introduce is letting insurers sell across state lines which is like not really going to do much for people that say clearly that is not to replace plan that it was play so long there's anything that and then in effect you would repeal most of those other it but this is something like that is being framed as repeal and replace by what I hands to the store when think about the spectrum like this is on the spectrum it's not just it's not just Donald Trump is talking about it Senator Ted Cruz with a group of Republican senators he introduced a bill that like seems to be the basis for ten for Donald Trump's own view on Obamacare that basically repealed the law and the one thing it does is I am as an insurance across state lines that's the one one report offers cost us one so this is a one spectrum is repeal the very tiny tiny change as an existing legislation and co sponsored by Republicans I'd say on the other are preserved some parts of Obamacare but didn't weigh that really advantage as healthy people cited Paul Ryan's better way in this category where we have some of the structures of Obamacare but they look quite different for example you have tax credits to help people buy insurance but instead of structuring them around income you structure them around age so it's more regressive way to structure tax credits you have the tax could do you mean on those of you know what the tax credits cover what he means so right now like if you make whatever hundred fifty percent of the poverty line the tax credits cover X percentage oh yes they're flat dollar is and so they did one of the arguments I am Ryan makes in better way is that by ten during the credits to the size of the subsidy just encourages subsidies to go up so we're just going to cap them as does amount sec when his credit actually cover health insurance plan of any kind like if your pore and you didn't have a spare dollar she is not named the size of his credit oh really so and so the patient Care Act or to the leading the leading option on the Senate side has gosh it has him was at one hundred and sixty four dollars a month for a young person eighteen to thirty four which is a game I cover look at a Yankee living in the plan a lot of places sell it said so they made and interesting idea of deal the tax refundable yes so that's like a weird kind of interesting way Obamacare sticks around in his plans were to advance the ball refundable times real quick because this is not terminology everybody knows refundable means that you get the tax credit even if you don't have a tax liability a lot of folks with lower incomes don't pay income taxes when you've non refundable credits which Donald Trump's plan as I remember is non refundable so basic is nothing for you a fair or even if you pay nothing you get a check from the government that is what a refundable credit this get so busy you have this kind of the better way patient care which is the leading one on the Senate side as the middle ground right now and then closes to Obamacare probably put him over Gray's plan where he he does really tether the subsidies to income that's a big difference of his plan from other Republican proposals and and there's a few plans on the American Enterprise Institute keep the market places around that says the things that still stick around a good place for people to shop for insurance that another planet kind of group and the like closer to Obamacare I think that's kind of nice I think the ones that are closer to Obamacare another singer actually coming out of conservative think tanks I haven't seen them get a sponsor on the hill at this point I remain very skeptical about what's going to happen here and one reason I'm skeptical and I think is going on what way was skeptical that there will be replace and to some degree that there will be repealed but I do think there will be repealed but I kind of think we're going to get into sort of like a Medicare doc fix like just kicking the can down the road and Leslie situation and here's why so if you want to read about Republican opposition to the Sarah's awesome article on this but you should check out on Vox dot com fine I don't know if it'll be a tennis skirt comes at you should keep refreshing box to come on to say anything else there to share yea and click on some mats by Thursday C K Y duty to Jesup to the fair ok ok so no so Phil Cline also he weren't a good he's a conservative writer at the washing Examiner HERE to book any book I think about Republican health care plans about a year ago the real lesson I took away from the book which is sort of a survey all the Republican health care plans was that the difference between Democrats and Republicans on this issue more than anything else isn't your ordinary Democratic member of Congress part of the reason they are in politics is as a moral commitment they think people should have health insurance whether we're willing to pay as he did during Obamacare a fair cost to do health care right there willing to do things or unpopular that are difficult that might be some there see because they think it would be a historic accomplishment do this Republicans have a tremendous amount of anti Obamacare for they are truly committed to repealing Obamacare what they are not actually that committed to like your average Republican is not in Congress because he wants to or she wants to remake health insurance markets or because they believe that everybody should be able to afford health insurance even that some people more so than pre Obamacare should afford it and as you get into this stuff as all of these plans which are really sketched out right now I mean as you mentioned the better way doesn't even have money attached to it as you get into how their finance to as you get into precisely how they are regulated as you get into really who wins and who loses and you stopped being able to kind of pretenders as all Republicans have it there some kind of costs of trade off you can make as you go out as Republicans say the thing we're going to do to make health insurance much more expensive for older people and you face the backlash in your districts I am very skeptical that Republicans are willing to pay the cost and so in terms of what it would take actually create and coalesce around one of these plans as you say I think it is telling that the more serious plans here are coming out of the think tank world oh Vic isn't even a Republican anymore he left the party during this campaign and so I I think that there's an interesting question which we are get out a bit last week of whether you believe they're going to be willing to pay the price of repeal without replace right whether before or in any case average they're going to just take health care insurance away from twenty two million people and absorb the political pain of that but if you don't believe that and the Republican to talk to at least say they don't believe that the place I just kind of get off the train is I'm very skeptical when it comes down to like the price you have to pay to make these trade offs and you know like how the losers in your plan I am not sure Republicans want to really do this which is why they haven't come up with individual plans but that's why they haven't done the work actually the one fall of twenty fifty Ray there was that thing was followed or twenty thirteen I forgot when was but it was a meanie a launch by Ted Cruz around the idea that Republicans should launch a shutdown of the Federal gov twenty thirteen twenty thirteen unless I was a repeal Obamacare Republican members of Congress look at this proposal as I understand it and they thought this was insane right I mean they thought that it wasn't that was on what he was going be extremely politically costly that it would be very very unpopular for them there was no chance that would work so that the question of like the trade off between are we so committed to this and were willing to pay the price or not you didn't even rise it was like Are we going to pay a steep political price for no reason are we going to just avoid the political price and they they really like not happy about the situation that developed because it's really dumb dues and grossly unpopular that also has no chance of success but ultimately they did it because talk radio and Ted Cruz and who knows why what we're up in arms and it worked exactly as portly as Republicans on Capitol Hill thought it would work out like that poll numbers tanked it was like suddenly like D plus fourteen in the generic ballot like I do is crazy talk um so they caved after it was like a week and make a really fast it was really dumb um and it turned out the political memory is your shore and this didn't hurt them at all in the twenty fourteen midterms just as like even really heard Donald Trump's poll numbers when he was like heard on videotape talking about how he likes to sexually assault women but after a couple weeks it has numbers bounce back so I just don't see why they can't do over people that will kick people off their insurance that will tank poll numbers for some members but just don't have it happen in September October of an election year and then like walk away from I mean they've to tank their numbers over Obamacare repeal outside of an election season in like much petty year kinds of ways to like actually get something done like why not so one theory in terms of timeline on that I hear floating around the line is that you could see the repeal passed really quickly that we have in January but the implementation date would be January twenty nineteen cities of these at it for right after the midterms kind of put off any of the political pain of that would you say when when you hear people talk about this in the potential risk of people losing their insurance are they concerned about political blowback or are they concerned like morally speaking people may be sick I have heard most concerned about political blowback but I don't want to like use that to characterize the there is a very arid discussion of this I think that in a lot of Republicans heart of hearts they would just like the detritus and you know I think that there's an argument among Republicans has become popular health insurance doesn't really make you healthier even though they all haven't we all have it so I think there's a lot that is morally appalling in this conversation and I want to I want to actually put out there that said I think that politicians remain relatively risk averse and even Republicans right I I I think the point you make is really good one and I think that it should lower anybody's confidence that this is not going to be straight repeal but that said he did cave pretty quickly on that and the cost of that right the cost of government shutdown is just way less than the kinds of stories you tell after this woman in this guy's district with her child with cystic fibrosis now can't have health insurance right that is as a very different kind of story to tell them it's hard to get into a national park you know so and that's ongoing and number two I think there were a lot of cliffs in the Obama years Republicans have they really did come you're doing they almost created a debt ceiling crisis right make the credit crisis they created a breach you had a Things Are and sequestration which was allowed to go on for a while you had some different kinds of tax cliffs like the Bush tax cuts there really is a willingness to play chicken with the sparkly when Obama was a novice in the figure that the majority party would at least part of the blame for the country going off the rails doll shop is a guy I think who enjoys having high poll numbers and wants to be re elected and wants to be popular and I think that Mitch McConnell somebody who wants to keep the Senate majority and Paul Ryan to somebody wants to give the speaker ship I could very much be wrong about how they end up handicapping this I'm taking them a little bit at their word that you know they think of what they're saying is true that it would be bad to do this but you know this may be like I do think that if repeal replace happens it will be very much the dynamic you put out what Republicans will done is too clever by half system where they did repeal on a two year time fee is our three year time fuse or whatever it is they get there they have not been able to replace for some of the reasons I've articulated and then talk radio and conservative activists groups will mobilize and create a situation where even his body thinks it is a disaster it is not possible for Republicans to vote to delay even if they don't have a place and that you will get into a kind of four people that Republicans are terrified of what happens I think that's a totally positive outcome what a back to one thing you said one reason I have been reporting like on these replacement plans my prediction of plays happening has gone up reporting these and I think you know I kind of one helpful analogy I'm one of the former Senate aide was talking to made for me was I think back to the two thousand and nine when Democrats are just getting started on health care and there's a lot of different proposals lying around there's lot of weight papers a lot of stuff that like hasn't been figured out yet but there's a lot of energy going into figuring it out so I don't necessarily take the fact that Republicans aren't ko last at a specific policy position right now is a sign that they're not serious about a place that they won't be able to coalesce I think us adults in the former CBO director recently he was saying it will collapse when they have to oh and one thing that might actually plan Republicans Adam favor here's a view of people who have less strong feelings about like what coverage they look like it might actually make it a little bit easier to get people on board with the same things I don't take the fact that Republicans that there is definitely the case of the array of plans there's a lot of variation I feel like it's a bit of an overreach to say well there just in disarray and they don't know what to do at this point I think they have very suddenly been put into place of power where they can actually use these plans and turn them into law so I would not be shocked if you see Nicola saying negative going either way either like you end up with these like fights over what to what this looks like but I don't think it's unrealistic to say that looks a lot of ideas floating around now they've just been put in a position of power to turn those ideas into law and I come January February we might see some like version of this in legislation an end like a hammering out of that what the details of that look like this but the good point to pivot to deportation yet while some came out and he gave his first big interview to sixty minutes and he was asked about his immigration plans and I think something that some levels were holding out hope for was that Trump after getting elected would say Oh I didn't want to take me literally I decide to take me seriously and I'm not going to do any of that but in fact he came and he said absolutely we're going to do a wall and he talks about the wall with a real passion because he talks like a construction project he gets really upset when people say you can't do it because he's like No I'm a builder but we're going to offend Sierra Nevada get materials he wants to do the wall and and second early he said we are going to do massive deportations and he said that we are going to deport two to three million unauthorized immigrants with criminal records now the funny thing about this to the best of our knowledge there are not two to three million unauthorized immigrants with criminal records and so we are left with one Donald Trump's primary promise is based on bogus statistic that too we don't know if that means that he still going to just deport two to three million immigrants but they're just not going to be false with criminal records we don't know if he is just not going to deport two to three million folks but what is worth saying is that unlike Obamacare example where Trump will need to be negotiating with Republicans in Congress and depending on whether or not they use reconciliation potential even Democrats in the Senate here he has a tremendous on a power just to the executive Branch's really need anybody sign off to Orient the artillery of the fatter all of the executives of immigration services towards deporting people towards hassle in people making the lives of immigrants an unauthorized and for that matter legal so that many of them just leave because they feel so unwelcome and we really don't know what you will do here exactly but he certainly signaling that he is planning to continue and make good on his promise is here the current lead candidate for attorney general is Kris Kobach who is the Kansas attorney general and is extremely extremely anti immigrant like he is really the leader of that legal movement he would have a lot of power that's and you know all signs are that Trump is going to use the power of the federal government to make good on his promise to make the lives of a lot of unauthorized then again potentially depending how this plays out authorized immigrants completely miserable and I that I think this is potentially marry in which Donald Trump does not know as much about Donald Trump's own plan as it's possible to know that he did not have a lot of institutional supporters during the campaign but he was a very heavily supported by labor unions that represent the work forces of the immigration for some agencies and he was always supported by Senator Jeff sessions of Alabama has been a long time he's not quite like the party establishment quote unquote but he's a real States senator and a veteran legislator who has quite a lot of thoughts on an immigration policy was the leader of the Republicans who killed George W Bush's o five immigration yeah and also just a few more hands for a long time he's been working with those unions and all signs are that he unlike in some other areas of policy there's a group of individuals who are deeply versed in immigration policy who do appear to have the confidence of Donald Trump and who he regards as as loyal to him rather than as just like party people or any lines so I think they are going to move forward with what they want to do which I want to try care as is fairly but there was little tension between Obama and the immigration enforcement agencies throughout his eight years in office wear basically what Obama wanted to say was that because Obama is the view was that the bulk of the unauthorized population ultimately should be given legal status to stay in the United States that the goal of the immigration for small agencies should be to not hassle those people that they should focus on preventing new border crossings in order to deter or future border crossings and also on deporting people who were dangerous to the country and the immigration enforcement agents simply do not agree with that vision they feel that what they ought to be doing is sort of finding the unauthorized wherever they may be creating they know they just logistically speaking you cannot round up and deport eleven million people but you can do is create a situation in which any give an unauthorized person thinks to themselves Oh I have one in twenty chance of being deported this month
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The Trump Agenda