Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo:”Texas Is Being Run From Maralago”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (09/24/2021), where she blasted elected Republicans in Texas for giving in to former President Trump’s baseless demands for an audit into the state’s 2020 election results. The decision by the Texas Secretary of State’s office to conduct an audit into the election results of Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties, came literally a few hours after Trump’s demand, which led a visibly upset Judge Hidalgo to tell host Maddow that Texas was “being run from Maralago.”

Judge Hidalgo told Maddow:“We have to remember we had incredibly successful elections here in Harris County in 2020. We had innovations that led to record turnouts from both parties, the highest in 30 years, I mean it was beautiful, and since then, no evidence has come out that would in any way cause the need for this kind of audit. All we’ve seen is [former]President Trump exhorting the state, or [Governor]Abbott, to have this audit…The reality of it is Texas is being run from Maralago, and that is dangerous, and it’s not appropriate…it’s extremely concerning.”

Judge Hidalgo added that time had come for politicians in Washington to get off the sidelines, and actively join the fight against voter suppression in the states, telling host Maddow, “We need the federal government to act, I mean, this has gone too far… This should be another call to action. We’ve got the writing on the wall. We’ve got to get off our chairs and get moving on all this.”

Bottom line folks, as Judge Hidalgo correctly pointed out, time has come for some decisive action to be taken against these naked efforts by Republicans at the state level, to restrict the voting rights of minorities. Democrats in Washington cannot just sit on the sidelines, and watch their counterparts in Republican-led states like Texas, go to war against GOP’s efforts to restrict minority voting rights. Simply put, time has come for Democrats in Washington to finally do away with the filibuster, and institute a national voting standard geared towards making it easier for people to vote, as opposed to GOP’s scheme of limiting access to the ballot box. As Judge Hidalgo correctly put it, congressional Democrats need to “get off their chairs and get moving” on a comprehensive federal voting rights law.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at administrator@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

GOP Gutted IRS’ Ability To Go After Rich Tax Cheats

An investigation by ProPublica has revealed that since 2010 congressional Republicans have systematically gutted the IRS’ budget for the express purpose of dramatically reducing its ability to pursue rich tax cheats, while at the same time ramping up the agency’s ability to go after the working poor who claim earned income credit. If there was ever a classic case of GOP’s #WarOnPoverty, this shocking finding by ProPublica certainly is.

Excerpt from ProPublica piece by Paul kiel & Jesse Eisinger dated 12/11/2018

In essence, according to the ProPublica piece, congressional Republicans have gradually and cleverly reduced the number of IRS auditors by shrinking the agency’s budget over the last 8 years(since 2010). As the article correctly points out, congressional Republicans realized that were they to make huge cuts to the IRS’ budget at once, the public/media would catch on to their shameful act. So they cleverly devised the gradual IRS budget cuts that have gone on for the last 8 years, almost totally crippling the IRS’ ability to go after rich tax cheats(usually Republicans).

Excerpt from ProPublica’s 12/11/2018 piece

This troubling ProPublica revelation comes as many working families are getting ready to file their 2018 taxes and yes–claim their earned income credit. It is sickening to learn that as the working poor are looking forward to getting their income tax refunds so they can catch up on their bills, congressional Republicans have primed the IRS to target them with audits, while letting the rich tax cheats avoid IRS scrutiny. This is absolutely sickening and House Democrats and the mainstream media must get to the bottom of this shameful attack on the poor by the GOP.

This chart from the same ProPublica piece says it all. Notice how sharply audits of those who earn $500K or more(typically Republicans) have dropped compared to the other income groups. As the article correctly points out, it is the rich who cheat on their taxes more which means IRS auditors should concentrate more on them as opposed to the poor.

The incoming House Democratic majority owes it to its voters to investigate this troubling state of affairs at the IRS. For the record, the ProPublica piece points out that it is not the IRS that is at fault here but rather congressional Republicans who have made them go after poor filers claiming earned income credit. Nobody is advocating that the IRS turn a blind eye to poor people fraudulently claiming EIC. However it is only fair that the IRS also go after rich tax filers who by far do most of the tax cheating

Bottom line it is in everyone’s interest that the ability of the IRS to go after all tax cheats, rich and poor, is fully restored. Where, as here, Republicans have turned this powerful agency into a weapon to attack poor working families, while at the same time neutering its ability to go after rich tax cheats, House Democrats have a duty to step in and restore the agency to its full investigative capacity. Specifically, House Democrats must fully furnish the IRS with the tools it needs(experienced auditors) to aggressively go after rich tax cheats. It is simply immoral to have this powerful agency go after poor working families while the rich tax cheats get off scot-free.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.