The Republican Senate majority is about to pass their long-awaited tax bill. With several modifications it pretty much mirrors the bill passed by the House of Representatives. Contrary to the expected superlatives and exaggerations from the current occupant of the White House, this bill is far from a “Middle Class Miracle”. For the Republicans to even suggest that this is all being done for the middle and lower-class people of this nation, is sheer nonsense and deceit. This shouldn’t surprise us. It seems this is the new normal in Washington. To suggest that this desperate attempt by the Republicans to show they can pass a major piece of legislation under the guise of “tax reform”, assumes most of us don’t know the difference between “tax reform” and “tax cuts” hidden in a maze of gimmickry and wishful thinking.
The primary element of the Trump/Republican tax plan is slashing corporate tax rates from 35% to 20%. The reason given for this is to spur the economy and promote job growth. We have heard this before. It is called “trickle-down economics”. Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser in an interview last week insisted the corporate tax cuts would “trickle down” to workers through the creation of jobs. What’s wrong with this picture is that the American public thinks corporations and the wealthy should pay more taxes not less! According to a Gallup Poll conducted annually since 1992, an average of 64% of Americans think the wealthy don’t pay enough a Gallup Poll conducted annually from 2004 to 2017 found 66% of corporations pay to little in taxes.
Furthermore, there is no credible evidence that tax cuts create jobs or economic development. The business publication Fortune Magazine, hardly a bastion of liberal ideology, sums up the Trump/Republican tax plan:
“Given such overwhelming support for raising, not cutting, taxes on the wealthy, it makes sense that President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress would present their tax plan as benefiting the middle class rather than the rich. It’s about “people who are low- and middle-income,” says House Speaker Paul Ryan, “not about people who are really high-income earners getting a break.” Trump has even claimed “the rich will not be gaining at all with this plan.” Unfortunately, those are bald-faced lies.”
Trump’s statement lacks any sense of credibility since Trump by his own admission is rich, but we can hardly know how much he will benefit from this tax plan, since he has never released his taxes! Of course, they are all under IRS audit. How long does he think he can con us with that lie? All we can determine is that his family stands to avoid over a billion dollars in taxes if the elimination of the estate tax passes as part of the tax plan (those with estates worth more than $549 million). Another boon to the wealthy.
The Republican House bill that went over to the Senate has over $6 Billion in cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and other public programs that benefit the middle class. To add insult to injury this so called “middle-class miracle” will add $1.5 million to the national debt over the next ten years. That’s $150 Billion a year!
Again, from Fortune Magazine:
“The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculated that $150 billion would cover doubling Pell Grants for low- and middle-income college students, doubling cancer research funding at the National Institutes of Health, providing child care assistance to six million children, providing opioid addiction treatment to 300,000 people, funding the full backlog of needed maintenance at the National Park Service, and training 3.5 million workers for in-demand jobs—combined. Instead of doing any of that, the plan proposes shoveling that money over to the already wealthy.
Given such tradeoffs, it’s a wonder this plan has seen the light of day, much less has a significant chance of becoming law. The more we learn about this proposal, the more there is not to like, which is an incentive for Republicans in Congress to pass it before the public understands what’s going on. Don’t get caught sleeping on the biggest wealth grab in modern history.”
This is not tax reform. It is not a jobs plan. It certainly isn’t a “middle-class miracle”. It is a purely political gambit by Trump and the Republicans to reward their donor base at the expense of everyday, ordinary people. Haven’t we had enough of this? Send a message in 2018. If this bill passes, which is likely, take the names of those who voted for it and let them know you are coming to cast your vote against them. Join the Resistance today!