The Republican Tax Plan which passed on a 51-49 vote on the Senate floor this evening is unmistakable evidence that the Senate Republicans have not only lost their souls and principles, but failed to honor their pledge to make significant tax cuts to middle and lower-class Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is evidently the new “normal” among Republicans in Washington. No, the only real winners in this tax bill are corporations and multinationals, the wealthiest 4% of Americans and the lobbyists who hold the purse strings of these Senators reelection. In short, this Republican Tax Plan is nothing less than a betrayal of the American people
At the risk of an understatement, my how times have changed. It was only eight years ago that the Senate finally passed President Obama’s stimulus package. The $787billion bill passed by 60 votes with no help from the Republican minority. The stimulus package was necessary to avert a serious economic crisis which had be caused by the previous administration. 700,000 workers a month were losing their jobs, businesses large and small were closing their door, the unemployment rate was nearing double digits, the Dow Industrials hit a new low of 6,344. In March 2009 marking a 54% loss of value since its high in October of 2007. The country was on the verge of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
At the time, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, stated “Yesterday the Senate cast one of the most expensive votes in history “Americans are wondering how we’re going to pay for all this.” McConnell, like most Republicans in Congress, believed that programs that weren’t revenue neutral was terrible fiscal policy. More to the point, they believed incurring debt to fund any new program had to stop at some point and that it was irresponsible to support any such program that did such.
In 2011, McConnell, now the majority leader in the Senate, stated once again his feelings on debt and unfunded spending. “We’d like to do something about the nation’s biggest problem, spending and debt, which of course is the reason for this economic malaise.” He forgot to mention that the malaise was brought on by the economic policies of the previous administration, a failure to fund the ground wars in Iran and Afghanistan, and the failure to monitor the banking practices of the major Wall Street banks. All of which the Republicans were well aware of at the time.
In the fall of 2016, McConnell was singing the same song when the Republicans controlled both house of Congress. “I think this level of national debt is dangerous and unacceptable,” Senator McConnell said. “My preference on tax reform is that it be revenue neutral.” The old deficit hawk expressed his distaste for any further swelling of the national debt. “What I hope we will clearly avoid, and I’m confident we will, is a trillion-dollar stimulus,” It was clearly obvious to almost anyone that there was no need for a trillion dollar stimulus. Under the Obama administration the economy was on the rebound, the American auto industry had been pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy, the Dodd-Frank banking act had added tough new regulations that insured the shenanigans of the Wall Street banks would not plunge the country into monetary crisis again. The day before the election in 2016 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,259. The unemployment rate was at 4.6% when President Obama left office, down from a high-water mark of 9.7 in? 2010. Despite McConnell’s sentiments on deficit spending, that is what the Senate Republicans did last night, a $1 trillion unfunded “stimulus” package.
Of course, Trump would like you to think all of this good news for the economy is because of him. He even makes sure to tell you ad nauseum. And the Republicans in Congress knows better. They obstructed any initiative that had Obama’s name on it. McConnell had a final word on unfunded stimulus talk. “Take you back to 2009. We borrowed $1 trillion and nobody could find that it did much of anything. So, we need to do this carefully and correctly, and the issue of how to pay for it needs to be dealt with responsibly.” Poor old Mitch, it just isn’t in him to give Obama credit for anything.
Fast forward to early Saturday morning. The Senate version of “tax reform” passed with a $1 trillion debt attached to it. So much for it being revenue neutral. The Senate Republicans, who railed on about President Obama’s stimulus package, did the same thing. The Republican Tax Reform act is an unfunded stimulus package. A stimulus package for the big corporations and multinationals, for the wealthiest 4% of the population and an early Christmas gift to the special interests and the K Street lobbyists. Did I miss something here? Can anyone tell me with a straight face that corporations are strapped for cash and need their taxes to be reduced? If the economy is the greatest in the history of the world according to Trump, why the need for this legislation in the first place?
Oh, now I get it! I almost forgot…duh! The “Middle Class Miracle”, a big beautiful tax cut for the middle and low-class folks. I figured my proposed tax cut. Looks like about something a little south of a hundred dollars in 2019. Whoopee! Thanks Mitch, your generosity is overwhelming.
The hypocrisy, lies, and legislative gimmicks are what make Americans sick and tired of business as usual in Washington. There is a day of reckoning coming and it will be a sea change moment in our history. Make sure you can tell your kids and grandkids, friends and family you were there doing your part in the Resistance Movement to bring back honor, truthfulness, decency, equality, justice and compassion to our great country.