Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features
What should be absolutely clear about this Republican tax travesty, passed in the middle of the night with illegible notes scribbled in the margins by K-Street lobbyists, is the fact that the Republicans don’t care about the majority. This pipedream that the Republicans will suffer the consequences of such anti-democratic legislation in future elections is just that. Republicans have realized – with health care, gun control, climate action, education, immigration reform, DACA, criminal justice reform (you name it) – that they don’t have to give a rat’s ass for what the majority of Americans (otherwise known as “The People”) want, need, or care about.
The Republicans spew rhetoric (B-S), especially through this obscene tax “debate” (did you catch any of it on C-Span?), but it is clear none of them were actually listening to the appeals for rational policy. The very fact that they were “debating” hundreds-of-pages of a legislation that would impact every single American, every business, every locality and state that was constantly changing, that not a single one had actually read or understood, or consulted with experts on the impacts, or even listened to what the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and other experts had stated: that the bill would not come close to paying for itself, but instead produce nominal increases in jobs, wages or economic growth while saddling an extra $1 trillion on top of the $20 trillion in national debt.
As was said on that erudite NPR radio show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me:” “Trickle down is just the rich peeing on us.”
Republicans don’t care because they are not elected by a majority, but only have to appease “the donor class” (check out the actual voting tallies — Republicans control large majorities in Congress and state houses without a majority of votes thanks to gerrymandering). It is interesting that just about every one serving is a millionaire – and more interesting, that many become millionaires after they come to Congress. Look at Orrin Hatch (R-Utah and lead writer of the tax bill), who reacted with such insult to Ohio Senator Sherwood Brown pointing out that his tax plan gives all the benefit to the already rich and makes working people pay for it – protesting about having been born to very modest means. That may be true, but now he’s one of the richest people in Congress, with a net worth 4.7 times higher than the average member of Congress and 81% more than the average senator. And that’s saying something.
Democrats (and Obama) were always in favor of tax reform, including lowering the nominal corporate tax rate from 35% (which none of the corporations pay; many profitable corporations like Apple and General Electric pay little or no tax at all), but also wanted to eliminate the loopholes and the incentives to offshore jobs and profits to evade tax (see Hillary Clinton’s detailed plan) and such obscenities as the carried-interest loophole which makes billionaires of the likes of Gary Cohn, who absurdly thinks that $1000 less in taxes is enough to “buy a car, buy a house” and who was shocked, shocked! that few CEOs said they would take their windfall cash (already at record amounts) and invest it.
The Republican tax scam doesn’t get rid of any of these loopholes, but instead, go after the deductions that working class and middle class strivers used to achieve upward mobility: home ownership, higher education. It is telling that the very same Republican deficit hawk hypocrites who blocked Obama’s proposals for stimulative spending for infrastructure, job retraining and education (they wouldn’t even allow a reduction in the interest rate on school loans), stemming job losses and foreclosures with the dishonest claim that it would add to the deficit and national debt, now are embracing a tax scam that will add $1 trillion (that’s 5%) to the $20 trillion national debt.
Ah, but there is another “benefit” to this hypocrisy: the Republicans will use it to achieve what they have been trying to do since Franklin D. Roosevelt: get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. They are already failing to reauthorize CHIP (which provides health care for 9 million children), and used this tax scam to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – which will result in 10% higher premiums EACH YEAR for everyone, and, oh yes, stick in a few biggies for the Theocrats (no different, really than the Taliban), in creating a legal precedent for “personhood” with which they can strip away women’s reproductive rights and self-determination. It is Grover Norquist’s wet dream of “shrinking government to the size it can be flushed down the toilet.”
Getting rid of home ownership, making Americans more insecure in their retirement, health care, ability to finance college for themselves or their children are all part and parcel of the bigger campaign of voter suppression. In combination with gerrymandering and Citizen United (throw in a little voting machine manipulation) and you have the answer to why Republicans could care less that only 20% of Americans favored their tax plan which will result in higher taxes for 87 million, and shift $1.5 trillion in wealth from working people to the already obscenely rich, exacerbating the already massively big gap between rich and poor. A recipe for revolution.
That’s Steve Bannon’s wet dream: a Leninist whose goal is violent destruction of democratic government.
Republicans don’t care.
Here’s a shout-out of shame for the biggest hypocrites: John McCain, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake.
Ready the Revolution: GOP Tax Plan Decimates Middle-Class, Gives Rise to New American Aristocracy
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