Anyone who’s been following the antics of Congress this year knows that they have accomplished nothing of any significance, and with their vacations—I mean the holiday’s coming up Republican’s are desperate for a victory, no matter what it costs. And since their most important priority has always been to pass “tax reform” it helps to understand what’s driving their radical agenda
Despite the fact that their plan is unpopular “even among Republican voters,” they are determined to unashamedly lie about what it actually does, and pass it as quickly as possible. Knowing the more closely it gets examined the harder it will be to ignore that their Tax Cut and Job Act (H.R 1) should have been called the Leona Helmsley Act after the New York hotelier who just before being convicted of tax evasion declared that “only the little people pay taxes.”
Where the less you actually do to earn your income, the bigger the tax break, and why after repeatedly promising that all Americans would get a tax cut, Republicans are changing their tune—like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitting “I misspoke on that, when in fact the proper term is “lied,” pretending that his and his Party’s previous statements were not calculated to sell tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
And it’s why we are hearing remarks like this from; Congressman Chris Collin of New York who when asked about what his constituents think about this bill, replied “Who cares.” Or watching Senator Lindsey Graham get off his fainting couch to say that failing to pass it means “the financial contributions will stop,” and would fracture the Republican Party, leading to far-right wing primary challengers—presumably backed by their former donors.
Meanwhile, Gary Cohn, the White House’s economic advisor and former CFO of Goldmine Sachs inadvertently let the cat out of the bag after saying on a Sunday talk show that “the most excited group out there about our tax plan are the big CEO's.” and despite previously saying that bill would not give the wealthy a tax cut, is now claiming that if they did somehow wind up getting a break it would be by chance.
When former Reagan administration policy adviser Bruce Bartlett says that “He’s there to sell his boss’s product. The product may be crap but he’s being paid to promote it,” it’s a good idea to listen, especially since this money grab favors wealth, especially inherited wealth, over work. And buried in the legislation are multiple measures that would make it much harder for the children of the middle and working classes to work their way up.
Making this not just the usual top down class warfare we’ve come to expect from the Republican Party; but an entirely new kind of warfare, one aimed at perpetuating inequality into future generations that would not just reinforce plutocracy, but entrench a hereditary plutocracy.
Not to mention that this tax reform would leave a $2.4 trillion hole in federal revenue—where predictably, Republicans will to return to being hypocritical deficit hawks, demanding immediate spending cuts. And since federal spending is dominated by— Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — that benefit the middle class, it will leave most working Americans, even those who aren’t facing direct tax increases, will be worse off, just so a tiny minority may reap the benefits.
If you don’t want to see this happen, call your Congressman Dave Brat at (202) 225-2815 and tell him to reject this bill. And should it pass the House, make it your business to contact your two Senators; Tim Kaine at (202) 224-4024 and Mark Warner at 202-224-2023 and tell them to vote against this bill.
Editor’s Note: this is an expanded version of a letter submitted to Louisa County’s paper of record, the Central Virginian, and was originally intended for their November 16th edition, but was not printed ahead of the House wealth care vote.
Hopefully, the CV will print a revised version of this letter in their November 22nd issue ahead of the Senate's post Thanksgiving wealth care vote. And for now this commentary is only available here.