As promised Donald Trump delivered on his great big tax cut. As for the rest of us—we got conned. The rich have something to celebrate this Christmas, which was why the Republicans worked so hard to get it done this week. They want to make sure that their donor class has a wonderful Christmas. Oh, and Donald got a great big real estate bonus to put under his own tree.
Most of you already know how the Republicans plan on doing the balancing act for these tax cuts—they are going to take on “entitlement reform” for next year. Which means that they are cutting taxes for the rich and cutting benefits for the middle-class and working poor.
Now is the time to PAY ATTENTION! Thirty five years ago we were sold a trickle-down economics hoax in which “a rising tide would lift all boats”. The result of that swindle is the greatest income inequality since the Great Depression. The results of that was the Great Recession of 2008. And now, they are laying the groundwork for even greater income inequality and for another recession—which probably won’t happen until after the 2020 election. Their claim is that this tax cut will stimulate the economy and thus pay for itself.
Now that the Republicans have perfected gerrymandering for congressional districts, they are working on ‘gerrymandering’ their legislation. For instance, this tax bill is designed to punish blue states more than red states by disallowing state and local tax deductions from federal taxes. It is also gerrymandered so that the tax cuts on the middle-class expire after a few years, while making the corporate and estate tax cuts permanent.
There is just enough sweetener in this tax bill to provide a sugar high for the middle-class to get the Republicans through the 2018 elections, and won’t collapse the economy until after 2020. Republicans are betting that voters have a short memory. By the time the horrendous results of the tax hoax become fully felt, the GOP will place the blame on the Democrats and their voters will believe them.
The truth is now on the table: Republican politicians don’t care about deficits when cutting taxes for the rich—this tax bill will add 1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt. They only care about deficits when it comes to programs which help the poor, the sick, and the elderly. Within a few years the debt will rise and Paul Ryan, or one of his cronies, will claim that we must ‘reform’ Social Security and Medicare, because deficits are out of control.
There is one more huge bonus for Republicans gerrymandered into this tax bill: it repeals the individual mandate in the Obamacare program. Which means that some insurance company will now sue, because you can’t require them to cover preexisting conditions without an individual mandate—then the Supreme Court will vote 5 to 4 to repeal Obamacare.
The working class should keep in mind that of all the promises that Trump made, and all the legislation which has been proposed, this is the only bill that he worked hard to pass. He is literally laughing all the way to the bank. If you saw today’s celebration, you never saw the Republican politicians so giddy. And their donors just cashed in on their campaign investments. Millionaires and billionaires are going to have a great Christmas.
The picture of the Grinch is for the rest of us.