Saturday, December 02, 2017

The GOP Sends A Tax Cut to Conference

Who’s feeling devastated this morning? We knew there would be a lot of pain when Trump was elected, and here we are. The new tax bill is a wonder of horribleness. It is a massive giveaway to the rich that will explode the budget and give Republicans an excuse to cut social programs. It was passed in the dead of night as Republicans revised it by writing in the margins. To sweeten the deal and attract votes, it got MORE unequal in the final hours. It will damage Obamacare, perhaps fatally, and 13 million people will lose insurance. Corporate tax cuts, already enormously tipped in favor of the wealthy, are permanent while the pittance cut from middle income taxpayers is temporary.

 One moment from the evening stands as a perfect metaphor. The corporate cut, from 35% to 20%, is the main driver of unequal treatment of taxpayers. Marco Rubio offered an amendment that would adjust the corporate rate from 20% to 20.94% in order to benefit working people earning from $20-50k. But that was beyond the pale for the GOP, which voted it down.

The worst part of all of this is that we no longer share facts. Republicans lied their way through the process, claiming it didn’t benefit the rich (Trump absurdly claims he’ll pay way more), claiming it won’t balloon the budget, claiming it will supercharge the economy, on and on. And as the years go by, no matter what happens, they’ll claim it was a massive success. The right wing media will all report on its massive success while demonizing Dems, nonwhites, Hillary—whomever’s handy—and GOP voters will believe them. Conservatives already believe the world is burning around them, and so the catastrophic consequences of these tax cuts will only confirm that reality to them—and they’ll blame the horror on those demons of Fox News’ creation.

I am left enervated this morning. Big money does buy elections and votes, and this morning, the rich have raided the coffers and we can do nothing about it. Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump, but Republicans got Neil Gorsuch and their mega rich donors got billions in public funds. We’re screwed.

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