A tax bill minus any reforms

Have we ever lived in such a leaderless time, when the lack of integrity is so glaringly obvious and contributes so easily to the disillusionment and apathy of our voters? Hypocrisy defined by Webster’s is “a feigning to be what one is not, or to feel what one does not feel; a dissimulation, or a concealment of one’s real character, disposition, or motives; especially, the assuming of false appearance of virtue or religion; a simulation of goodness.”

You don’t have to look far in politics to observe the hypocrites, beginning with Washoe County’s Republican state senators who continue to support bogus recalls of three of their female non-partisan and Democratic colleagues with their complicit silence. Someone recently excused Sen. Heidi Gansert to me, saying Gansert endorses the recalls out of political necessity related to her caucus membership, but I disagree. If she is feigning a position she doesn’t truly hold for political gain, she’s simply a hypocrite, and I think much less of her for it.

National Republicans continue their hypocrisy in promoting tax cuts for the rich that will add $1.4 trillion to the national deficit over the next 10 years while raising taxes on millions of middle class families. We all know the trickle down theory of tax cuts for the rich is a huge lie, just like the myth that eliminating the estate tax will protect the family farm.

In fact, the Des Moines Register in the farm state of Iowa points out that a very small number of Iowa taxpayers owe estate taxes each year, and those who do are probably “not farmers or small business owners.” That didn’t stop their U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley from justifying his support for eliminating the estate tax in order to keep family farms in business. He then revealed his utter contempt for anyone who isn’t affected by this tax, which is only applied to those with assets above $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for couples. Grassley said “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” At least he’s being honest about his beliefs while he insults the nation’s workers.

Republicans often pretend to be serving their constituents, even though it’s blatantly obvious the real beneficiaries of their actions are themselves. For example, Sen. Tim Johnson, the Republican who first raised doubts about the tax bill, was concerned that it would benefit corporations more than his family business. Once adjustments were made to increase his personal income, he couldn’t wait to jump on board.

The Republican modus operandi these days is to avoid public hearings at all cost and ram and jam their donor-requested bills through the fastest way possible. That way opposition can’t be effectively mobilized, and there’s no need to endure opinion pieces or public discussion. And, conveniently, Republicans don’t have to actually interact with their constituents.

On Thanksgiving morning, a handful of protesters drove out to Smith Valley to let Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller know they are watching his actions on a number of critical issues. Instead of walking to the road from his ranch house to chat with the protestors, or perhaps bring them a slice of pumpkin pie, Heller chose to amplify the protest with a snide tweet, accompanied by a picture of the protestors with their Trump chicken.

Hundreds of people responded to Heller on Twitter. The vast majority of them took him to account for not listening to his constituents and supporting tax cuts for millionaires who’ve never been near a family farm and companies with foreign earnings, but it was clear he had no intention of listening. The only way to get his attention is to vote him out.