Subsidy for rich OKd in dead of night
They’re counting on our stupidity and our apathy. That’s the only explanation for the temerity of Republican senators in passing a $1.4 trillion tax bill in the middle of the night with no public hearings and no time for senators to even read the 479-page bill, much less understand its policy implications.
Subscribing to the theory that if you say it out loud, it must be true, Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller continues to insist the legislation isn’t what it is—a massive giveaway to the already wealthy and a stunning blow to everyone else. Heller is proud of his actions, telling a Las Vegas group on Dec. 1, not only did he vote for the bill, he helped to write it.
The truth is the reverse-Robin Hood tax bill is a disaster for everyone but the richest Americans. The only thing more disgusting than the bill itself is the mendaciousness of Republican senators in describing it as a middle-class tax cut.
The process by which the bill was developed was profoundly disturbing. Right up until the 2 a.m vote on Saturday morning, major adjustments were being made with the purpose of buying off rogue senators who were essentially blackmailing their colleagues with special requests in return for their votes.
The overwhelming negative reaction to the legislation was well documented, with some calling it the most regressive in our nation’s history in its zeal to take from the working classes to reward the rich. Several Republicans were brutally honest about their motivation. Rep. Chris Collins told reporters, “My donors are basically saying, ’Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’”
Republicans didn’t seem to care that the bill was tremendously unpopular with voters, economists and governors like Nevada’s Brian Sandoval who had major concerns about cuts to affordable housing and the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
The deficit hawks who have attacked Democrats for decades as liberal tax-and-spenders running up debt for future generations shrugged when the Congressional Budget Office reported the bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit. Only one Republican Senator, Bob Corker, voted against it for this reason.
Instead, the Republicans abandoned every pretense of representing their constituents, choosing instead to support their wealthy donors and an increasingly deranged President whose family stands to gain over $1 billion from their actions. And, yes, Trump brazenly lied about that too.
The Senate bill must be reconciled with the House bill now, but it’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will sign the final version. The legislation may well get worse if the conference committee decides to keep the worst provisions from each bill, such as the repeal of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, an action that will result in 10 to 15 percent increases in health premiums while destabilizing the market and separating millions of Americans from their health care.
When middle-class families realize what the wealthy have gained at their expense, there’s going to be hell to pay. The temporary meager tax cuts for the middle class will evaporate quickly and many lower-income Americans will be paying more in taxes. And don’t be surprised if your employer refuses to give you a raise next year when health care premiums spike due to the Obamacare repeal. But you’ll know who to thank for that.
The anger of senior citizens will boil over when they realize the result of the Republicans’ “take from the poor and give to the rich” strategy is drastic cuts in Medicare under the guise of deficit reduction.
The only effective remedy to this debacle is to show them we’re neither stupid nor apathetic and replace every last Republican on the 2018 ballot. Are you in?