Opinions of the New Bill
Monstrosity, Outrage, Scam. These are some of the epithets used to describe the new tax bill now under reconciliation between the House and Senate, and they couldn’t be more descriptive.
First, this bill is not what it’s purported to be. More appropriately, it should be called The SCAM Tax and Employment Act of 2017, with a supplemental title: To Benefit Large Donors. Even before one considers the validity of the actions this bill is supposed to stimulate like accelerating economic growth by adding jobs or increasing employee wages, and despite the protestations of its proponents to the contrary, the real winners are corporations and the wealthiest 1% of society. And the deliberate manner by which certain deductions were sharply reduced or eliminated means that some middle class taxpayers, the supposed beneficiary of these tax cuts, will actually pay more in federal income tax than under the present law.
To keep this bill within the $1.5 trillion maximum permitted deficit over a ten-year period and obtain necessary support from wavering Senators, the bill’s sponsors had to continuously change provisions, add and subtract deductions, and raise and lower rates. The process continued well into the night as changes were hand written on the document that Senators relied upon to vote. Is there any doubt that Senators had not read the complete bill before voting on it, that they did not know its full details, nor its implications on the economy? What a Mickey Mouse way to govern the largest economy in the world. What a MONSTROSITY!
So why was a bill of this nature and magnitude rushed through the Senate without regard to the normal process with hearings and proper analysis of its implications and costs? The answer is to avoid the fate of the attempt to repeal Obamacare. Once the populace realized the Republican cure was far worse than the weaknesses in the existing healthcare program, it rebelled.
Congressmen supporting the repeal were verbally attacked at town hall meetings as citizens expressed their outrage. To avoid the same result with this scam tax reform, it had to be rushed through the Senate, literally in the dark of night. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released last Wednesday revealed that 49% of Americans familiar with the Bill opposed it, up from 41% in the previous October poll. Republicans could not take a chance that further growing OUTRAGE and opposition would push wavering senators to vote no.
Where are the Principled Republicans?
So where are the “principled” Republicans like John Mc Cain, who spoke out in the Healthcare debate against the lack of process to pass such significant legislation. Is this legislation any different? Has he lost his desire to see his beloved Senate operate with the comity and process of the past?
Or Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who bravely stood up against the damaging result of the healthcare repeal that would have caused millions of Americans to lose their insurance. Do they think the repeal of the individual mandate will not affect the cost of insurance for those least able to afford it, even if the promises made to them about restoring payments to insurance companies are met?
Or all those deficit hawks that demanded deficit reduction and now find a tax bill that creates a $1.5 trillion deficit of no consequence.
Of all Republican Senators, only Bob Corker of Tennessee stuck to his principles and voted against a bill that will unquestionably produce a deficit that will never be recovered through economic growth. Nether the Ronald Reagan or George W Bush tax cut created deficits were every recovered through economic growth, nor was the most recent example of the disastrous tax cut deficits produced in Kansas. It just doesn’t happen, and those who state otherwise are either incompetent, lying to achieve a partisan legislative victory, or both.
Will the new lower corporate tax rate result in higher wages for employees or executives, higher dividends and stock buybacks or business investments? And if it is the latter, and corporations have the choice, are they likely to add people or look for more automation? Of course, there may be an increase in jobs for attorneys and accountants as they take on more clients interested in finding loopholes in the new legislation to reduce their taxes even further.
Even the corporate tax breaks will ultimately benefit the wealthiest citizens through dividends and ownership. When finally reconciled and its details made public, this bill will give a gift to the wealthiest and stick it to the average individual. After all, in the Senate bill, the corporate tax cuts are permanent, but every individual tax cut expires December 31, 2025. And the “pièce de résistance” will arrive within the next ten years when the deficit will be so astronomical that Republicans will call for cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. And which economic groups will that affect? No need to guess—the poor and middle class—the lucky beneficiaries of this scam tax bill.