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Thoughts on Events the Week of November 27

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 6, 2017

Only two events happened last week that were important to me: the tax overhaul vote and the NCAA Football playoff finalists. Each was sufficiently important that I gave each a separate blog, beginning with:

Tax Overhaul: The United States Senate, under the leadership of the immoral Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, passed its version of the tax overhaul bill 51 to 49. This version will be resolved with the House version, which resolution will constitute the most putrid pile of pig parts in tax legislation history.

I wasn’t born yesterday; far from it. I have seen smarmy tax legislation before, designed to favor a specific industry, business or even individual. But this bill isn’t a tax bill at all. It is a deliberate plan to take an inconceivably large amount of money from average Americans and give it to the very top one percent of wealthy Americans and to large corporations. To do this, it will borrow an enormous amount of money that will run up our national debt, and screw absolutely everybody else. This takes the cake.

Here are just a few of the odious elements and results of this legislation:

Promoted by Republicans as a middle class tax cut, it is no such thing. Eighty percent (80%) of the tax savings will go to the wealthiest individuals and large corporations, which savings will be permanent! Meanwhile, it will give piddling amounts of tax savings to middle class earners, but only temporarily; by 2025, taxes on them will begin to rise.

Republicans have trotted out that old chestnut of Trickle Down economics, promising that Corporations will create growth that will “trickle down” to workers; this is a debunked canard. It won’t happen. If we want middle classes to have a tax cut, give the cut to them directly. It’s much more efficient, and they will spend it. There’s no guarantee corporations will spend their tax savings at all, except on bonuses and dividends. But that is just the point of this bill.

It is estimated conservatively that this bill will add one trillion dollars to our national debt over 10 years. In effect, we will be borrowing an obscene amount of money to be paid by future tax payers to give to our very wealthiest, who already have more money than they can spend.

Conservatives are right about one thing. Our debt level is already too high at present. But they are abandoning their principles entirely to kiss the asses of their rich donors at the expense of their constituents.

In theory, we should deficit spend during economic downturns to stimulate the economy, then repay in times of economic growth. Deficit spending made sense in 2009, after the Bush Administration ran the economy into the Great Recession ditch, but the economy is growing now, and we are almost at full employment (admittedly, wages are stagnant, but that will improve). We should be raising taxes now, especially on the wealthiest, not cutting them.

Republicans say we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This is a cruel canard. There are so many loopholes written into our Byzantine tax laws that nobody pays the 35% “official” tax rate. Our actual rates are competitive.

This bill as currently written taxes education by making graduate student stipends taxable, which is crazy. Education is the best way to prepare people to earn more and grow the economy. This bill stunts it.

This bill damages Obamacare by eliminating the coverage mandate, the very foundation of the concept of insurance.

And on and on. This legislation is the most bald-faced theft of our money and our future since the Gilded Age. It is amazing it has gotten this far.

Status of the States: Arizona, my own personal state, gets the worst state cup this week, due to the inexcusable and inexplicable behavior of our two U.S. Senators, who voted for the tax overhaul bill.

The aptly named Senator Flake is a self-proclaimed deficit hawk, yet he flaked out and voted for a bill that adds a trillion dollars to the deficit. Flake is not running again. He has no constraints and no incentive to support a party and a president who have not supported him. He has opposed Trump repeatedly, yet his last important act will be to support this theft.

John McCain, the senile senior senator from Arizona voted bravely and nobly against the Republican’s repeal and replace healthcare legislation. One of his biggest complaints about the bill was the lack of “proper order” in its development. Yet he voted for this bill whose process is as far away from proper senatorial order as one can possibly imagine. This is probably his last important senatorial act also. What a disappointment.

One Response

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  1. George Brose said, on December 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Stephen,
    I’m 101% behind you in this blog. You could afford turn up the vitriol a few more notches. There is plenty of justification to do that. Sitting here in Canada I would encourage the Canadian gubmint to start offering a bit of scholarship money to the brightest and best of US grad students and drain away some of those young people whose future is already being placed in hock to the current sludge that is running our once beautiful country. By the way if the Abu Dahbi prince who just paid nearly a half billion dollars for that Da Vinci painting were to decide to wipe his ass with it on the public square of Doha, since Trump has unilaterally declared that the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, I would completely understand and forgive him. I have a copy of it on my computer, and that is the closest I’d ever get to it anyway. Yours in disgust. George


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