By Jason Taylor
This tax reform bill is a tempting win-win for the GOP’s elected representatives. It would assure them continued flows of dark money from Koch-like donors who would be happy to reward its uncalled-for largesse. And it would give the GOP added “justification” to press for gutting Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security entitlements to correct for the inevitable increase in the deficit caused by their tax reform push. Hats off to the wiliness of Ryan and McConnell; however, this ploy is more than shameful.
The legitimacy of the GOP as an effective legislative body is online with passage of their version of this faux tax bill. Will the personal principles stated by some members of the Senate prevail or will they succumb to a dysfunctional republican party loyalty? Principle versus loyalty.
Why would any US Senator, or Representative, rush through a transformative tax bill without adequate time for careful deliberation, analysis, and public comment? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question). There are so many facets to this proposed legislation, with far-reaching consequences for generations to come, and I have yet to hear any clear defense of its provisions, based on data, from any GOP leader. It has all been about “we have to show our base that we can get this done fast.” Trainwrecks happen “fast.” Careful navigation happens slowly, with forethought, facts, and a knowledge of past events. Right now, all I see with regard to this tax legislation is a trainwreck.
Today Congressional Republicans are rushing through an awful bill that will create ballooning deficits. In the future “principled” Republicans will cry loud and long and work to cut Social Security and Medicare because of ballooning deficits. Our country has reached a crisis point when “work” for this Republican Congress means: (1) doing the bidding of rich supporters, (2) doing whatever it takes to get “elected” to prestigious jobs, and (3) lining up behind a man totally unfit to be president who is a danger to the world.
This Tax bill is an abomination built on a mountain range of lies. Lies about what it will do for the middle class lies about how it affects Donald Trump, and above all, lies about the economic basis for giving the wealthy and corporations such deep cuts in the first place.
According to the New York Times article yesterday, only one economist in a recent survey of 86 experts accepts the growth projections wildly made by both the House and the Senate tax bills. For starters, we’re already at maximum employment, and since the tax bill doesn’t close corporate loopholes, corporations have no reason to repatriate earnings. And if the projected growth rate touted by Steve Mnuchin fails to materialize, then the deficit balloons every further, triggering more pain for the middle via automatic cuts to Medicare.
Real tax reform — which would be revenue neutral — can be done if done in a slow, open and deliberative process considering the best ideas, values, and goals of both parties. If they can’t do it right, they shouldn’t do it at all. As with healthcare, what they do on taxes affects all of us. They must explain to all of us what they propose to do in detail, how it will affect not only our tax bills but also the funding of government services and programs like Social Security and Medicare if shrinking revenue forces budget cuts, and give us time to digest and respond. It is clear that Republicans have no intention of doing it right and in so doing, they are weakening our representative democracy. They are in effect saying, “We know better than our constituents what’s good for them” and “What the people want doesn’t matter.”
I hope the senators who voted against the ACA repeal and replace plan have the courage to fight this too. And I hope those who aren’t running, negating the need for donor funding vote their conscience about dangerous deficits.
In fact, in a bill this bad, there’s something for all senators of conscience to hate enough to vote NO.