By Jason Taylor
Like any other grifter, Paul Ryan boasts but he offers no guarantees. Those of us who don’t take conservative amnesia pills have heard sunny predictions of endless economic growth before. We recognize that the GOP tax bill is predicated on an economic house of cards. For the tax bill to pay for itself we’ll need to experience uninterrupted growth for years. Republicans haven’t left any room for ordinary fluctuations of growth — up a percentage one year, down the next — let alone the possibility of a recession or, for example, catastrophic wars with Iran and/or North Korea.
Right-wingers will talk about investment or corporate competitiveness, but when was the last time you heard them address boosts to worker productivity or the structure of the workplace, economic factors that also play a part in an economic expansion?
Paul Ryan, when asked if corporations will actually reinvest their new found tax savings into the company, said yes. Corporations are already showing record profits, yet jobs are still not materializing. When he was asked if the jobs he believes will be created will offset the 1.5 Billion deficit, he said there is no way to tell the future.
And there it is in a nutshell. They pushed through a tax bill that benefits corporations and the ultra-rich on the ASSUMPTION that the money saved will be reinvested in the economy.
Trickle down has never worked and there is no evidence that it will all of sudden work just because the GOP wants it to. The economy needs cash flow and that is created by demand. If the working class doesn’t have additional income to buy, demand goes down. The idea that they will move jobs back to the US and raise wages is laughable. The stockholders of these companies will not allow this to happen. If the GOP was really interested in helping the economy, why did they vote every single time NOT to raise the minimum wage, even while voting themselves a raise every year?
This tax scam is nothing more than a last ditch effort for this administration to pass a bill — something they have been unable to do DESPITE having the majority in both the House and the Senate as well as the White House.
If this tax bill is as wondrous as the Republicans claim, why were there scribbled notes in its margins promoted as a serious way to conduct The People’s business? Why didn’t it undergo commentary by the public and by economists? Why weren’t Democrats invited to be part of the process? Why didn’t it go through normal committee processes? Why wasn’t it drawn out to periodically scored by the CBO? Why did Republicans say they’d vote for it even without seeing it? Why did Corker suddenly reverse course on his principled objection to the debt? Why did McCain, Collins, and Murkowski accept a change to Obamacare that is worse than the health bill they previously rejected?
Worst than the new tax burden on the poor and middle class is the total absence of affordable health care in a rich country like America. Many middle-class families can only afford catastrophic health insurance with $1000 monthly premiums and a $7000 deductible. The result will be an increase in early deaths among children, the elderly and even young adults since many individuals will wait till they are near death to go to overwhelmed ERs. ER costs will drive insurance premiums higher still and force more hospital closures.
All these problems could be fixed by an economical single payer insurance plan. It would save lives and prevent the exodus of American talent to other more democratic countries.
The world is in a race to the bottom of the abyss, make no mistake about it. We hope to challenge Ireland or Cyprus (both 12% marginal corporate tax rates) or whatever Caribbean island Apple, Microsoft, Google decides to park their billions of dollars. Probably tax-free, in the Cayman Islands. What the writers of this new law fail to realize is that countries most such countries have higher consumption, value-added taxes, and can afford to have lower corporate tax rates. We have just added to our debt instead and made the tax system even more regressive. Our only hope is this pile of garbage can be clawed back if the Democrats gain the majority.
The Republicans in being intoxicated with power have completely taken things to the extreme. They view all government as wasteful. They view all regulations as harmful. They think all people who get government benefits as being lazy and undeserving. They view all wealthy people as heroes. And that will be their undoing. They have overshot the mark and will have a choice: raise taxes or reduce government support to the point where people will be harmed. They think that their policies will magically transform America into a well oiled economic powerhouse where everyone works and government is there to just watch.
Well once the wheels start to come off the train, they will own the train wreck. They won’t be able to blame Obama, Hillary, Chuck, Nancy or the rest of the Democrats. It will be Don, Paul, Mitch, Orrin, Bob, and the rest of the Republicans’ fault. And the one thing they hate will happen once again: the pendulum will swing back toward the other extreme. If American trains teach us one thing it is this: fast trains with no external controls tend to go off the tracks. And a lot of people get hurt or die. No matter how much the conductors try to convince the passengers that there’s no reason to worry about the train’s speed. And the American people understand this because they’ve been on this trip before. And like trains, there are no seatbelts for the passengers.
A family of four earning less than $25,000 a year will get an average tax cut of $60. This pays for one night at movies. Four tickets, four sodas and two shared popcorns.
A family of four earning more than $733,000 a year will get an average tax cut of $51,000. This pays for in-state tuitions and fees for two students, for two years, at the University of Texas, University of Indiana, University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University and many other state universities. They would also have anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000 left over.
The rich go to college. The poor get a night at the movies.