It’s hard to put a positive spin on this given how destructive every sane economist believes the GOP’s tax plan will be. Reported the New York Times on the plan that just passed in the Senate:
Republicans took a critical step toward notching their first significant legislative victory since assuming full political control, as the House and Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday and into early Wednesday to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades.
The $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected to head to President Trump’s desk in the coming days, will have broad effects on the economy, making deep and lasting cuts to corporate taxes as well as temporarily lowering individual taxes.
The tax cuts are nothing more than a colossal, naked giveaway to giant corporations and the ultra rich. They add an astonishing $1.4 trillion to the national debt and are deeply unpopular with the majority of Americans who won’t see any benefit from it. Paul Krugman labeled the plan “the biggest tax scam in American history”, and warned of its devastating effects on lower and middle income citizens:
The core of the bill is a huge redistribution of income from lower- and middle-income families to corporations and business owners. Corporate tax rates go down sharply, while ordinary families are nickel-and-dimed by a series of tax changes, no one of which is that big a deal in itself, but which add up to significant tax increases on almost two-thirds of middle-class taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the bill would partially repeal Obamacare, in a way that would sharply reduce aid to lower-income families and raise the cost of insurance for many in the middle class….
Of the 42 ideologically diverse economists surveyed by the University of Chicago on the impact of Republican tax plans, only one agreed that they would lead to substantial economic growth, while none disagreed with the proposition that they would substantially increase U.S. debt.
So it’s a giant scam. And while the exact nature of the scam may be unclear, ordinary American families would end up being the victims either way.
The more research you do on the 500 page plan, the more it becomes apparent that those who wrote it did very little themselves. It is by all reasonable accounts a ludicrous piece of legislation that does little more than ransack much of the country for the benefit of the wealthy and consign future Americans to a life time of debt and lower standards of living. The plan, which is one of the most radical pieces of legislation in decades, was presented to Congress and the public 8 hours before it was passed on a party line vote — a shocking move even by the GOP’s non-existent moral standards. Those who authored the bill and voted to pass it will forever live in shame for the travesty they have foisted upon the American public not only for its content, but the grotesquely undemocratic way in which it was rammed through. This is not how civilized countries function.
It must now be completely clear that the GOP is no longer a functioning political party — it is merely a bought and paid for lobbying organization that works exclusively for corporate billionaires. They have no interest in good governance, no interest in public health, no interest in public education, no interest in a safe and clean environment, and no interest in responsible economic policy. It exists solely to further the interests of the 1% and will go to almost any length to ensure their corporate backers get their way. This includes supporting a bigoted madman who almost certainly colluded with the Russian government to ensure his electoral success, and backing an alleged pedophile for the US Senate.
The only positive to come out of this shameful debacle is the price Republicans will likely pay in the midterms next year. Voters will punish them for their grievous sins against them, and they could well lose both the House and the Senate — a fitting penalty for the great crime they have just committed.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.