Let us pretend for a moment that the “tax overhaul” is actually about fixing the tax system so that it works for all. It is not, but humor me for a moment. If it were, the Republicans would not be forcing into reality a bill with handwritten notes in the margin and a $289 billion mistake. Sen. Susan Collins would not be willing to take concessions on amendments she needs assurances on for it to pass. The Republican Party wouldn’t be making this happen before a new senator is seated; the Democrats waited for Republican Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to be seated before a final vote on their health care overhaul. The GOP insisted such a delay was imperative when vetting a new Supreme Court justice last year.
But again, that this could be an actual overhaul of anything relies on our fooling ourselves into believing it is anymore than what it actually is.
Right now we are watching an upward redistribution of wealth begin to take shape that is worse than we have ever before seen. It was orchestrated by literal billionaires for the benefit of literal billionaires. While this takes place, the administration, knowing what sells to working class whites, is fixating on a story about an immigrant charged with killing a white woman.
Upward redistribution of wealth does not work in favor of working people. We know this because despite a trend toward socializing debt (we all pay for government debts) and privatizing profit (rich people keep their profits and share as little as possible) for 30 years, we have seen nothing but an expansion of the divide between rich and poor. The argument is that rich people, with more money in their pockets, will create more jobs. They won’t. The rich and corporations will invest in more automation and keep even more of their profits.
The recent move toward “tax” overhaul does nothing to solve any of this. Not surprisingly, it benefits the rich substantially. Corporate rate cuts are permanent while cuts for actual people are temporary. Shocker. And I’m sure you’ve heard it adds over $1 trillion to the deficit.
There has been no insight offered on how this will be paid for. That will be done separately because they know we all won’t like how it will be paid for. As soon as this cash is promised back to the rich, the GOP-led Congress will become deficit hawks again and attack low hanging fruits like any remaining social safety net. Millionaires and billionaires will save millions and billions. Medicare and social security will sit on the chopping block.
If this were a serious effort to benefit working-class people, they’d just take a trillion dollars and give it back to people. They would pay off college debts. They would seriously consider investing in reparations for indigenous people and all affected by centuries of slavery and systemic racism. They would work to free minor offenders from prisons. They would invest in industries that represent the future of the global economy.
The only thing they are serious about is taking your money and perpetuating the myth that immigration, unruly women, calls for equal rights for marginalized people and protection of a social safety net at least as serious as the one we offer to corporations are the real problems with America.
Know your enemies.
They’re the pharma executives who called for rampant deregulation around opioids and created this crisis.
They’re those who run the prisons and buy politicians to further perpetuate profiting off creating a modern slave trade.
They’re propaganda groups that pose as rape victims to lend cover to disgraced alleged child molesting politicians.
I realize this is hard to believe, for many whites in particular, but you have way more in common with those you have anxieties about living with and around than you do with the people who make — literally — 500 times more than you do in any given year and who won’t be satisfied until they can gut everything that you rely on in the name of making 500 times more.
This bill is a travesty and were Collins serious about her portended adoration for the working people of Maine, she would not be advocating for its sloppy passage.
Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was a teenager. He’s an owner-partner of a Portland-based content production company and lives with his family, dogs and garden in Westbrook.
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