Most acts of thievery take place under cover in darkness, in the middle of the night. While the GOP-controlled House and Senate cast their votes to rob the American people in the night, voting was not conducted under cover of darkness. The GOP, monumental theft took place with the lights of the Senate glowing, and their obscene greed on full display late Tuesday evening, December 19, 2017. Remember the date because history will record it as the beginning of the end of economic gains and the greatest redistribution of wealth in the history of the country.
Never mind the annoying technicality that that House had to vote again the next day, December 20, because, under frat boy/Ayn Rand devotee Paul Ryan’s leadership, the first vote was bungled and had actually broken Senate budgetary rules. But what are a few broken rules amongst this crowd of greedy, apparently thieving officials anyway? Trump and Ryan are calling it a legislative win (Trump’s only one in a year in which every branch of government was firmly under the fat, mean thumb of Republicans.). But short-term analysis, let alone history, will not be so kind to Republicans. This tax bill is a straight-up money grab for wealthy donors (generously not using the word “bribery”) to the GOP and their specious lackeys in Congress. The act of the redistribution of wealth is simple but definitely not pure.
Inside this monstrosity of a bill are deceptions to the American people and theft that even professional class double-speak exemplars Trump, Ryan and McConnell cannot hide. Pass through organizations, such as Trump’s businesses, will receive a special gift in the form of a 20 percent reduction in taxes. Pass-throughs, including money laundering set ups, will not need to celebrate in secret because outright theft, in addition to subtler forms of graft, just became the new normal in this presidency of seemingly blatant corruption. There may also be outright crimes committed with this bill in which individual Senators had provisions made in the House amendments just for them, in order to secure their votes (looking directly at you Bob Corker, R-Tenn).
Corporations are people, remember? Those corporation/people will now be getting a fabulous “raise” in their income as their taxes are lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent. While 35 percent sounds like a healthy tax on the wealthiest, few, if any, corporations pay 35 percent in taxes because of a tax code written specifically for them in which most pay around 12 to 21 percent in taxes before this new gift. The tax code already contained enough loop holes for the very wealthy to motor cruise ships through.
This “tax” bill of theft also manages to punish the bluest states in the country or those states where Democrats have more votes with an absurd cap on state and local property tax deductions. “No more deductions for you!” The outright political nature of punishing your political opponent through a tax bill is right out of a Putin playbook, too. Celebrations for the red state wealthy.
Everyone else? Not so much. In fact, the marginal lowering of most (not all) Americans’ taxes will be offset with phenomenal increases in everything from losses in health insurance to jeopardized pensions to increasing calls to break into Social Security, Welfare, and Medicare to offset the $1.4-1.5 trillion dollars added to the country’s deficit by this bill. The 2.2 percent planned reduction for most Americans ends in 2025. Not sure how that minor, short-term deduction will help with the loss of health insurance, pensions, and possibly Social Security. Tax experts are stating that most Americans will, in fact, pay a tax increase after 2025. The GOP Congress is not concerned with your losses, America, because by 2025, they will be multi-millionaires sitting on their metaphorical and actual yachts offshore and out of your reach.
Another provision in the bill makes it so much easier for corporations to make money abroad and pay no taxes. Remember Trump’s promise to bring corporations back to America (among his many lies)? Well, there is no longer that marginal incentive for corporations to remain in America. The estate tax for all of you Americans in the millions of dollars bracket will also be greatly reduced. So, that $50 million you were planning on giving your grandson will be taxed at a far lower rate.
On multiple occasions, Trump spoke to the American people, telling them, “the rich will not be gaining at all.” Lying has become so common by Trump and his administration—and the GOP-controlled Congress—that it may be difficult to recognize the truth, should it ever appear under this government again.
The great American experiment in democracy and capitalism is demonstrating for all the world and all of history to judge: unfettered capitalism eventually annihilates democracy and decency.
Nancy Avery Dafoe