The Week magazine selects quotations from a range of sources on current events, presenting them logically with a conclusion as to the Conventional Wisdom. On its cover dated Dec. 8 we see a question regarding the Republican tax plan: “Your Next Raise: Will corporate tax cuts trickle down to workers?”
Probably not — its Conventional Wisdom is a cartoon of Ebenezer Scrooge, holding a bag of gold coins, handing us a dollar and sneering.
The corporate tax rate will be reduced from its nominal 35 percent to 20 percent. The Week stated: “When White House economic advisor Gary Cohen asked at a meeting of three dozen CEOs how many planned to invest a tax windfall in their businesses, only three raised their hands.” Based on recent “call reports” to investors, and past experience with Reaganomics, that was three more than expected. The winners will be America’s wealthy. The tax savings will be passed on to stockholders — not workers — to boost executive pay tied to stock price.
Adding insult to injury, the plan will send more jobs overseas. The Week quoted The Washington Post: “The bill’s territorial tax system for corporations will reward companies for shifting more [NOTE: italics in original text], not less, of their operations abroad.”
The Week continued: “ ‘Of all the lies’ the GOP tells, said The New York Times, ‘the biggest whopper’ is that their tax reforms would ‘generate so much growth they would pay for themselves.’ ” They never have in the past. In reality, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has calculated that $1.4467 Trillion will be added to National Debt. This is low; it does not consider “gaming the system” by exploiting “loopholes” as happened in Kansas.
Next year, the GOP will manufacture a crisis, an old trick. It will scream about “deficits” and holler “The sky is falling!” It will raid your parents’ Social Security and Medicare. You will get stuck with looking after them. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is already smirking over this, and more besides.
Around 13 million more will lose coverage from the cynical throttling of Obamacare. Its mandate that individuals must purchase medical insurance will be repealed. So younger people will forgo it, underwriting pools will shrivel, and premiums for those remaining will soar, forcing them to drop insurance and suffer. Moreover, Medicare recipients will lose cancer coverage. Thousands will probably die.
This proposed legislation is a slap in the face to all except the GOP’s wealthy donors. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, rammed it through after midnight. Senators were not allowed to read the massive bill prior to voting on it! McConnell can usually keep a straight face. But he smirked uncontrollably as he realized he was getting closer to his dream … of killing the American Dream and creating a permanent underclass. America’s inequality will become worse than Victorian Britain’s.
The Week continued: “Another falsehood is that this is a middle-class tax cut. While the corporate tax cuts are massive and permanent, half of all Americans will in fact be paying more [NOTE: italics in original text] taxes by 2027, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan CBO.”
The big losers would be households earning under $75,000 annually. So dirt-poor Republicans will be taxed more for voting Republican, but will be too stupid to realize it (stop laughing). They will, however, be able to deduct items for their mansions, private jets and country clubs (irony alert).
Hence, The Week’s depiction of Republicans as cartoonishly evil Scrooges is entirely appropriate. Its Conventional Wisdom, that nothing will trickle down, is supported by Joseph Stiglitz, Bloomberg, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Economic Policy Institute, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the CBO and The Economist.
“Trickle-down economics” is a proven economic failure. If you believe Republican fairy stories about low taxes creating a paradise, please move to Kansas. It has been devastated by Reaganomics. America’s problem is not high taxes. It is low wages. Taxes need to be increased to fix infrastructure and pay down National Debt.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vermont, America’s most trusted politician, said the GOP’s plan will transfer “billions of dollars” from the poor to the rich. This tireless crusader started speaking to blue-collar crowds in three states about this “moral abomination” only 17 hours after the bill’s passage. And he wrote: “This is class warfare, led by the Koch brothers and other wealthy Republican campaign contributors. More for the rich. Less for working families. Our job now is to stand up and fight back.”
Many will. Only 25 percent of voters approved the plan in a Quinnipiac poll. It would be doomed in any functioning democracy. But cheer up. Americans are finally waking up to Republicans’ brazen lies and smirking faces. They will vote accordingly in 2018 when they realize that The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is … Here To Stay.