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Trump and His Disastrous Tax Plan

by The Urban Curmudgeon on December 22nd, 2017

 

 

While being being interviewed by Nichole Wallace Representative Adam Schiff casually dropped the information that after 911 the House and Senate, in an attempt to make their Intelligence Committees more functional, voted to eliminate term limits. They did this to keep experienced and competent people on those committees, people who would possess strong procedural backgrounds and deep wells of information. They also moved in a number of other directions to stop those committees from being as partisan as they had been.

According to Schiff most of the changes didn’t really happen but the committees understanding the need for the unmade changes adjusted themselves in what they hoped was a more functional manner.

This ceased abruptly with the infestation of the Trump administration and his appointment of political lackeys instead of professionals to various posts. The logical result of these appointments as well as the President’s childish inability to absorb any information that doesn’t dribble directly from his infantile brain has changed the entire make-up of the Congressional Intelligence Committees to that of political and party line hacks as seen in the House Intelligence Committee hearing the other day where GOP hit men attacked Rod Rosenstein and Bob Mueller in a hopefully failed attempt to move both out of their jobs.

Schiff has made it clear that intelligence briefings for the President have degenerated into pre-school play dates where the only goal is to make Trump happy. , It seems no one is telling Trump anything he doesn’t want to hear and that, added to the fact that he has almost no real knowledge of foreign policy or international affairs, is moving our nation into dangerous territory.

Trump’s   inability to absorb any information that points to the already accepted fact that the Russians hacked our election is the primary motivation for his intelligence briefings turning into childcare sessions. He is so terrified that the general public will find out what they already know; that he lost the popular election and his ascent to the White House was the result of an Electoral College anomaly so he refuses to even consider any possibility that the Russians might have helped him win the election.

Trump’s fear that he is not the strongman that he wants us to see him as has driven him to try, like any coward, to befriend strong men around the globe; as if hanging around with the tough kids will make him strong too. This has inevitably led to attempts at friendship with Putin and other dictators around the globe while he shuns our allies who are intelligent enough to understand that it isn’t brute power but intelligently manipulated situations that brings success on the world stage.

Because he desperately wants Putin to be his buddy, Trump has allowed the Russian dictator to make a fool of him. Putin feeds his ego and plies him with pathetic flattery while operating in a manner that will endanger our nation and our allies around the globe. He continues the invasion of the Ukraine, partners up with the monster Abbas and prods the slow witted Trump to talk tough with a North Korea that currently has no way out of its warlike stance.

Meanwhile, one story after another comes out of the White House about how everyone involved with briefing the President is told not to upset him, to only give him good news with which he already agrees. Is this the President of the strongest country in the world or a three year-old child? This is not the way to run a country, not unless it’s a banana republic of the Philippines.

*****

Nobody likes to pay taxes but without them we have no country. Without taxes we don’t have any infrastructure, any military, any education, any healthcare any legislature or really any country. If you want the stuff that makes a country, you have to figure out a way to pay for it and to date, throughout world history, the only workable solution has been taxes. Sure there are a couple of Arab countries that don’t pay taxes but that’s because their oil revenues make that possible. That’s just another reason we should be switching to renewables.

When Trump and the Republicans lie to you about what a great thing their tax cut bill will be for the country, they do it with the full realization that the only ones really benefitting from this tax atrocity will be the rich. This means that most of the country, 99% of the population will be hurt by this bill. Oh sure, some will get a temporary tax cut but that like all the rewards of voting Republican will disappear in a couple of years. The real problem for that 99% is that all the services that the ordinary person depends on for living a productive life will be diminished and so, even with the small tax cut, will their lives

What do I mean by the above? It’s simple. Everything from the roads you drive on, to the electric grid you depend on, to the schools that educate your kids, the healthcare you can afford, the airports you fly into and out of, even the military upon which the security of our country is based, will disappear without taxes. Some of it will be destroyed, some, like the military will slip just enough to be less functional and less safe. Some will notice this diminution of service but many will not or if they do, won’t put together that the difference is due to that little bit extra you got back in saved taxes, while the rich, who pay the majority of taxes in this country, as they should, are getting a huge saving and not losing as much because their wealth makes them immune to many of the problems solved for the poor and middle class by the government.

I sat in an airport a while back and engaged in a conversation with a guy from the Faroe Islands, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. We spoke about politics and he told me that everyone in the Faroe Islands paid 40% in taxes. That sounds like a lot until you discover that they don’t have to pay for much else. The government pays for all healthcare, education, elder care, childcare, public service costs and everything that we also expect from our governments. It takes care of whoever becomes homeless and pays pensions to the elderly.

This man was in his early forties. He was going back to college to get an advanced degree and his government will pay for his advanced education and give him a stipend to pay for his housing, wife and each child while he attends classes. That’s because the government is smart enough to understand that by advancing his education this man will help the country in general, something that has managed to elude our legislators on an unfortunate scale. Is this guy better off than us? I think so.

“But it’s socialism:” cry all the assholes. Maybe, but our government is already a socialist style government. All our public programs are socialistic. We are already closer to many of the European socialist countries than we like to think. That is not to say that the myth of the capitalist state is a false one. I have always felt that the capitalist notion of entrepreneurial function is one of the most important differences between our democratic socialism and the way socialism is practiced in most other countries around the world; that and the fact that we vote.

So basically the tax bill sucks. Most of the American people, about 70% I believe, are against it, but Trump and the GOP, desperate for any kind of a win and frantic to please their donors, will push it through regardless. Maybe by this time next year the American people will have discovered what a huge mistake they made in 2016 and will have remedied it. Maybe Alabama isn’t just an example of a bad GOP candidate, hard as that is to believe. But if the American people can acquire, just a little knowledge and just a smidgeon of smarts; maybe, just maybe, this bill will be the knife that pierces the heart of the Republican Party and both houses go back to being Democratic. Then we can seriously start talking about impeachment.

*****

Watching economists debate the tax bill is like watching a sailor bail the Titanic with a Campbell Soup can. Nothing gets done. They’re all worried about how much effect one abstract concept has on another. No one deals with nuts and bolts problems like the fact that those stockholders who will benefit by the corporate tax reduction will be mostly be rich people because that’s who can afford to own stock and of those stockholders; up to 40% of them are foreign, so it won’t even be Americans who are benefitting from this tax bill.

Sarah Fagen, the White House Economic flunky, sat on a panel this Sunday and flat out lied about everything she said. She tried to avoid any mention of the fact that Trump himself would benefit as much or more than any American from this bill. She lied about the evidence of trickle down economics and when confronted by facts she doubled down on her lie. There is, in fact, no evidence in our economic history of trickle down economics helping create jobs. It just never has, but Sarah the uninformed, kept lying about his until she looked like the fool she is.

And speaking of liars, Steve Mnuchin was on Face the Nation lying about the tax bill too. Mnuchin lied about everything except his name and that only because he didn’t have to say it himself.

An interesting question came up in a discussion between John Dickerson and Bernie Sanders. Dickerson asked; if the Democrats get in power and have a chance to change the tax bill that the GOP has passed, will they restore the corporate tax rate to 35% to reduce the deficit. Saunders said; yes, absolutely and that’s the wrong answer.

What he should have said is that the rate won’t go up because we don’t want to give the whining GOP the point about us having the highest rate in the world. Instead, all the slimy deductions that the corporations now enjoy, which in some cases allow them to pay no taxes at all, will disappear, thereby forcing many corporations that now pay no taxes or very little, to pony up and pay the 21%, they lobbied so hard for. That will add a huge number to the tax rolls and be a big help in reducing the deficit.

*****

Despite the fact that two thirds of the American people are against it, the Senate Republicans passed a tax bill last night that will eventually devastate the citizens of the country they are supposed to represent. The House will vote again today. They have already passed their version of the bill but screwed up the procedure somehow and have to do it again. What else is new?

By this action The Republicans have removed 12 million people from the Health Care system (don’t ask how health care got into a tax bill) and they’re proud of it. What the hell is wrong with this picture? Of course this bill passed because the GOP knew if it didn’t pass something after controlling the entire government, they were toast. This blog has already gone on too long about what’s wrong with this bill. Now it’s time for those who will be screwed by this bill, which includes most of those who will vote in November, to show these self-serving crooks how they feel about being ignored and stolen from.

 

 

From → Politics

One Comment
  1. R. Bergman permalink

    You didn’t mention that the real answer to the taxation problem is for our country to get together with trading partners and set up international law prohibiting tax avoidance. You want to trade with America, you have to have a fair corporate tax structure. Want offshore bank accounts to avoid taxes, go to jail. The largest market in the world should have a great deal of leverage in making this happen? The consumer protection agency needs to be one of the most powerful cabinet offices.

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