We have a very clear picture of what the Republicans in the Senate believe. Their spokesman, and leader, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell stood up in the Senate the other day and attacked the upcoming reconciliation bill by Senator Sanders and others as a “Socialist shopping list.”
So the question for the rest of us is whether someone making $7.50 an hour should be able to afford a decent, fixed place to live, can afford dental care, or a prescription or eye care. The shopping list that Senator McConnell, the front man and mouthpiece for the Right Wing billionaires and the individuals that they hire, demeans and discredits is basically a plan to tax enormously rich people a small amount more in order to create an more equitable society for the mass of Americans who work every day for minimal pay.
This legislation would provide such things as affordability of child care and lower drug prices. It would mean cleaner, safer, more climate healthy energy. It would enable free community college for people to upgrade their occupations and in some cases move on to four year college. And, it would offer assistance to those unable to afford some degree of dental care and vision care.
These things are not “Socialist” but Populist. They are opposed by the Super-rich because they will increase somewhat the taxes on the very rich. But they are Populist because the People want them and feel that with the country’s businesses generating trillions for the Super-rich alone, it is time that workers and the Middle class, who make our industries happen, should participate to a greater degree. After all, the United States is one of the top 3 most unequal of all countries in the world in distribution of income.
That did not happen by accident and Senator McConnell, long the number one fundraiser for Right Wing Republican Senators, knows it. It is his policies and those of other Right Wing Senators and Trump-Fascists, the majority of Republican House members, that have created the tax structures over the last 40 years that set up the current financial relationships between workers and corporations. Workers work off of a base beginning wage that can be as low as or lower in some cases than $7.25 an hour. This keeps wages low while creating tax loopholes that allow billionaires to take in gigantic sums of money while paying little or no taxes.
McConnell claimed that the Democratic reconciliation bill will enormously raise taxes. Actually, it will not raise taxes on the average family at all. Written into the bill is a specific provision that no one who earns less than $400,000 per year will see any tax increase at all. The bulk of the taxes will be paid by minimal increases in the taxes that should be levied on those with so much money that they have no idea about what to do with it. I should point out billionaire extravagances, like renting private jets the size of a 747 to ship horses abroad for horse shows, and creating your own multi-billion-dollar space program simply to send you and your rich friends up in the air and back down again.
McConnell lied. Those lies included that there will be new “permanent welfare with no work requirements.” It is hard to identify which provision McConnell means, as he considers any money not spent on the wishes and interests of billionaires to be “welfare.” He lied, of course, about wages, saying that they would “shrink.” A little hard to believe from a man whose wife, as Secretary of Labor, would not answer the phone, and laid off a vast number of department managers whose job it was to help increase average wages. And even more difficult to believe, as the author of the bill in question, Senator Sanders, has been the chief advocate for actually doubling the minimum wage. McConnell said that these programs will kill jobs. On the contrary, there will automatically be huge numbers of better-paying jobs in home care, child care and Pre-K education—which areas, since they do not affect billionaires, McConnell apparently considers “welfare.”
McConnell said that the American people do not want the government “meddling” in child care. That is wrong, and in his case, since he knows better, is, in fact, a lie! The American family wants better, easier child care and wants it to be affordable. Under the Sander’s bill, child care will be widely available and will be structured so as not to exceed 7% of a family’s income.
McConnell says that this is the wrong time to approve amnesty for illegal immigrants, but a former Republican President wanted to do it nearly 20 years ago. Already existing, though obstructed, amnesty plans for illegal immigrants to find a path to eventual citizenship are already in place. Children of illegal immigrants, doctors, lawyers, nurses firemen…all kinds of critical jobs…will be granted what they basically already have…permanent status to reside in the U.S.
This doesn’t appeal to McConnell and his billionaire sponsors. Apparently, active, full-time American taxi-drivers, farm workers, carpenters and electricians are merely less costly welfare recipients or “murderers and rapists” to the inheritance billionaire babies like Trump and Jeffrey Epstein and other Right Wing rich.
McConnell claims that this program will drive up inflation. It won’t. Our current inflationary period, obvious to even the least economics-educated individual, has been created by the response to pent up demand created by the pandemic. We have already seen some auto and lumber prices begin to recede. This $3 trillion, long-term legislation to adjust public services more towards those who need them, and the commensurate increase in taxes on the rich, would play out over a decade, not over 12 months as has the current, slight inflationary activity.
McConnell cries crocodile tears over his own, quite biased imaginary estimate of an increased national debt. Well, yes indeed. Let’s take a long hard look at the national debt and how it came about.
First, came Ronald Reagan who created $2.4 trillion in national debt. George H.W. Bush raised it to $4 trillion. By the time Bill Clinton could turn things around, it had risen to $5.6 trillion, but then he balanced the budget and, according to the CBO, put it on a path that would have paid off all national debt by the year 2011. But then came Bush/Cheney.
Despite the huge cost of a complete makeover of national security in a rush because of their failure to respond in time to 9/11 terrorists, plus two wars, unpaid for, they cut taxes on the rich and their corporations, twice. They raised the debt to about $12 trillion, BEFORE leaving us with a Great Recession that raised the annual budget deficits by over $1 trillion a year for the next four years and huge deficits beyond that, even though President Obama brought them down every year to as low as around $200-$300 billion by the time he left office.
Then came Trump. His foolish ideas on tariffs and gigantic tax cuts for the rich and his failure to respond to the pandemic, cost this government another $7 trillion in just four short years, so that today, we have a $23 trillion dollar national debt. But even though Bush/Cheney and Trump created massive deficit spending and cut revenues to the bone, our natural economic condition is to grow economically as our population grows. And so we have greatly expanded our GDP, so that the percentage of national debt is actually less of a problem than it used to be.
So, don’t ever talk to Democrats about fiscal responsibility or the risks of deficit spending unless you want to be laughed off the planet.
McConnell’s message is clear but not new, nor honest nor legitimate nor patriotic. His message is, unfortunately a propagandist’s response to a piece of legislation designed simply and directly to help the poor, the infirm, women, children, the elderly, long-time illegal immigrant workers and their children who seek a path to permanent citizenship, plus, generally speaking, all families but particularly Middle Class families. This is a plan that all disciples of Jack Kennedy, one of our last true heroes, would see as a “rising tide that would lift all boats.”
This bill is not expensive. Only a billionaire, finally required to pay some small measure of his obligation to his country would see it as expensive. Even though, with so much money some billionaires literally might not know that their tax bills had been changed. Like the infrastructure bill, much of the spending will go to creating jobs and increasing GDP. There will be more and better jobs for energy and home care and child care. It can and should be paid for by those who already have everything they could ever have imagined, and who have profited from our arranging economic conditions and earnings in such as way as to create an environment in which they could become fabulously wealthy. They will still be fabulously wealthy. After all, Anyone who has the good fortune to have enough income to potentially live on $20 million a year for 50 years without touching a penny, and even at the end have millions left over, should hardly mind paying a few percentage points more to help create a society as great as its economic engine.
We should never restrict the capacity of our citizens to make as much money as possible in our strong Capitalist society. But neither should we be afraid to tax those huge incomes, or those major income drivers, the big global corporations to create a livable, convenient, secure and sustainable society. Even the arch conservative economist, Friedrich Hayek, maintained that societies, when freely elected, have the right to decide on who is taxed and how much.
The Republicans are now dominated by the traitor Trump and his stooge, McConnell, also the lackey of the Right Wing Industrialists. They fund the many Right Wing radio hosts that issue daily propaganda, lies to divide the people. In turn, the many new Fascist groups not only attack our Capitol and try to usurp our electoral process, but work for billionaire-paid groups who work against our electoral processes in over half the states in the country.
Only when many of these thugs are confronted by people who see the results of this kind of Progressive, Populist legislation on the lives of the People will this traitorous behavior stop, and will people like Trump and McConnell be discarded and fade into history. Unless they prevail and Americans lose the greatest gift in history—a free democratic society.