Peter Roskam, House of Representatives member from the 6th District of Illinois, was interviewed recently on public television about the new Trump-Republican tax plan. We’ve taken the liberty of abbreviating and responding to his comments–and inserting some facts. We have more follow up after the video. Read the details and share them with others.xxx
There is no big movement towards a tax cut or even much towards tax reform…which, by the way, this so-called reform plan does not do. Where was the big uproar over “reforming” the tax code? What group of CEOs suddenly marched on Washington with placards that read “Lower our Taxes,” “Bring Our Money Home!” The facts are pretty clear. Corporate profits have never been better and Wall Street hits new highs every day. This after years of deliberate Republican neglect.
The Republicans, under racist and Neo-Fascist leaders, like Mitch McConnell, said on the very night after President Obama’s inauguration, that they would not allow one piece of legislation to pass. They didn’t say that they would prohibit every piece of legislation “…except for those important to the people, to keep them healthy, to keep them employed.” They obstructed all legislation that would make the Obama Administration successful and that restricted economic growth and that reduced the number of jobs and the increases in wages for the American worker. They filibustered 400 pieces of legislation from becoming law. But it gets worse.
Ten years later, only now, only in the last several years, has the economy begun to grow. That is because every jobs bill, every infrastructure bill was voted down. Even Obamacare, which gave new, affordable health insurance to 30 million Americans who had been living with the sword of Damocles over their heads, even this most humane of legislation for the People, was finally partially struck down.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the one time small-school college quarterback who came to prominence pandering to the wealthy, Cuban-Batista expatriates in Florida, shut down the corridor payments for health insurance companies from Obamacare. Americans get their health care from their employers, whose bills are subsidized through tax breaks from government. So, in effect, we are all paying higher medical bills because government gave this break to employers. Obamacare gave this same subsidy to individuals who can’t get health care through an employer. But Rubio and the Republicans, pandering to their billionaire supporters decided to eliminate these subsidies, leaving many Americans with enormously higher insurance premiums or no health care insurance options at all. Rubio, meanwhile, in that most primitive and racist of American states remains an elected Senator. It is as if Herman Goering were to run for office in Germany after WWII and be elected.
The economy has gradually come back, after years of suffering, after the Bush-Cheney Republican Depression cost Americans $7.5 trillion in personal savings, 401Ks and homes. They obstructed Obama policies, did nothing, and held the annual economic growth rate to 1.5%. They did nothing to help grow jobs, allowing some people to remain on unemployment, over 1.4 million people, for 99 months and throwing them off like soiled and discarded linen. This was the man in the video, Roskam. This is the man who wants you to believe him and vote for the billionaire tax bill that for which he is one of the key hucksters. He doesn’t care. Just like the Republicans in the Illinois state House, for whom Republican governor Bruce Rauner has set up a special fund out of his own pocket. If you vote them out, he’ll find them a job.
As John Maynard Keynes once said, the economy does have business cycles, and in the long run, it will always turn up again. The problem is, Keynes has been quoted as saying, related to this, “In the long run, we are all dead.” So the Republicans are not stupid. Quite the contrary, they knew that the money and the lies would protect them until the economy came back. They had the money to create the lies and promote them in the media to blame Obama…while hiding the fact that they could have done anything they wanted. They controlled every facet of government. But they did nothing.
So, the Neo-Fascist McConnell and Ryan, the lying toady for the Koch brothers and speaker at their secretive annual Neo-Fascist conferences among the Right Wing super-rich at luxury resorts in places like Palm Springs, are pushing a bill that does only one thing. It rewards these super-rich by eliminating the estate tax for a minimum of ten years, by which time, the 80+ year-old Koch brothers will have passed on their fortunes–which, in turn, they had inherited–to their children, whom they presumably believe will be the next wave of Fascists.
This is what the basics of the tax bill are all about. That is why the tax cuts, that range from about $60 at the bottom up to a max of around $4,000 at $175,000 all expire! The Koch brothers don’t want you to have permanent tax relief. Yet, they feel that they have spent enough on politics that their taxes, in tens, literally tens of billions, should be cut in perpetuity. And it is not just the estate tax. Their capital gains taxes, taxes on the corporations that they own, money that they have stashed abroad, should they need it…for some mysterious reason…here in the states–these and other taxes that benefit the very rich alone…will be slashed. To do it, we must borrow another $3 to $7 trillion from the rest of American taxpayers. We are, in essence, each going into debt to loan the Koch brothers collective billions of dollars. These are the very people who want to toss you out on the street after age 66!
What about the other provisions? Well, lets take a look at them.
1. Cutting the top rate on corporations from 35% to 20%. No one has a problem with this…but…economist, while they don’t feel we need it, say it would not hurt–if we cut the tax benefits. Eliminate write-offs for corporate jets, for business lunches, for corporate paid health care. Your health care is, just like the Obamacare mandate, paid for in half-by deductions you and your employer get in order to subsidize higher insurance premiums. So, not only do you pay higher costs but those who do not have a job with a company (fewer and fewer these days) who pay health care pay higher costs because they do not have the subsidy. And the Obamacare plan that said insurance companies should offer some kind of subsidy to all Americans (this should be challenged in the courts) is the one that Marco Rubio and the Republicans gutted in 2014.
2. Lower tax rates will bring money home for investment here. So here is the logic. We would cut top tax rates. Corporations that now pay no taxes on money stashed in, say, Ireland, would bring it home and invest it. And that, Trump says, would create jobs. Let’s see if that works. I give you a million dollars and say…now go invest it. I think your first question might be…in what? If I am a CEO, I already have long-range plans, we all have 5-year plans already, in which investments are already planned and underway. What could hold them up? Capital? Money is already almost free. Profits are at an all time high. Cash is flowing like water. No, it is not capital shortages. It is the uncertainty of a Trump Adminstation that has hired a bunch of self-serving clods to run highly sophisticated and literally mammoth organisations with over two centuries of rules and policies developed to serve the people. Corporations, my friends, are scared to death about the future.
In many cases, giant corporate boards are like the dog that chased the fire engine. Now they’ve caught it…with Trump and McConnell and their Right Wing economists…and now what do they do with it…make war? CEOs are mostly draft dodgers. They don’t want to go to war or send their kids to war. They’re not stupid. They want your kids to go to war. But even more than that..they don’t want war at all, not just for humanitarian reasons, they’re not Fascists themselves, but war is bad for business! So, no, lowering the tax rate will not bring businesses home, nor create meaningful capital inflows that will help the average American worker. Capital inflows would, however, provide more money to pay dividends to the biggest stockholders…those same billionaires we’ve been talking about.
3. Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The reasons the Republicans are not concerned about the deficits that will result from these tax cuts…and they will…is that they intend to cut entitlements as soon as the tax cuts are passed. Paul Ryan has already said that entitlements (that is, the social network that we, not just billionaires, created over tens of decades, into which we pay monthly premiums deducted from our payrolls for 45 year or more) need to be “reformed.” There they go again, that age-old word for “cut.” Billionaires want their taxes cut. This reduces revenue. We already have borrowed trillions of dollars from the funds we all put in from payroll deductions to pay for the Reagan, Bush and now proposed Trump tax cuts. We are now $20 trillion in debt because we cut taxes more that the cost of government. Someone has to pay that bill or, they say, we must cut services…Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is baloney.
Clinton raised taxes, if only modestly, and balanced the budget and
put money back
into Social Security and Medicare. It isn’t magic. It simply requires two things. It requires an adjustment in our tax code…not cuts but increases for some, including corporations…and voting out ALL Republicans. As long as Fascists exist, they will fight for their Fascist principles. Those are the following: a dominant leader who makes the rules and carries them out mercilessly and relentlessly. (for example, trying to send a dangerously ill 10-year old illegal alien girl back across the border to avoid having to pay for her gall bladder to be removed.) Second, blind allegiance to a national order that does not take into consideration whether your are pledging allegiance to honor and dignity or the hatred of Jews and Blacks. Third, a militaristic, nationalistic feeling that we, as Americans (whatever that means, given our diversity) are superior to other nations and other races.
We don’t need that kind of government or politicians who are driven to act that way by huge campaign donations by wealthy industrialists whose idea of government is whatever they think it should be…and you sit down ans shut up.
Well, folks, we won’t sit down and we won’t shut up until they understand that all they have to lose is, as politicians, their jobs, and as billionaires, enough confiscation, if that is what they want to call it, of their inherited riches until they no longer have enough extra funds lying around to buy up all the Republican politicians in the country.