Tax Cut Consequences–the First Test of the Fascist Agenda

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by

Joseph O’Shaughnessy

Have you heard the old “how to cook a frog” story? Of course you have, if you have ever been to a national sales meeting or any kind of conference where a national speaker has to step up and give an example of how to get something done.

The frog story goes like this. If you try to put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will keep jumping out. So what you do is place the frog in a pot of cold water and keep turning up the heat slowly. Yes, it’s a stupid story. But here’s the point.

The Republicans…my favorite Fascists…working for the billionaires, for whom they just created another huge double tax cut have every intention of drastically reducing your Social Security and Medicare. But like the frog, most of us, even the racist Trump voters, object to having our Social Security cut. After all, it is basically an annuity that we have paid for all our working lives.

Trump, of course, as he regularly does, lies about his concerns for Social Security and Medicare.During the campaign, he said he would not “touch” Social Security or Medicare. But the Republicans have already proposed huge cuts to both and Trump has not uttered so much as a one word tweet. He has already justified the Republicans cuts as necessary because of the “wonderful” tax cut to (all?) Americans.

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If you’re wondering about the “double” tax cut for billionaires, here is what it means. If you are in the billionaire class, statistically speaking, 999 out of 1000 of you get your income from stock in corporations. So when we cut income taxes on the highest incomes, and then cut capital gains taxes—and then cut corporate taxes from 35% down to 21%, we are giving two tax cuts (at least) to the billionaires, who  have annually received increased income–with fewer taxes–for the last 35+ years at least. But is that wrong?

We live in a Capitalist system. And so long as we do, there is theoretically nothing wrong with people making huge, enormous amounts of money. Many make billions only to give it away at the end of their lives, like the Rockefellers, or Carnegie or Walter Annenberg. Even the Right Wing rich, like the sinister, complicated Koch brothers give huge amounts (with even greater amounts left over ) to public institutions like public television and hospitals. That is how a Capitalist system works.

But we live in a Capitalist Democracy; some would split hairs and say a Capitalist Republic. Either way, as a Democratic system, we should be able to make income distribution fair. By that I mean, no one should starve in a rich society. No one should be without health care or the minuscule retirement income that they paid for over a working life of something usually like 45 or 50 years. No one should be allowed to steal that money from the People as the Kochs who give tens of millions to Lincoln Center in New York City would do by giving hundreds of millions to Right Wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation and others to write papers decrying the need for or the sustainability of Social Security.

There is nothing wrong at all with being a rich American billionaire. Right Wing billionaires, however, fund the Republican/Fascist Party (there is no dispute about that.) Therefore, they must be those telling Republican/Fascist legislators to eliminate those aspects of government that do anything but help their industries. And they must be the ones promoting any legislation that helps to relentlessly cut their taxes at the expense of the rest of society.

The removal of long-tested and hugely valued social programs could begin as early as the fall of 2018, under President Trump. He has shown that he will do arbitrarily whatever the Republican Congress…a willing supplicant group to their billionaire sponsors…allows him to do.

Even today, the extreme Fascists among the Republicans are trying to intimidate an assistant director of the FBI, going over the head of the Attorney General to try to impeach him. This is a long-term decorated FBI deputy director (Republican.) Their goal is to prevent an investigation that may hurt them politically. In other words, a typical Fascist political move. The concept is simple. To protect their corrupt political machine by supporting a President popular with their voters…the Fascists. The President has support among the brain-washed of the populace, primarily racists, homophobes, religious fanatics, the marginally functional and intellectually lazy. These are the audiences of Fox News and Right Wing media.

This group, the Trump loyalists, encompass something like an astonishing 35-40% of the population, much higher in the Segregationist South and in the largely disconnected and sparsely inhabited Far West. The farmers were a loyal group, as uneducated as the South but not as bigoted. They may…or may not…have learned their lesson from the Trump tariffs that are costing them billions in revenue and could cost them an entire generation of foreign exports if they are not careful. They should have learned that Trump is for Trump. He will throw any group under the bus to achieve his personal goals. Those goals have nothing to do with the good of the country. Jobs will not be restored by tariffs. All tariffs will do–as any graduate economics student can tell you–is raise prices domestically and potentially lose an entire foreign market to another supplier.

This is the worst form of Fascist politics—one that overrides and supersedes the legal system. By attacking he validity of the FBI and other national agencies, for example, they hope to destroy the rule of law and turn this country into a Fascist state. Even the Attorney General, a Republican/Fascist himself, from one of the strongest anti-democratic Confederate states, has called the action irresponsible. He knows what may happen to society when the rule of law is abandoned to a group of Fascists. This is not 1930s Germany. We still have an active, independent media, providing the facts to most Americans. If we lose the Democratic process, I can assure you there will be bloody revolution. It is the inevitable outcome as we have seen on so many other countries in this hemisphere.

The House Republicans, with the encouragement of Paul Ryan, have decided to begin the attack on Social Security and Medicare this fall. They have already released a proposal that would balance the budget—not by restoring funds handed over to billionaires and now even reaching down in substantial amounts to those in the top 1% of society, those with incomes of approximately $300,000 per year and up—but by cutting entitlement programs, including Medicare.

The only thing that will prevent it, in all likelihood, is the fact that many Republican/Fascists would be discovered for the anti-Middle Class agents of the rich that they actually are. And in an election year, that could be fatal to their political good health. The Republican/Fascists have long paraded their ideas about cutting entitlements before the rich to earn their approval and huge campaign contributions. This isn’t rocket science. The Trump tax cuts for the rich and upper classes and corporations will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt.

The Republican/Fascists are so wealthy now and have so many huge campaign Pacs who create negative, often totally false political advertising that, in many cases, people simply believe the lies, not realizing that since 1987, and Ronald Reagan, lies in both political advertising and in any other kind of public speech have been sanctioned by the government. There is no legal requirement that politicians or their campaign advertising agencies or the political Pacs that support them tell the truth. Which is why a politician like Peter Roskam, who voted 60 times to repeal Obamacare can run ads and send out mailers stating that he has always supported health care for families and senior citizens. When, in fact, he has done the exact opposite and received huge donations and support from the billionaire-sponsored Republican political Pacs in return.

The House Budget Committee Chairman, the despicable Steve Womack of Arkansas, has claimed that it is time to address our nation’s biggest challenge—the continuation of Social Security and Medicare—because, in his mind, they are responsible for our national debt—not the 6 tax cuts to billionaires since 1981, and the resulting $20 trillion in debt those tax cuts caused.

The Republican/Fascists want to privatize Medicare. You would receive a stipend. When you spend that, plus the co-pays that will increase, you would be out of money. So take care of your health. Whatever happens to you, is basically, in other words, your fault unless you are rich enough—despite essentially no buying or saving power increases to the average family over the last 40 years. In other words, you have less buying power with your income today than you did in 1979, unless you are in one of the upper-income strata. Why would Republican/Fascists want to privatize Medicare. It ain’t complicated.

They want to shovel $550 billion in costs over to the average American people…the people who need health care, hundreds of millions of Americans…and away from the thousand or so billionaires and 3 million in the top 1% who…may…be lucky enough to buy some kind of lifelong health insurance in place of Medicare.
Medicaid would not be free from restrictions either. You think the poor, who have no political power—zero—will get any kind of reasonable health care? They don’t get it now in almost half the states, where they have to rely on charity to barely stay alive.

The new idea on Medicaid is that it be a “block grant” program. So in the old Confederate states and in the far western states, where minorities of all kinds, from Blacks to Native Americans already have almost no rights, Medicaid would become virtually arbitrary, administered by governments that are blatantly racist, which can be seen from their votes in overwhelmingly voting for Right Wing Republican/Fascists alone, and in their support for a clearly potentially dictatorial President, whom they suppose will hurt others whom they do not like, but will leave them content. They obviously have never read the statements of either Herman Goering or Pastor Niemoeller.

The scourge of oppression and poverty is like a seepage that does not end. There is no lower level that contains the greed of the super-rich. Whatever you have today, they want. Whatever you have left, they will want tomorrow. Simply because, like Trump supporters, you hate the same people they pretend to hate, you are not protected when the time comes to eliminate your job, your Social Security or draft your son to go fight the Chinese or the Iranians. No longer do the sons of the rich and powerful, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and the last of the real Bushes…George H.W. Bush…go to war for the people. They pay others to do their dirty work for them. Then they pretend to be patriotic while electing Republican/Fascists who cut veterans’ benefits.

One day, those who pander to the billionaires and their supplicant Fascist political operatives will find themselves in disagreement. At best, they will be denied promotion or political support or jobs or some benefit which, by that time, the Party, the likely Republican/Fascist Party, will control. At worst, however, it may become a breach of the law to disagree in public or in print or on some electronic media platform. Then you won’t need health care or Social Security. The millions of people in Nazi concentration camps never needed health care or Social Security. What they needed but never received was freedom, and compassion and love. .Those things are in short supply in a Fascist state.

The Republican/Fascists see Medicaid for the poor as needing limitations. And by the poor we mean, for example, those who were never retrained during the Great Bush Recession or before when 7 million jobs were sent to Asia, encouraged by Bush/Cheney sponsored legislation to offer incentives for manufacturing products abroad. Or Blacks who never were offered a decent education or the remotest possibility of attending college or Native Americans who were deliberately cheated and are cheated still by the American government out of education and opportunity. This isn’t a polemic. We owe the Native Americans, for example, tens of billions…and with interest…perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars. They have been cheated by the American people…you and me. And yet we want to be sure to limit their health care expenses.

Because most people have health care of some kind, let’s look at those who do not…again…in (according to Trump) the richest nation in the history of the world. So, 17 states did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare. In those states, in order to get Medicaid treatment, you must earn less than $9,000. And even if you do, you are not eligible as a single adult without children. There are about 2.2 million people who make more than $9,000 per year but do not make enough to qualify for the minimum subsidies to buy affordable insurance under Obamacare. Of the, states not covering the poor, 90% are in the strong Republican/Fascist Southern states and 7% are in Republican/Fascist Midwestern states. It is not a coincidence that Southern states equate “poor” with “Black’ even though in places like Mississippi and Tennesee and West Virginia some of the most degrading and grinding poverty is among largely ignorant Republican voters.

Medicaid is a program paid for by general tax revenues. But Social Security and Medicare are programs paid by deductions from payroll deduction up to incomes of $128,000. Over that, no money is deducted. So someone earning $500,000 or Bill Gates, pays the same Social Security taxes as the person making $128,000. But rather than raising Social Security tax rates or raising the income level to $160,000 or $200,000, the Republican/Fascists (prompted by the billionaires who do not like social programs of any kind, fearing that their taxes—which have gone down from 94% to about 20% over the last 40 years—might actually have to pay a few dollars more to balance a budget which their tax benefits have unbalanced. Consequently, Social Security is scheduled to be reduced by $4 billion as a result of these generous tax cuts for the rich.

If you think that government generosity of spirit will be denied merely to the poor any longer, you are sadly mistaken. Further cuts will be made to other grams, like $230 billion in education and training programs and reductions in educational incentives like Pell grants. Another $300 billion in cuts has been left unspecified but you can count on the fact it will not come from those with the greatest ability to pay.

Overall, the partisan proposal is reminiscent of the budget released in 2011 by now-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who was then the Budget Committee chairman and advanced a bold proposal attacking entitlements, slashing spending — and creating lines of attack for Democrats once Ryan became Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the GOP ticket the following year.

So, we know now what many of us have known all along. The Republcan/Fascists no longer make any attempt to hide their supporters. They pander to the rich, foolishly, but thankfully, allowing Trump to bring them out into the open. We now know that Republican/Fascists support all the Right Wing financial oligarchs by eliminating government revenues, by allowing a rampant corporate environment with no rules, including rules on product safety or availability and by destroying near-100-year- old programs to aid the most challenged in our society.

The Koch brothers, the richest individuals among the oligarchs, set out to destroy the Middle Class, beginning in 1973, and they have largely succeeded. They have funded the disbanding of unions, the divisions between races, the phony super-patriotism that disguises hatred of immigrants rather than acceptance of them. It has blurred lines between truth and reality by creating false news sources like Fox News, the Breitbart Report, NewsMax and other media that have grown up with huge funding to create mixed news, so that half the stories are true, and the other half, usually to attack some specific group with a subtle, sub-rosa message, are merely propaganda.

The top ten percent of the working class in this country is not only becoming more and more beholden to giant corporations for their jobs or their clientele but they are rapidly distancing themselves both economically and socially from the bottom income 90%. And the Kochs and others have carefully constructed a Republican/Fascist Party, not unlike those of the thirties, that more frequently requires a litmus test, a test of loyalty to racism, intolerance, greed and acceptance of societal inequality as a way of life, as entry into that inner group.

Trump has delivered one good message. The message is that the Republican/Fascist Party, by openly supporting Trump’s reckless and anti-Middle Class policies, while lying about them and calling them pro-Middle Class, has shown itself  clearly to the public, as a vanguard for the super-rich. By repealing health care for all, by  cutting taxes on billionaires again and again, by eliminating environmental and climate policies that exist for the good of all, by pretending to help poor areas while blatantly lying about what can actually be done to restore outdated industry…all these things show them to be liars, purveyors of a false message of prosperity that does not exist and will not happen under Republicans for these groups.

The age of American Fascism, the age of the Republican Fascists is here.

From the governorships to the House of Representatives to the Senate to the Supreme Court to the Presidency…all in Republican hands, not one piece legislation will be written or upheld that really and truly is designed to uplift the average American family.

Fascism is finally here. And it ain’t pretty. It is, in fact, the most dangerous time in our country’s history.