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Trump Tax Bill Is Thin Gruel For Middle Class

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Trump Tax Bill Is Thin Gruel For Middle Class


Reprinted with permission from Creators.

The Senate — the Republican Senate — is ready to sell us out, though it will be a very near thing. As I write from the press gallery, the place is buzzing like a beehive over this tax act and braced for a late night — aptly under cover of night.

By “us,” I mean we everyday people. The tax bill Republicans mean to pass is an overstuffed turkey that will be served to and devoured by the very rich at the table. They’re different from you and me, see?

The rest of us will settle for thin gruel and bare bones. Turkey marrow soup, anyone?

Tempers are shortening. Senator Bernie Sanders thundered on the floor, “Come down to the floor and tell me I’m wrong!” He contended that government social programs like Medicare and Social Security would soon suffer under the bill. No one came down to the floor.

President Donald Trump’s America desperately depends upon passage of radical tax code change. Much is at stake, namely, the fundamental fairness in the taxation system President Clinton put in place in 1993.

The crux of the Republican plan is to cut the rate businesses and corporations pay from 35 percent to 20 percent. This break is a sealed-with-a-kiss thank-you note to the Republican base of wealthy donors, who have made this cut their central demand.

Republican senators say a steep tax cut for business will create jobs and competitiveness. There’s absolutely no evidence for this, but no worries. It’s an article of faith they repeat often as if to justify throwing the nation’s finances way out of whack.

And by the way, this overstuffed turkey adds more than a trillion dollars to the deficit — from the party that swears it cares about fiscal responsibility. (They just love business tax breaks more.)

Meanwhile, the plan does next to nothing — or less than nothing — for working-class and middle-class families. Any modest relief they have is set to expire. Obamacare premiums are projected to rise by 10 percent because the individual mandate, a linchpin, will be broken by the plan. That part strikes me as sheer spite toward Barack Obama’s legacy, courtesy of Trump.

The ramifications are huge. Remember, Trump has lost every major legislative battle in the Senate so far. Notably, his Obamacare repeal lost by one vote. Senator John McCain’s, R-Ariz., thumbs-down was decisive, giving rise to a gasp in the midnight hour. McCain won’t be the dissenter in this showdown. Yet a similar drama may unfold, living proof of how the country is divided into two political camps at war.

Now, at the end of the president’s first year, Trump and Republican members of Congress are champing at the bit for bragging rights, something big and real to take home to their voters and districts. The tax act sailed through the rock-ribbed Republican House.

On the Senate side, a clenched optimism fills the ornate halls. Republican leaders try to count to 52 — the number of Republicans in the slim majority. They can afford to drop two votes, since Vice President Mike Pence breaks ties in the chamber. He will lie in waiting.

“I’m ready to saddle up and ride,” declared Republican Senator John Kennedy, a southerner from the Bayou State.

In character, Trump came for a showy lunch with all Republican senators this week. Give him this — he’s a potent force and presence. He carries himself much like a Roman emperor, mobilizing his troops.

I was reminded of the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a Roman Senate expert. Once he told me, “(Julius) Caesar did not seize power; the Senate ceded power to Caesar.”

If only he could see this.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.




  1. Dominick Vila December 1, 2017

    From a strictly political perspective, it is important to remember that, for better or worse, the GOP owns this tax “reform” Bill. In addition to adversely affecting the middle class, this Bill affects large segments of the small business community. Real estate among them. Most importantly, the large losses in government revenue will produce record deficit spending, borrowing, and accumulation of debt. My response to Trump’s promise regarding the fact that $4T of money currently invested overseas is going to come back to the USA, producing an unprecedented bounty for all, is: does he plan to sell his overseas investments, and use that money to invest in the USA?

    1. sigrid28 December 1, 2017

      I can see the scenario you

      1. Gerry Francis December 1, 2017

        Sigrid – I think you’re right on the money. 1 or even 2% of the population can’t possibly spend enough money to raise the standard of living for the other 98 or 99%. As far as enacting the tax plan – July of 2018 is the projected date. Remember, you’ll vote that November and file your taxes in April of 2019 – that’s when people will see just how bad we were scr–ed. Tricky – vote them back in first and give it 2 more years so maybe you’ll forget. Dirtbags all.

        1. sigrid28 December 1, 2017

          Dirtbags–and short-sighted dirtbags at that. Do these high rollers in the GOP think people to whom $4,000 is a lot of money–and not just the cost of half a designer handbag–will forget in 2020 when the GOP’s stylish chickens come home to roost? Looking on the bright side, there may be fewer loyal Trump voters as a good portion will, unfortunately, lose their health insurance. They didn’t think of that! A not insignificant proportion of those loyal Trump supporters may succumb to the opioid epidemic without effective treatment available through the ACA. They didn’t think of that! Then there are the Trump voters with buyers’ remorse, a growing number–and a growing number in the very states that put Trump over-the-top in the Electoral College. Rich Republicans easily dismiss people they consider their inferiors. Finally, it brings joy to my heart to imagine the political ads that will write themselves off the outrage generated by this tax act if it gets passed.

  2. Gerry Francis December 1, 2017

    Back in March, Mick Mulvaney said that cutting funding for things like after school programs and meals on wheels was the most ‘compassionate’ thing the administration could do so they don’t have to go to the single mom of 2 in Detroit and say “give us your money for programs for the less fortunate that don’t show results”. That’s one side of their mouth. The other side is saying – ‘even though the ‘trickle down’ theory didn’t show results under Reagan and again under Bush – we’re going to give it another shot’. NOW we’re going to go to the single mom of 2 in Detroit and say “give us your money so we can give it to the richest people in the country that don’t really need it and we don’t care how much it hurts”.

  3. Gerry Francis December 1, 2017

    Here’s Mulvaney blowing smoke back in March:


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