It would be fine to have a well-thought-through corporate tax reform that were revenue-neutral . . . and that did not encourage companies to move jobs overseas as the current Republican plan, being rushed into law, likely will.
And it would be economically dumb but at least morally defensible to give the working poor and middle class a tax cut. They are struggling to get by! They’ve been cut out of the tremendous gains in wealth the country has made these past 30-odd years. It’s almost all gone to the top few percent, especially to the tippy top. (As you know, the net worth of just three individuals now exceeds the combined net worth of the entire bottom half of the country.)
But what possible reason can there be to lower the top individual tax bracket from 39.6% to 37%? How would that help the working poor or middle class? How would it help fund revitalization of our crumbling infrastructure? How would it help reduce the deficit that Republicans care so deeply about when they’re not in power — but then explode when they are?
What possible reason can there be to cut the estate tax (which they like to call the “death” tax but is effectively an inheritance tax on lucky multi-millionheirs and billionheirs)? How would that help the working poor or middle class or fund revitalization of our crumbling infrastructure or reduce the deficit?
What possible reason can there be to cut the top tax rate on highly-earning professionals and business folk from 39.6% to 30% or so, as they “pass through” their income from LLC’s and S-corps? It’s no fun being taxed 39.6% on that portion of your income above $450,000 when you’re making $600,000 or $1 million or $3 million a year — but do we really need to go deeper into debt to cut those taxes? Shouldn’t we revitalize our infrastructure instead?
Why has the “carried interest” loophole for hedge-funders survived yet again? It’s just an illogical giveaway to people, some of them immensely wealthy, who simply don’t need it.
Why throw out “the individual mandate,” which is projected to raise the cost of health insurance for millions of Americans — and cause 13 million to lose coverage altogether? Republicans consider it a great way to save money, because when people lose their Affordable Care Act insurance, the government won’t have to provide the subsidies that make it affordable.
With inequality threatening our economy and our society like never before (well, maybe like 1929), why would we do this to ourselves? Could it be because the Koch brothers and the Mercers and the Devos family and Wilbur Ross and Carl Icahn and the Trump family really want to?
Call every Republican senator you can think of, especially these, and ask their staff these questions. Or if you call in the middle of the night, leave those questions on their voice mail. The Senate switchboard is 202-224-3121. Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Sasse, Corker, Rubio, Paul, Johnson, McCain . . . And then, if one or both your senators is Republican, go a step further. Google over to their website and find the phone number for their local office — and call that one, too.
Seriously: we’re not going to get another shot at this.
Have a great weekend.
Quote of the Day
Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.~Teddy Roosevelt, 1902
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