Jan 2, 2018
Trump says his tax cut bill will benefit “everyone,” and that he has kept his promise to the “middle class.”
Yes, most people probably will get a small cut in their withholding taxes in the coming year—only to see that cut taken back a few years later. Other provisions of the tax bill will end up sticking most of us with higher taxes after 2025.
It’s just like the bait-and-switch mortgages crooked real estate companies used in deals that pushed the economy into the 2008 collapse.
Furthermore, a new provision for calculating inflation was snuck into this bill—guaranteeing in future years that we will lose even more. And not just in taxes. This new inflation calculator may be used in the future to reduce inflation coverage in entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Disability and Veterans’ benefits.
The best estimates so far find that 1.7 trillion dollars will be cut in taxes over the next ten years. But those cuts aren’t evenly spread through the whole population. Over 1.4 trillion dollars will go either to corporations, other big businesses or the wealthiest 5% of the population. The small remainder will go to the other 95% of people.
Trump and other Republicans say, don’t worry, these tax cuts for the corporation will cause them to invest and create jobs.
No, the last four tax cuts put through—one by Reagan, two by Bush and one by Obama—were justified using the same excuse. But those cuts didn’t create new jobs. Instead corporations used them to increase executive pay and hand out more money in dividends and stock buy-backs to the small number of people who hold over 80% of the stock in this country. Good paying, permanent jobs weren’t created. The wealthy simply put more money into their brokerage accounts—or dumped it into speculation—speculation in real estate, speculation in currency trades. And what they didn’t put into speculation in this country, they dumped into the money markets overseas, or salted away in the so-called “tax havens” where people like Donald Trump and the Russian oligarchs put their assets in order not to pay any taxes on them.
And that’s only the beginning. Because this tax cut bill, which will increase the budget deficit by almost two trillion dollars will automatically trigger spending cuts in Medicare and Veteran’s benefits. And it will be the pretext for cutting more money out of the social programs that sooner or later every one of us depends on. And it will be the pretext for cutting federal funding for education and payments for public services and infrastructure.
No, this is not a tax cut for “the middle class.” It quite simply is a gift to that class of which Trump is a very greedy example. And here’s an interesting point: at the last minute a special provision was put into the bill that will benefit people exactly like Trump—that is, real estate speculators. Trump himself is estimated to benefit by one billion dollars over ten years time from this and other provisions.
Taken altogether, it means we won’t get a lasting tax cut, AND we will pay for the enormous cuts that will go to the already super wealthy.
Donald Trump has made loads of promises. But the only promises he’s kept are the ones he made in secret to the wealthy class of which he is a part—and to their bankers and their corporations.
The Democrats are right when they criticize this bill. But the test will come when they control Congress again. Will they do what they did all those other times when they were in control of Congress—that is, give the votes needed to hand over still more money to the wealthy class that runs this society? They talk a good game when there’s nothing at all they can do. But their past history tells us we ought to be suspicious of them, too.
There’s no point to wait on them to save us. We have the forces to protect ourselves and to back Donald Trump down, wiping that smirk off his face. But our forces don’t count unless we use them.