The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Our Workplace Press

We publish workplace bulletins every two weeks. Below is the most recent editorial from our workplace newsletters. Older editorials are linked to the right.

Tax Cut Plan:
More Wealth for the Wealthy

Oct 8, 2017

When Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans announced their tax cut “plan,” Trump called it a “giant, beautiful, massive, the biggest ever in our country, tax cut.” For him and his wealthy friends, he may be right! For the rest of us, you can bet that it will end up being a “giant ... massive” attack.

Calling this a “plan” is a huge overstatement: the proposal is only nine pages long and lacks real detail. But more than enough is there to tell who it will benefit and who it will not.

According to a report from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, individuals in the top 0.1%, or those making over five million dollars a year, would get back at least $500,000 a year. The top 1%, with incomes over $730,000, would get $130,000. But people making up to $25,000 a year will only see a $60 break in their income tax every year. And some of us will pay more in tax.

Wealthy individuals will clean up, while we will see little or no benefit from this proposal.

For corporations, the boon is even bigger. The corporate tax rate would be lowered from 35 percent to 20 percent, a huge cut in taxes. Trump and other supporters of the plan claim that the current tax rate causes companies to take their money offshore and claim their profits in other countries. But as everyone knows, no corporation actually pays the 35 percent rate – a whole pile of deductions and other schemes allow companies to pay little to no taxes much of the time.

Trump claims that many of these deductions will be eliminated – but this is one detail that is conveniently missing from the plan: no specific deductions are mentioned for elimination. So when we see that the rich and the corporations will pay lower tax rates, we can assume that in fact the actual taxes they pay will be much lower.

In fact, a massive tax cut for corporations is the stated goal. Trump, the Republicans, and the corporate heads all claim that this money saved on taxes will let companies invest in their companies, bringing more production, more jobs and higher wages to working people here.

What a crock!

Corporations are already making record profits today. And what are they doing with that money? Instead of investing their profits in production, they have been pouring more and more of it into speculation – because that’s where they can make even more money more easily. If they get back still more money from Trump’s tax breaks, they’ll just pour even more of it into speculation, benefitting nobody but themselves.

But the cuts in their taxes WILL create massive deficits in the U.S. budget – up to six TRILLION dollars over ten years by some estimates. And who will end up paying for those deficits? We know who they plan to have pay: us!

The politicians already systematically use the deficits from earlier tax cuts to justify “massive” cuts in education budgets, Medicare, Medicaid, every other social service they can find, plus public services. They will cut even more. They will continue to “borrow” massive amounts of money from Social Security – and then they will turn around and say they must gut it in order to “save” it! They will “borrow” money from the highway fund, then say there is no money for roads or bridges. Everything Republicans AND Democrats have been doing to us for the past 40 years, they will do even more; but now ramped up worse than ever.

For over 40 years, the working class has seen these attacks increase and intensify – because the fight it would take to stop them is a fight of the whole working class. We haven’t seen such a fight developing until now. But it could develop. And sooner than we think.

That’s why it’s important to look reality in the face today: to prepare for tomorrow’s fights. To accept the lies told by Trump and other politicians is to disarm ourselves. To believe that we can benefit from THEIR tax cut is to blind ourselves about the world we live in. To fight back, we need clear vision – and the courage to face reality.