If you consider yourself an average American, then you were asleep last night as the Senate passed the GOP tax bill on a vote of 51-48. This is one of, if not, the biggest tax break for wealthy Americans in history. And as middle and lower class Americans continue to struggle, this bill is extremely troublesome.
But why? While it is true that almost immediately, Americans in every tax bracket will get some sort of deduction on how much tax they pay, the long-term impact of this bill could be catastrophic.
- This will add another trillion dollars to the deficit with no guarantee that it pays for itself;
- 13 million people will lose health insurance and health insurance premiums will rise;
- The gap between the rich and poor will rise dramatically and poorer Americans would pay more in taxes within the next decade;
- Corporate tax rates dip dramatically.
Ultimately, this bill is a massive cut for the wealthiest of Americans, including members of Congress who made sure a real estate provision was added to benefit themselves personally. And while there is almost no evidence to show this has a long-term benefit for the average American, Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders want you to think so.
The argument here is centered around jobs. Remember the whole “We’re bringing jobs back to America” slogan that played a part in convincing almost half of America to vote for Trump? That argument. And that is central for Republicans to try and win public support.
The idea is that giving corporations competitive tax rates encourages them to stay in America, not expedite jobs overseas and hire Americans. However, there is almost zero guarantee that happens, or that the lower tax rates will have any effect on job creation as companies like Apple can continue to make billions of dollars off of child labor.
The American public has yet to be fooled by the GOP’s political tactics. The approval rating of the bill is dismal and all the GOP can do is hope talk about the short, immediate period where paychecks get a little bigger will improve public support.
At the end of the day though, none of that really even matters. What matters is that twice, Republicans swept this bill through Congress overnight as most Americans were asleep, without allowing most Democrats to prepare. There was no effort for bipartisanship, collaboration or transparency with the American people. This was a bill set on allowing corporate donors to benefit and continue the usage of dark money to influence politics. And its at the expense of the American public.
If anything, this entire event shows that the Washington Post’s slogan is correct: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
So, things will get tougher. Not now, but in a few years. And unless the American public urges bipartisanship and collaboration with one another, the middle class will surely die out and the rich and powerful will continue to run the world. 99% of Americans don’t identify as the top 1%, yet those 25-30 million that do continue to rule and divide us. And the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is another reminder of that.
Photo By: Joshua Roberts/Reuters