Congressional Proposals are Moving from Bizarre to Tragically Depressing

Citizen Wealth Financial Justice
Source: NY Times

Little Rock There is just no pretense any more about whether Republican proposals are seeking to serve the entire population. There is posturing and prevarication for sure, but shame has left Washington, leaving hardly a blush mark.

There’s always a last ditch hope that a miracle might unravel the freight train tax bill, but hope is not a plan, and the whistle seems to be blowing loudly for all of us worried about someone other than the rich and corporate interests, we better dive off the track.

Nobody really, really truly knows all of what is in this tax bill, including the Senators who are voting for it. Frankly, that should not only say it all, but say, enough, and hold your darned horses. Instead, what we know is horrific. It would be one thing if it simply helped the rich and corporations. That’s hardly news from this Congress, and that’s been happening for years and years at this point, Administration to Administration, including both Democrats and Republicans. It’s how we became one of the most unequal societies among advanced countries in the world, right?

But, this bill doesn’t involve the usual shell game of moving things out of sight and under a different cup. This bill in fact hurts much of the middle class, no matter what the posturing and pretense of its advocates. Worse, it seems the poorest parts of our society are being asked to pay these pikers. The health mandate is now about to become an odd victim of this tax bill and an unrelated amendment has been grafted unto the tax measure to eliminate the requirement and therefore the penalties paid for not having insurance, all of which could jeopardize the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans couldn’t get a majority to repeal, but by force feeding this amendment with tax giveaway to donors, they may get it done. The tax bill may also trigger huge reductions in Medicaid spending and other entitlements which also benefit lower income Americas. Treating student loans as income will hammer all of the lower and middle income students trying to get an education to better their lives without the resources of upper class families to simply sign the checks and move forward. This is unbelievable, except for one terrible fact: it’s true.

And, if it’s not one thing, it’s another up. We’re not giving away enough to the corporations so another amendment will allow drilling in the Arctic as an odd bit grafted onto this mess. Another bill will renege on the promise of student loan repayment for students who work in rural and depressed areas for nonprofits for ten years and allow predatory for profit institutions to gobble up more student dreams and their dollars. The FCC is trying to eviscerate net neutrality which could be the end of the internet as we know it now. And on and on and on.

Meanwhile Trump tweets as a tactical diversion so that people are watching his clown show while Congress and his cabinet heads gut one program after another that were designed to protect or advance Americans.

Resistance doesn’t describe what’s needed now. It’s gone from bizarre to depressing. No one could have made this stuff up.