Wednesday, December 6, 2017

passing a tax bill

Despite owning majorities in both houses of Congress and the executive, Donald Trump has failed to produce a single piece of legislation during his year in office. Health care -- the framework he promised to "repeal and replace" -- fell flat on its ass. A wall across the Mexican border (another promise that the Mexicans would pay for according to Trump) is nowhere. And there are other initiatives that likewise have failed and Trump has invariably blamed on someone else's incompetence.

Currently, a revision of the tax laws is in House-Senate conference, with the two houses allegedly trying to hammer out a compromise to send for the president's signature. Each body managed to come up with a bill without letting the rest of the nation in on the forging of their measures. Given Trump's other failures, I predict it will pass. Aside from anything else, legislators know who buys their jobs and the tax bills both favor the wealthy and, over ten years, screw the middle and lesser classes. A trillion dollars added to the deficit the Republicans claim to be concerned with. Entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the sights of those who need them least and have made it clear that the cash reserves of big corporations will NOT be spent on more hiring or fatter pay packets. But these are the tax-write-off guys who buy our legislators and it's an odd-on bet that for all the corruption, voters will forget when given the opportunity... and the coffers will remain open to those in need of a new legislative term.

Today, the top news items focus on Donald Trump's considering naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel would be delighted. Others -- Palestinians and other Middle Eastern countries -- see it as a spanner in the works of what is sometimes unsmilingly referred to as "the peace process."

Israel and Jerusalem ... in a kerfuffle that puts Trump in the spotlight (where he needs to be) and, coincidentally, deflects too much interest in the tax bill Republicans and Democrats are going to vote for because they want the money that will pave the way to re-election. Yes, there will be endless news stories, dutifully delivered, but in the end, the tax bill will pass, Trump will claim victory, and legislators will spin it all to their best advantage... and those with less will have less still after a few years.

Israel is a good diversion. The chaff effect stings my eyes as well and pumps up my shame at being unwilling to look up the relevant links that would support my conclusions. I'm tired lately, which I'm sure will delight those angling for a meal ticket or relying on voter forgetfulness.
Congressional estimates show that taxpayers in every income group would initially see tax cuts, with the biggest cuts going to the wealthiest Americans. However, after several years, many low- and middle-income families would see tax increases, according to the analyses by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the official scorekeeper for Congress.

I can only pray that those younger than I and more full of sauce and sass will do a better job.

1 comment:

  1. Not too many are talking about how the other side of the tax equation will be seriously impacted, Not only will the Republicans have an excuse to try to decrease or eliminate so-called entitlement programs, but many other programs will be cut as well: National Parks, Education and Scientific Research for example. Researchers may be out of jobs. I know in NYC some Medical Researchers are already panicking because despite being affiliated with universities and hospitals many researchers are primarily dependent on government grants for their laboratories and projects.