So this week we're facing the financial end of the American Republic.
After learning blistering lessons from their health care debacle, the GOP Senate has managed -- so far -- to hold their conference together and keep inching toward legislation that will extensively rewrite the country's tax code for the first time in three decades.
But, behind-the-scenes negotiations continue and there is plenty that could go wrong. The party nearly skidded off schedule Tuesday over concerns from Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Corker wanted to ensure that tax bill would actually lead to economic growth and was able to secure an agreement in principle that would trigger some kind of automatic tax increase if the GOP's anticipated growth didn't materialize. Johnson, meanwhile, went into the GOP tax vote in the Budget Committee still frustrated about the way the tax bill treated tax rates for pass-through business income, but voted anyway to advance the proposal, saying that he wanted to keep the process going.
The Republicans voted for it in spite of the fact there are serious problems with what they are about to pass.
The House passed a tax cut plan earlier, one that promises to gut pretty much everything that's not a defense spending bill on planes that won't work.
And this is all happening despite this tax plan being one of the most unpopular things in the universe.
All of this will cost the government trillions in lost revenue. Republicans are hoping to partially offset that massive expense by eliminating tax breaks that many people, and companies, currently enjoy, and will be very unhappy to lose. The entire home-building industry has already decided to go to war against the plan because it’s worried the bill will kill off deductions for homeowners. Northeastern and California Republicans are in open revolt over a proposal to curtail the deduction for state and local taxes, which their constituents rely on.
Meanwhile, virtually every credible bit of public polling suggests that, if anything, ordinary American think that taxes on big business should be higher, not lower. In September, the Pew Research Center found that 52 percent of Americans thought that corporate taxes should go up; just 24 thought they should go down. In April, 67 percent of adults told Gallup that corporations paid “too little” in taxes. This week, CBS News found that 56 percent of its survey-takers favored a corporate tax hike, while only 17 percent backed a cut.
Even among the GOP’s base, corporate tax cuts simply aren’t that popular. Pew found that just 48 percent of conservatives who either identify as Republican or lean towards the party think that corporate taxes should come down; 49 percent thought they should go up or stay the same. Among all Republicans and leaners, including moderates, just 41 favored lowering the corporate tax burden.
And yet, this is happening. The Republicans are risking a massive backlash by the public if they pass their efforts to slash taxes for the rich and the corporations...
...and yet NOTHING and NOBODY will hold them accountable if they do.
Welcome to the consequences of where campaign finance laws make it easy for the rich to buy up elected officials like so many toys. Welcome to the consequences of gerrymandered districts that make it easy for incumbents to remain elected regardless of their bad legislation until scandal or retirement drives them out. Welcome to the media bubble of the Far Right where Republicans can shelter themselves among like-minded tax cut dereg acolytes who fervently worship at the teats of Mammon.
It'd be pretty to think that in 2018 a voter revolt will cast out these crooks. But I despair over the fact that our political landscape is so partisan that even common sense no longer has an effect on people. Just look at Alabama: they are poised to vote for a publicly known pedophile who chased after TEEN GIRLS in his Thirties in Roy Moore, all because he's a Republican Bible-thumping conservative on "their" team.
I'm with John Cole, who's come to the same depressing shore as I have:
This tax cut is less popular than past tax INCREASES. A while back I made a joke about what compromise was like with crazy people:
I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.
We’re now to the point where the American people are screaming for Italian, and the Republicans are looking back at us and telling us that spaghetti is out of the god damned question, and not only are we getting tire rims and anthrax but we need to wash it down with liquid Drano.
This is insanity. They literally want to push the country off a cliff to provide aid and comfort to people who don’t need it and have openly stated they aren’t even going to spend the money the way the Republicans say they will.
That's because this is all the modern Republican Party is after. For all the racism and sexism they shill to their voting base to keep them happy, for all the claims of being pro-fetus and pro-God, the one thing THE ONLY THING the Republicans will never bend on is their goddamn tax cuts. I noted this about Romney before, but it applies to the whole party: it is their goddamn Ever-Fixed Mark, around which their entire philosophy - of killing off the New Deal social safety net, of deregulating every business rule that protects people and workers, of splitting this nation into the Rich and the Fucked - revolves.
The only positive outlook I have about this is that the tax cut is so demonstrably bad a plan that our economy immediately tanks - much like this massive tax cut devastated Kansas - with clear evidence it has everything to do with the tax cuts adversely affecting our industries, our property values, our stock markets to the point it all comes crashing down like the Great Depression.
The only problem with that is, obviously, everybody who's not wealthy with their money all safely tucked away in offshore accounts will get killed in that economic collapse.
But it's the only way to fucking wake the voters up. If only this time THEY STAY AWAKE AND CHASE THESE DAMN CROOKS INTO THE DEEPEST PIT OF HELL THEY DESERVE.