Originally Published: January 2, 2018 6 a.m.
"According to the liberal/progressive Tax Policy Center, the top 50 percent of taxpayers represent 97 percent of taxes paid while the bottom 50 percent account for 2.7 percent."
When we consider the new Republican tax plan, the most important factor is not the immediate small tax cut that some upper-middle-class families will get for a few years (until it expires).
We need to look at the strings that are attached to this bill.
These enormous tax cuts will go to the wealthiest people in the world; the gargantuan corporations that they control; and the huge fortunes that will be inherited by their heirs. These folks are not exactly “needy;” in fact, their profits are exceeding all expectation and some of them earn millions of dollars a day (literally) just for breathing.
But their tax cuts will cost the rest of us $1.5 to $2 trillion that we will have to borrow, probably from China, at excruciating interest rates that we have no hope of ever repaying.
The Republican answer to this quandary is simple: deprive all of our neediest citizens — the old, the sick, the children, and the people who are unemployed through no fault of their own — of the small pittances that in many cases means the difference between eating and not eating, paying the rent or being evicted, or even dying or receiving medical treatment that can make you well.
Your small tax cut (which you will only get if you earn $75,000 per year or more) may result in Grandma having to move in with you, your spouse dying of a curable illness that you can’t afford to treat, or your children being unable to afford an education. For many, the strings attached to this tax plan will be astronomically expensive, and tragic for the poorest of us.
More important is the strings that are NOT attached to this bill. Congress is quite capable of making benefits conditional, and in fact, it almost always does so. If you are a US corporation and you want a 10 percent tax cut, why shouldn’t you be required to spend 10 percent more on wages to qualify?
Or why shouldn’t you be required to maintain half your manufacturing facilities in the US? Or do we just hand over the money, close our eyes, and hope we get a nickel back — the basic premise of the completely discredited theory of “trickle-down” economics?
So the question is: Why didn’t they? When Congress could have passed a REAL jobs bill — giving great tax breaks to companies that actually DO open plants and create jobs for American citizens — why did Congress choose instead to just give away millions or trillions of tax dollars to the “donor” class — the people who contribute the most money to political campaigns?
You know the answer.
Pam Gordon is a resident of Prescott.