A blog devoted to promoting progressive government, with analysis, history, biography and opinion. Regularly updated.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
No! This Cannot Stand
By Dan Riker
We are going through a very rough time of American history but we can get through it and then we can reverse it. This cannot stand. We will not allow it.
The impending passage of the Republican tax bill is proof that the American democracy has been purchased by wealthy kleptocratic oligarchs only intent on getting richer with no regard for the welfare of the nation. Hundreds of billions of dollars will be transferred from the poor and middle class to the very wealthy. The national debt could be increased by at least $1.5 trillion.
The next step by the Republicans will be to try to make up some of that deficit with significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Those who buy their medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act will experience significant increases in premiums. There will be no funds for significant investments in infrastructure. Cutbacks in dozens of vital federal programs could occur.
The Republicans could be directly responsible for the murders of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people on Medicare who contract cancer. They will die without treatment because Medicare coverage of cancer would be eliminated.
Student loans would cost more. Graduate students may face massive tax liabilities for any tuition waivers or grants they receive, liabilities most could not possibly pay. Will they be sent to debtor prisons?
Many Republicans admit that this bill’s only real purpose is to pay back the Party’s wealthy donors. One said that he was told by one of this donors that if the tax cut did not pass, he should not call again to ask for money. That is how crass and greedy these donors are. By caving in to this pressure – instead of supporting measures to limit big money in politics, which would immunize them from this kind of pressure – Republicans are showing pure cowardice.
Now is the time for the Democratic Party to step up and shout. “No, this will not stand!” The Party leaders, the Democratic National Committee, and state parties should all announce that these cuts are going to be temporary. As soon as we Democrats win control of the national government, this tax scam will be repealed. More than that, a much more progressive tax system will replace it, similar to what existed prior to Ronald Reagan - a system that existed during the time of the greatest prosperity of the middle class, the 1950s and 60s - a tax system that put a much heavier burden on the very wealthy and a lighter burden on the poor and the middle class. The inheritance tax will be restored. We may allow the corporate tax to remain in the 20% range but corporate loopholes, which were not eliminated in the Republican plan, will be eliminated.
Spending priorities will shift to rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, providing health care for all, fighting climate change through fueling the growth of the wind and solar industries and ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. All of Trump’s climate threatening cutbacks in environmental regulation will be reversed. We also will enact a rational and humane immigration program.
We can do this. The American people still have the right to vote in most places. We Democrats have to give them the strongest possible commitment we can make that we will undo all the damage the Republicans are doing and get the country on the right track.