The Republican Party once stood for fiscal conservatism, but those days are long gone when you look at the current tax reform bill that they are in the midst of passing. Instead of muddling through the details, the takeaway is this: Corporations win and the 99 percenters lose. Without real spending cuts to offset the proposed tax cuts, their plan will add $1.5 trillion1 to the already existing $20 trillion deficit.2 It will slash taxes on the wealthy while raising taxes on those earning $10,000-$75,0003 and even raise taxes on graduate students.4 Why aren’t we all outraged at this? Because we’re not paying attention.
The ruling party has not passed any real legislation since the election, and they need to accomplish something for their wealthy donors, or their campaign contributions will run dry.5 If they can con their voters into thinking that they are looking out for them while they’re trying to take away their healthcare, then they can certainly get away with increasing their taxes so that the wealthy can save a few extra bucks that they don’t even need.
This latest scam further proves a need to limit and provide public funding for election campaigns. Get big money and special interest groups out of government once and for all. Shorten and limit the amount of time and money candidates could spend campaigning, since, currently, elected officials are expected to devote four hours a day on fundraising activities alone,6 four hours they should be spending on governing.
You think that special interest groups don’t have any sort of negative impact on Americans? “60 Minutes” recently aired a startlingly expose7 about how the pharmaceutical industry used its influence over Congress to contribute to the “worst drug epidemic in American history.” Drug companies’ lust for profit has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and has been aided by our own government. And how are they attempting to treat the opioid crisis? With more drugs of course. The NIH has proposed to allow drug companies to profit even further from a drug problem that they helped create by allowing federal funding to help improve and create new drugs that would treat opioid addiction.8 It isn’t as if pharma desperately needs funding from taxpayer money.
Historically, taxes have been an important issue when it comes to deciding on whom to vote for. Remember when President George H.W. Bush uttered “Read my lips: no new taxes?” With a Democratic-controlled Congress, he was forced to raise taxes anyway which resulted in his losing the ’92 election. Today, we have fallen asleep at the wheel and our senators and representatives know it. When the majority of Americans that voted for our current government are also the very people that would be hurt the most by the repeal of the ACA and the new tax plan proposal, it’s time to wake up and take our country back.