Armed with a massive bill that no one took the time to read — a bill filled with last minute scrawls and scribbles in the margins and with pages crossed out with a ball point pen — Republicans passed a tax bill that will put us at least a trillion dollars in debt. Woohoo! #thankscapitalism
Here are 5 quick thoughts:
- The bill was passed by the same (so-called) “conservative” Republicans who piously decry deficits and debt….at least they denounce debt when Democrats are in charge…..When Republicans are in charge, however, it’s okay to ring up big debt, and they always do. Reagan did, and George W. Bush did the same. Dick Cheney, Bush’s Vice President, said at the time, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.
- Your opinion didn’t matter. Only a small segment of the population really favors giving the rich a tax cut. However, Congressional bills pass based on how much money is behind it, not based on the will of the people. Studies have been done: there is no statistical correlation between the people’s will and the likelihood of a bill passing. Unpopular bills get passed quite often, while popular measures regualarly get ignored. There is, however, a statistical correlation between the money spent on a bill and a bill’s likelihood of passing. (See YouTube vid below) Your opinion didn’t matter and it won’t matter, not until our democracy is radically reformed.
- This is how capitalism works, don’t be shocked. Capitalism can be tolerable, at times, especially if you are someone with privilege, but what we are seeing right now isn’t some radical departure from capitalism, it’s business as usual. Why? Because capitalism is always about making sure that the rich and powerful remain rich and powerful. Let me put it in more objective, less personal terms: capitalism is (by definition) about centralized power and centralized wealth. So long as you have a few people pulling the strings like mafia dons, these powerful people will always do everything they can to make more and more. The dirty little secret? We don’t need the rich. It’s regular people that make the economy run, not an elite group of executives who reward themselves with private jets (and then pay politicians to give them tax breaks on those same private jets).
- There is a sizable base of folks who don’t get it and won’t get it. We all know them. They are friends and family, and armed with an arsenal of misinformation, they won’t see this tax increase as being about the rich. Trump and the conservative talking heads will tell them that lowering taxes magically results in economic growth! And this big economic boom will easily make up for the tax cuts!! So, the $1 trillion deficit doesn’t exist! It will all be taken care of later on down the line!….Of course, it hasn’t ever actually worked that way: Reagan ran up debt and George W. Bush left Obama with a debt bomb (and an economy that had exploded and gone into recession). But please — don’t expect rank and file conservatives to see the light anytime soon. This is a very important point, because…
- We will only change things by winning. It’s no accident that the Gospel of Political Victory has been preached for decades by people like Rush Limbaugh. It’s paying off for them now. You don’t make real change by compromising, negotiating or “bringing folks together,” as Obama used to talk about. Things will not change until we confront the powers. This is a time of political war. Expecting Republicans to see the light is futile, and getting cynical and doing nothing will only result in more and more of these kinds of bills, bills that are completely and absolutely unhinged from reality. We need a real political revolution if we are going to gut out the corruption that is infesting our democracy. We must win.
Capitalism is, by definition, about centralized power and centralized wealth
Here’s that vid demonstrating that your opinion doesn’t matter: