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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Sam Rayburn of Texas, who was a legendary Speaker of the U.S. House in the 1940s and ’50s, offered this piece of ethical advice for lawmakers who were conflicted over whether to vote for the People of the lobbyists: “Every now and then, a politician ought to do something just because it’s right.”

Wow, ethics — how quaint! Today’s House Speaker, Paul Ryan, has put his own perverted twist to Rayburn’s ethics, advising his Republican majority to vote for anything just because it’s right-wing. Along with Donald Trump and Senate leader Mitch McConnell, Ryan is now pushing for a rewrite of America’s tax law that’s so far to the right that it’s horribly wrong.

Tax proposals are written in dense legalese and gobbledygook, but core purpose of this 429-page monster is shockingly easy to understand: The Trump-Ryan-McConnell triumvirate intends to take money from millions of working families and give it to the world’s wealthiest people and richest multinational corporations.

Of course, when they talk publicly about their proposal, they claim it’s all about “helping” you working stiffs. It’s “real tax reform for everyday hardworking Americans,” trumpeted our president. In private, though, they reveal to their biggest campaign donors that the plan lets them “help themselves” to the people’s money, giving these corporate elites a huge windfall — “the biggest ever,” bragged Trump. In fact, the 400 richest families in America would average $5.5 million in new tax breaks. Meanwhile, if your income is under $75,000 a year, you’ll end up worse off.

The Trump tax plan — better known as the Billionaires’ Bonanza — is not selling well among the great unwashed. Indeed, a two-to-one majority of the public opposes it, and only 16 percent believe it would reduce their tax bill.

But the people don’t seem to realize that Donald and his band of Trumpeteers in Congress really want to help us commoners. How? By killing that dreaded “death tax,” meaning that when you and I die we can give our estates to our heirs without that inheritance being taxed. As the president so eloquently put it: “To protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer, we are finally ending the crushing, the horrible, the unfair estate tax.”

All praise The Donald for saving us!

But wait — the great majority of us don’t own farms, businesses or big estates of any kind, so the estate tax doesn’t apply to us at all. Also, 99 percent of people who do have farms and businesses are already exempt from the tax, for it only applies to individuals with estates worth $5.5 million or more.

I realize that Trump prefers grandiose claims over actual facts, but here are a few reality checks showing that his statement is false, a lie… a whopper: Only two-tenths of one percent of American estates are big enough to be taxed this year. How many is that? Not “millions” of families, as Trump so dramatically asserted, but just over 11,000. Moreover, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center calculates that, this year, the estates of only about 80 family farmers and small business owners will be subject to the tax.

So who, exactly, are Trump and the GOP Congress “saving” from having to pay some taxes on their multimillion-dollar estates? The richest 0.2 percent of American families — including one named Trump. It’s a giveaway that lets the richest of the richest escape paying more than $20 million which they owe to support the country that has enriched them.

Forget trickle-down economics, the GOP is practicing tinkle-down economics! Why would they push such an evil, shameful policy? Because it’s not you common voters they care about, it’s the moneyed elites they love and the special interests that fund their re-election campaigns. As one Republican pusher of this tax giveaway to the rich put it: “My donors are basically saying: ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'” And that’s what the Trump plan is all about.

Populist author, public speaker, and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America’s ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at


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17 responses to “Why So Many Americans Hate Trump’s Tax Reform”

  1. dbtheonly says:

    As long as the votes aren’t there, the issue is irrelevant.

    The Republicans want a “victory”. The impact of that “victory” is irrelevant as long as the RWMO gets to trumpet a “win”.

    • FireBaron says:

      Right now, that “victory” is looking less likely. If a vote can be delayed long enough until after the certification of the Alabama special election, and swearing in of the winner (Will Turtle Man keep his promise to not recognize Moore’s election and refuse to seat him?), if Jones wins, McConnell can only afford to lose two GOP votes, and already it looks like there will be three NO votes!
      So he will need Moore to give a fifty-fifty split, allowing Pence to go down in history as the man who increased taxes on the middle class while allowing the rich a break.

      • dbtheonly says:

        You are significantly more optimistic than I.

        McConnell will welcome Moore with open arms. Maybe after some bull(bleep) about forgiveness. $5 to the homeless shelter on a repudiation?

        Those three votes haven’t shown up yet. It’s easy to blather in front of cameras. These are Republicans after all. They’ve voted the Party LIne so far.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Our states are under NO obligation to allow our tax dollars to go to a state that would put a pedophile in the Senate. Money talks. BS walks.

      • The lucky one says:

        Do you think he cares how the “rabble” sees him?

    • dpaano says:

      Hopefully, many of these Republicans who are up for re-election will find it much more difficult if they sign on to this tax plan! With so many Democrats suddenly running for offices, it’s going to be a long, hard, and expensive road for them. I know of at least 3 in California that will most likely NOT get re-elected…..the same ones we’ve been trying to get rid of for decades! That’s about the only “good” thing that might come out of this disastrous tax bill!

  2. FireBaron says:

    Just a reminder – Teflon Donnie is never in favor of anything that does not directly benefit Teflon Donnie.
    Muslim Ban overturned? Not too much of a problem. He just refocuses his financial efforts in some other Muslim countries.
    Wall not constructed? As he is not directly in the construction business, this was only a window dressing to attract paranoid voters.
    Obamacare not overturned? Well, that one he really tried hard to do. After all, it is his MANDATE to eliminate any progressive opportunity presented by the Obama administration.
    Tax Reform? Give me a break. This whole bill was written up to allow him to minimize his taxes. Here is the rub – his official residence is New York City. That means not only can his accountants not claim deductions for his New York State Income Tax, they also cannot claim deductions for his New York City Income Tax. As for his property taxes, unless he sells the properties to a shell corporation and has to claim a Capital Gains Tax on the sale, the Property Taxes he pays to New York City are no longer deductible, either! Guess who never asked his personal accountants how this bill would effect him?

    • dpaano says:

      He still stands to gain at least $1B from this tax cut, along with many of his other millionaire and billionaire cronies in his administration! We, the people, will get nothing in the end! Unfortunately, the rural counties that voted so wholeheartedly for him will be the ones to suffer the most, but they don’t seem to look to the future and the consequences that are down the line!

  3. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Interesting how the dumbass Republican Mutton Chops and Corn Pone Kings ignore advice from top U.S. experts in Economics like Lawrence Summer, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Harvard School of Economics who make no reservations about the disaster this so called tax reform bill really is.

    But, let’s pretend we don’t know “why” the Republicans must pass this tax reform bill to ensure they retain a permanent majority in government, thereby tying the hands of all middle class Americans and the Dem Party whom the GOP knows they are lording it over with that weapon ….majority rule. How close does majority rule get to dictatorship when tens of thousands Americans are out in the streets during Thanksgiving Weekend protesting and the GOP ignores the “will of the people?”

    Professor Summer has a pedigree with at least 3 other PhD family members all in economics. But why should a bunch of white lightnin’ BS hicks care about warnings from these experts? After all, they have Donny Boy who will sign his Executive Orders and then lie that the tax reform bill is going to “cost” him “big time” as he told the White House press corps.

    Then, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) blew the whistle on Trump’s aide Cohen when Trump called a meeting of top CEOs. Cohen then asked these CEOs how many plan to use the “tax reform benefits” to hire or create jobs. As Congressman Blumenauser testified during a House meeting, “not a single one of these CEOs raised their hands which shocked Cohen.”

    In fact, that CEO meeting revealed what the Republicans are not saying, that these CEOs all say they plan to use those tax reform benefits for Wall Street investments and “to buy equipment.”

    The Republican Party is the problem. So long as there is no way for Dems to fight back against these evil SOBs of the GOP, the GOP is going to get what it asked for.

    If the Dems can’t remove them, we will. Literally and figuratively. It’s tax revolt time.

    • Charles Winter says:

      The GOP seem to forget that the groups with the highest voter turnout are senior citizens and middle class homeowners, among the main targets of this bill. IOW, they’re going against their base.

      Wish them well in their retirement.

      • Eleanore Whitaker says:

        The GOP is now totally responsible for this bill. According to several top US Economic experts, it will create two classes in this country: rich or poor.

        The reality is that there are still over 500 pages of this bill no one, including the GOP has reviewed that could pretty much make Trump a handsome payment on his treasonous presidency. And let’s pretend for him trying to sign off on ALL of the legislation the GOP was so desperate to ram down our throats, that they didn’t know Trump well enough to know he’d expect to be impeached and leave office with $2 billion a year for the next 5 Trump generations thanks to this tax bill.

        This tax bill was not for the people. It was to keep the GOP politicians in billionaire campaign donations, as McConman alluded to on Thursdays when he said,

        “If this tax bill doesn’t pass, a lot of politicians will lose their campaigns for lack of campaign donations.”

  4. dpaano says:

    It’s pretty easy to see how the shitgibbon thinks….in his latest rally, he said “I’m president. I don’t care.” Apparently, his voters don’t seem to realize that this is also how he feels about them! He came into office on a wave of grandiose promises….none of which he’s kept. He has NOT given his voters a health plan that is “better and less expensive;” he has not given them a tax cut that will lower their taxes; he has NOT brought back jobs (the current job report is a carry-over from the Obama administration and has NOTHING to do with anything he’s done); the economy is still going strong (again, not because of anything he’s done); and we have now become the laughingstock of the entire world due to his ridiculous and uninformed tweets! Those “grandiose promises” have done nothing for the rural and urban voters that swept him into office….in fact, when 2027 comes along (and he’s not in office), these are the very people who will end up suffering the most! He and his billionaire cronies in the White House have done nothing except to add to their own pocketbooks! If this tax plan goes through…..wait for the consequences! It’s already been proven (see Kansas and Brownbeck) that “trickle down” economics does NOT cause growth, bring back jobs, raise wages, etc. Even most CEO’s admit that they will not be spending their extra money on growth….they will spend it on shareholders and stock purchases. We, the people who pay the salaries of the president and his cronies, will be the ones who will be suffering the most! Do not expect to see your wages go up or more jobs to be provided…..forget that you may see a very small tax cut in the next year or so, but in 10 years… will see your taxes double or even triple while the taxes of the 1% will see more money coming to them! The consequences of this tax plan are dire, but the only ones that realize this are the ones with common sense who see this man for what he is….a charlatan, a liar, and a consummate narcissist who cares for nothing but himself!

    • dtgraham says:

      I’ve been going with orange orangutan lately, but I’m liking shitgibbon.

      • dpaano says:

        I got it from a commenter on Daily Kos, and I’m sure he or she won’t mind passing it on…..go for it! Actually, I kinda hate maligning gibbons, but what can you do….hopefully, they’ll understand.

        • dtgraham says:

          I know what you mean. Every time you insult Trump, you feel as though you should be issuing an apology to gibbons and orangutans everywhere.

          • Charles Winter says:

            That’s why I don’t insult the animals that are more intelligent than Trump. I refer to him as Trump de DumbDumb. (Note echoes of Dragnet. Sgt. Joe Friday’s coming for the perp.)

  5. Richard Prescott says:

    The current set of GOPers have no scruples, no respect for the country. When a group puts party over proper just about anything can pass “as long as it favors the party”.
    Sounds like a Communist slogan from the Cold War days.

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