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22 December, 2017

GOP tax bill is the biggest tax cut for the wealthy ever done through tax legislation in any country at any time in history

The Republicans are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate their great victory of robbing the middle class to enrich the ultra-wealthy through a legislation that will also screw up healthcare for tens of millions of Americans


Aaron Maté of the Real News spoke with Bill Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, about the biggest robbery against the US middle class in history, made by the Republicans and the Trump administration, to satisfy the plutocrats.

The GOP tax bill is propagated through the common, now obsolete, but biggest fairy tale that the neoliberal regime has sold to the working class: Trickle-down economics.

Key points by Black:

It is the biggest [tax cut for the wealthy] ever done through tax legislation in any country at any time in history. And it comes at a time when the United States already has record income inequality, record profits for corporations and record wealth for the top 1,000 of 100% in the world. The bill is absolutely indefensible on any of the grounds claimed and therefore, essentially all of the major claims for it have been outright lies. Of which we should highlight, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, one of the asserted adults, by the way, who is supposed to protect us from President Trump under some fairy tales.

Mnuchin said that there were good studies, study after study, that showed this bill was actually going to make money. By reducing taxes, we would actually increase tax revenue because we would spur economic growth. And then he doubled down on it and said that there were over 100 people at treasury working on those analyses. Well, of course, that was a complete lie. There was no one working on the analyses. There are no analyses that could attempt to show that.

US companies have trillions of dollars and they don't want it to be officially located in the United States because then they'd have to pay taxes on it so they keep it offshore. Now, the Republican logic of all of this is we'll have a really low rate to bring them tax money back in. We'll have more tax money and there'll be much more investment. The last part doesn't work at all and it doesn't because the money isn't actually sitting in the Cayman Islands because what would the Cayman Islands do with it? It wouldn't pay you interest and such. It's actually brought into places like New York banking system, in truth.

So, it's not going to spur the economy but what it does mean is those companies that did those special scam deals with places like the offshore islands and Ireland, they are going to get a super low tax for bringing the money back, having scammed it first. So, scamming wins. You don't even get the reduced tax rate under the statute that you were talking about. You get an extra special low tax rate to reward for being the kind of folks who spend all your money avoiding taxes.

The Republicans have also allowed to expire one of the programs that you would've thought would be absolutely, no one would go after. This is the Child Health Insurance Program, CHIP, which covers eight million American poor kids and they've allowed this to lapse. And what the Republicans are signaling is that they're going to use the excuse that there's no more money because of their tax cuts to have full Medicare and Medicaid and such. And that therefore, because of their giveaways to the wealthy, they have to slash healthcare protections for the poor, including the poorest kids.

The tax cuts for the wealthy are permanent. The tax cuts for the middle class are temporary and they're front loaded so that it looks like you're getting a reduction in your taxes if you're middle class. Most middle class folks in the early years will have small reductions. But that will reverse and most middle class folks will actually end up with higher taxes under this bill. So, it's a redistribution bill that takes mostly from the middle class, certainly from the working class as well and redistributes to the absolute wealthiest Americans.

The last poll I've shown showed that only 8% of Americans believed the Republicans that this was a tax bill primarily for the middle class. In other words, the Republicans have taken something, a massive tax cut, which intrinsically should be immensely popular with the population, and turned it into something that in the polls is one of the least popular things the Republicans are doing. And the Republicans, as we speak, are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate their great victory of robbing the middle class to enrich the ultra-wealthy through a legislation that will also screw up healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. And they think that is the best thing they've done during Trump's entire term.


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