Tuesday, December 5, 2017

America, The Debt Factory/Trickle Down is a Trick!


 America, The Debt Factory
by C.A. Matthews 


Ordinary Americans don't realize that all of us are employed full-time. Even those of us who are currently searching for a job have one--every single one of us--from cradle to grave. We're all "professional debt manufacturers."

Our job description reads likes this: We're born to parents who struggle to pay off our medical bills from birth to whenever we can afford to leave home. Flash forward to our school years and we're generating more debt through prohibitive daycare costs and private high school tuition (because our defunded public schools can't afford to hire decent teachers or provide new textbooks). And then there's college... We all know about the huge racket of student loan providers and their astronomical interest rates, don't we? American college kids were put on this Earth to generate loads of debt, weren't they?

Is it any wonder our "bosses" in the GOP-dominated Congress can't wait to increase our debt load by increasing our taxes and cutting our social programs? They feel ordinary Americans were put on this Earth to stay in debt eternally. Our bosses see no need to increase the taxes of  "extra-ordinary" Americans (also known as the "wealthiest" or  the "1%"). The 1% aren't really expected to pay taxes (like they're supposed to by law) since they're not "ordinary" like us.  

Our bosses allow the wealthiest to skip paying taxes via huge loopholes. It's a tough job simply being super rich and hoarding money in offshore tax havens and hiding more in shell companies, so that's why they get all the breaks. Remember, ordinary Americans' have a job to do: We must manufacture debt and endlessly pay it off with no hope of  joining the extra-ordinary folks who, by accident of birth, never experience the joy of debt.

If you're thinking I'm being facetious, you haven't kept up with the news. Our supposed "representatives" have sold out ordinary Americans' hopes and dreams. These mostly Republican Congress members have done so in order to please their wealthy paymasters by creating a  so-called "tax reform" bill that actually increases taxes for the poor and middle class while lowering taxes for the wealthiest 1%. And the saddest part is the stress of living debt-filled lives has turned many ordinary Americans' hearts against their neighbors instead of against the actual perpetrators of this horrendous farce--the owners of the debt factories, the 1% along with their lobbyist lackeys and paid-off politician puppets.

But all is not lost. We can destroy the debt factory. We can take control of our lives and our future. The first step is to unite as We the People to defeat the Republican's tax scam bill before it becomes law. I hope Bernie's words from a Protecting Working Families Rally in the following report gives you some ideas and inspiration to fight back like it did me. 

Know you are not alone. We will prevail if we work together. Power to the people, not the immoral debt factory!


Other informational articles/video:

Here's How the Tax Bill Will Affect People Earning Less Than $100,000:
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/30/heres-how-the-senate-tax-bill-affects-people-earning-less-than-100000.html

John Laurit's blog post, "A working class with no living wage" explains the situation we're truly in: https://www.johnlaurits.com/2017/us-income-wages-working-class/

What does Universal Basic Income (UBI) consider basic needs? Krish Mohan gives us some ideas: https://youtu.be/NV_hxRF_Wyk

 "Trickle Down is a Trick!"
Protecting Working Families Rally in Akron, Ohio
Photos by Adrian Matthews 

Former Ohio State Senator and Our Revolution President Nina Turner declared, "Trickle down is a trick!" several times at the Protecting Working Families Rally in Akron on Saturday night. Nina wasn't about to let Republicans pull the wool over our eyes with their claims of a "middle class tax cut" in the rushed through tax bill, which essentially gives massive tax breaks to richest of the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class.  
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders echoed Nina's sentiment about the fraudulent theory of trickle down economics. "It has never worked," he said, "Most recently in Kansas, the state legislature had to undo the damage it did."

Bernie spoke for an hour  in Akron Saturday night. He took on the GOP tax bill, Trump's hypocrisy, and his fear of the oligarchs destroying our democracy. Bernie touched upon many of his stump speech points, including universal health care, Ohio's opioid epidemic, better daycare, free public college tuition, for-profit prisons, green energy, environmental protections, climate change action, and a woman's right to control her own body. The crowd wildly cheered and clapped him on. It was electrifying to be in a room with so much energy.
Bernie informed us the Senate had less than two hours to see the tax bill before it was brought to a vote in the middle of the night. Most telling, the bill was never given a public hearing. No one knew what all was in the bill before it was brought to the floor for a vote. Senators discovered that the GOP's tax bill includes handwritten notes and insertions in its margins, many illegible. Among the hundreds of pages of this so-called "tax bill" is a section to give a tax break to a parochial school supported by Secretary of State Betsy DeVos as well as a section on "personhood," which is essentially an anti-abortion measure. This bill also has a section which allows for oil drilling in the beautiful and wild Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. No kidding.

What the heck do these last three sections have to do with reforming our tax system? These additions demonstrate that more than likely "tax reform" is the furthest thing from most Republicans' minds. 

You need more evidence? This bill allows a tax break for the moving expenses of corporations who shut down their American businesses/factories and move  overseas, but it doesn't allow their employees, working families, to take their moving expenses off their tax bill when they're forced to move to look for a new job. This means poor folks appear to have a "higher income" and will pay more taxes at a possibly higher rate, while these pro-NAFTA/TPP corporations who offshore their production will show "less income" on their tax forms and pay even less (if they'll pay any) taxes on their profits. Sheesh!

Need even more evidence? In 2018, you'll no longer be able to claim business expenses as a small business owner. Yeah, even we freelance writers will be penalized, since we'll no longer be able to take off reasonable business expenses against our already meager incomes. Talk about "reforming" taxes for ordinary Americans' benefit!

The Congressional Budget Office has stated the bill will create more than a $1.4 trillion deficit, and Bernie predicts that Republicans will then use that deficit as an excuse to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other programs. Bernie warned us that the GOP will call these cuts "entitlement reform," but it  still means destroying these programs that help so many working Americans rather than "reforming" them.
"They are looting the federal government to give tax breaks to people who don't need them," Bernie stated. "This is a moral outrage--and we will not allow them to get away with it."

Bernie informed us that 4,000 lobbyists crafted this tax scam/anti-abortion/parochial school benefiting/oil drilling in the NAWR/allow jobs to go overseas bill. These lobbyists were paid by billionaires such as the Koch Brothers and the DeVos family. Bernie sees this bill as the beginning of the oligarchs' complete take over of our government. The 1% believe they can use their billions to buy off every politician and essentially run our country into the ground for their private gain. 

What can we as ordinary Americans do to stop this tragedy? We have the power--and we have used it successfully to keep the ACA intact earlier this year. We must continue to use our power to call/email/write and visit our elected officials and remind them who is in charge--We the People are

There is a short window of opportunity for us to press our suit during these next two weeks while the House and Senate reconcile their slightly different bills, according to Bernie. The Republicans timed the passing of this bill during the holiday season for a reason, thinking we'd be distracted or disheartened and we wouldn't keep up the pressure on our Congress members to do the right thing and kill this measure.
Don't let this be the case! Don't give up. Keep up the pressure on your senators and representatives. Continue to call/email/write them and visit their offices and let them know how upset you are about how this tax scam gives tax breaks to billionaires while causing poor and middle class people to pay more taxes and receive even less from programs that we've paid into such as Social Security. 

Tell your representative you want to receive your Social Security when you retire since you've paid for it. Tell them you don't want your grandparents kicked out of the nursing home if the Medicaid program is eliminated (since the vast majority of those in nursing care receive Medicaid benefits to pay for the costs).

"Our job is to create an alternative and progressive vision... We are winning the fight for the future of America!" said Bernie. "Our vision, your vision is gaining momentum all across this country." 

So take heart and keep fighting, progressives! We can do this if we keep working hard together. To quote Bernie: "Don't allow them to divide us up on the color of our skin or where we were born or our religion--let us stand together and think big and transform this country!"

Here's  a link to a video of the entire Akron rally: 
 https://youtu.be/1mrdGSyrupQ 

How the GOP tax bill will impact ordinary Americans from the Real News.


Some other programs that will get the ax from the Trump administration:

***
No doubt about it--these Congress-persons are this week's C.R.A.P. award (Chastise Rich Arrogant Politicians) winners: 

Continue to call/email/write/visit with these out-of-touch persons and let them know how you really feel about their tax cut for the super-wealthy. Don't mince words. Be polite, yet firm, about your determination to put them out of office for supporting this disastrous piece of legislation. A website where you can easily email all your federal representatives at once can be found at http://www.democracy.io
***

Sanders Institute


Don’t fall for supply-side, trickle-down nonsense. Lower taxes on the rich don’t generate growth and jobs. They only make the rich even richer, at a time of raging inequality, and they cause bigger budget deficits.” – Robert Reich, Sanders Institute Founding Fellow

Congress is now considering a proposed GOP tax plan and is expected to vote on it in the coming weeks. Who benefits? Who doesn’t? We all need to understand the impact of the proposed bill and let our voices be heard before the vote takes place. We at the Sanders Institute have compiled some information from our fellows and other resources to give you some answers:

This article from Robert Reich succinctly explains why Trickle-Down Economics just does not work. He gives clear, historical examples of when trickle-down economics has been implemented and failed and when the opposite, tax increases on the wealthy, have worked.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released this report on Sunday. It clearly shows that the federal government would be raising taxes on those making less and generously benefiting those making more. For instance, Americans making less than $30,000 in 2019 will pay $2,580,000,000 more in taxes - while those making over $200,000 will pay $118,550,000,000 less in taxes in 2019.
This article outlines a bold new idea when talking about the Estate Tax, a tax that the GOP plan would repeal. It argues that the growing inequality in the United States has negatively affected Social Security and suggests that we keep the Estate Tax to reduce that inequality and make Social Security more sustainable.

There is a lot at stake in this far-reaching legislation. Educate yourselves, take a stand, and let your voices be heard.

Thank you for staying engaged,
David Driscoll
Executive Director
The Sanders Institute

***

From the March for Science:


Hundreds of thousands of advocates across the country have dedicated their time and energy to contact their representatives over the past few weeks as Congress races to pass policies before the end of session.  We’re writing today to ask you to take add your voice to support science once again.

On December 7, Scott Pruitt, administrator of the EPA, will testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee.   Join us in asking our representatives to hold Scott Pruitt publicly accountable for his efforts to undermine and destroy the EPA and its mandate to protect our health and environment.


Help us send a message that we need our representatives to ask hard questions and demand real answers.  Let your representatives know that you’ll be watching.

Contact your representative directly or sign a petition asking them to #PressPruitt on vital issues.  Why has he limited the role of scientists serving as science advisers to the EPA, instead replacing them with science denialists?  Why is he continuing to question the scientific consensus on climate change, ignoring the findings of a recent report from the Trump administration that concluded that humans are the primary drive behind climate change?  What are his continued plans to roll back regulations that protect our air and water?  We need to know why the administrator of the EPA repeatedly asks to undermine the agency’s mandate to protect our health and environment.  
To learn more, visit us here. 

But don’t stop there. In the next few weeks, science faces threats from many sides and needs your support. Congress’ 2017 session ends on December 14 -- set aside a few minutes each day to advocate for science.
Tax Bill: Send a message to your representative that the Grad Student Tax in the new tax bill will jeopardize the future of science by forcing thousands of graduate students not to continue their training. Share our open letter, signed by more than 40 partners, and petition and support future scientists.  

Net Neutrality: Overturning net neutrality will have grave consequences for the future of science, potentially censoring scientific research and data and empowering internet service providers to limit the freedom of information we rely on.  Send the FCC a message.

Thank you for continuing to advocate for science. 

#KeepMarching,
March for Science

***
Update from Public Citizen


There are more than a trillion reasons to reject the Republican tax scam.

It would constitute one of the greatest upward transfers of wealth in American history and is a prelude to a cruel campaign to cut Social Security, Medicare and other vital public programs.

But there’s only one thing to do about it: Fight back, now, before the tax cuts become law.

Send Congress a simple message today: Vote against the final tax bill or be prepared to face the wrath of your constituents.

Add your name now.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose the tax deal, because they understand it’s designed for multinational corporations and the superrich.

Why would congressional Republicans ram through an unpopular proposal?

Two words: Citizens United.

This legislation is entirely about appeasing the donor class.

Republicans said as much.

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” said Representative Chris Collins, a Republican who represents suburban Buffalo, New York.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina echoed that sentiment: “The financial contributions will stop [if the GOP does not pass tax reform].”

The problem we face is this: To overcome the Republican proclivity to deliver on the fantasies of the donor class, we need massive public outrage.

Public opposition, which we have, isn’t enough. We need outrage — expressed directly to members of Congress.

The House and Senate each have passed horrible tax cuts, but they differ in some important ways.

In the coming days, they will cobble together a single version, which then must be passed separately by each chamber if it is to become law.

If enough Americans weigh in, with enough passion, we can stop that from happening.

Sign our petition to Congress now.

There really are more than a trillion reasons to oppose this deal, which would cut corporate and superrich taxes by vastly more than $1 trillion.

In general, it’s fair to say the legislation would drastically increase already severe economic inequality, fundamentally changing the character of the country.

It threatens to make us a class-bound society, riven by unbridgeable social divides, betraying the promises of democracy, equality and opportunity that represent the best of America.

Here are five specific reasons to oppose the tax scam. The legislation:

  • Rewards corporate tax evasion, providing a discount tax rate for profits that companies have kept overseas and avoided paying tax on. This perk alone is worth more than $450 billion to multinational corporations — led by Apple — which alone stands to save $47 billion.
  • Facilitates feudal-like dynasties by raising the threshold before the estate tax kicks in, or eliminating it altogether (House version). Very conservatively, eliminating the estate tax would be worth more than $500 million to the Trump family.
  • Worsens our already immoral health care system (Senate version), leading to millions more going without insurance and sharp price spikes for those on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
  • Contains a host of tiny provisions that will have major implications for large groups of people. A provision in the House bill, for example, would force graduate students to pay taxes on tuition breaks they receive, making graduate school unaffordable and unattainable for thousands of less wealthy students.
  • Paves the way for Republican demands — already echoing — for deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education and other vital programs.
America is better than this.

But it’s up to us to prove that.

Take action now.

Onward,

Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

2 comments:

  1. The world can't afford the rich. We must break their hold on government and society. Until we do, nothing will improve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Revolutionary For the PeopleDecember 5, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      I think you're right. The rich are addicted to their wealth and power. They're not going to give it up because they "care" about us ordinary people. We're going to have to take it from them.

      Whether it will look like the "Velvet Revolution" or the French Revolution (complete with guillotines and pitchforks) remains to be seen. Americans are notoriously cautious and overly polite. They put up with a lot of crap in hopes of things getting better over time... We don't have much time to wait, folks! Revolution is needed NOW.

      Delete

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. Just one rule: Be polite. This means no profanity or cursing. No shaming or hate speech. No threats or silliness. This is a family friendly blog. Thank you.