Are you excited? You are likely to see an increase in your paycheck very soon thanks to the new GOP tax cut. What have we learned along the way in life? Is the devil in the details? Read the fine print? What would you say if you discovered that, while you get a few bucks in your paycheck, the majority of the tax cuts go to corporations and the rich? Will you be as excited when you learn that a good part of your paycheck increase will vanish because you cannot deduct as much from your taxes? Did you know that in 2019, when the health care mandate goes away, health care premiums are expected to jump? Don’t you just love it that for many of us, those personal tax cuts will end in about eight years while the corporate tax cuts remain?
We are patriotic. We stand for the national anthem, right? The tax cut is expected to raise the deficit by $1.47 trillion. Is that good for our country? Did you know that the Tax Policy Center, the Congressional Budget Office, and most independent economists expect a very modest bump in the growth of the economy but nowhere close to paying for the tax cut? But wait, there’s more. Congress wants to increase military spending immediately while removing defense spending from sequester rules and authorize billions for the wall and infrastructure. Do you like that Congress is already talking about cutting your Medicare and Social Security benefits? You don’t have to be an expert to see a particular trajectory here.
The economy is doing very well. Unemployment is low, the stock market is up, and corporate cash reserves are in great shape. President Trump says so and is taking full credit for it. So why the tax cuts? Sometimes things are just what they appear to be. Our self-described “like, really smart” and “very stable genius” president wanted a tax cut to help lay the groundwork for the 2018 mid-term elections. The GOP Congress expects thoughtless citizens, the “Hey, all I know is I got an increase in my paycheck” voter will send them back to Congress in 2018 before they do their taxes and see health care premiums jump.
All of the above is a cynical “throw the dog a bone then crack the whip later” strategy.
Republicans are counting on thoughtless voters to keep them in office. Democrats will not summon the courage to tell the truth about taxes because they fear that those same voters will kick them into the streets.
They are both probably right. So let’s be more thoughtful, OK?
Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at email@example.com.