How long will average Republican voters — folks making modest incomes, folks who bought Trump’s 2016 snake oil — keep allowing themselves to be played for saps?
Forever, apparently. Because even though the huge middle-class tax cuts they were promised last year have magically evaporated in the “reform” bills currently being rushed through Congress, they’re sticking with their oppressor anyway. Gallup says that 36 percent of Americans still support Trump, regardless of how often he and his craven party contrive to slap their faces.
And Lordy (as James Comey would say), they’re sure being slapped now. Historically so.
The Republican Senate’s current grotesquerie would reportedly bestow 62 percent of its tax-break benefits to the wealthiest Americans over the next 10 years, while roughly two-thirds of middle-class Americans would get tax hikes. According to all the best nonpartisan economic analyses, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off by 2027.
And because the GOP’s Christmas gift would crater the budget deficit — deepening it by $1 trillion over the next 10 years — current law would mandate automatic spending cuts starting next month. One such cut: $25 billion from Medicare. And speaking of seniors, the AARP has calculated that, if the Republican package is signed by Trump (because at this point, he’ll sign anything), roughly 5.2 million Americans over age 65 will suffer tax hikes over the next 10 years.
Plus, millions of modest-income red-state citizens who use Obamacare will suffer premium hikes (in effect, that’s a tax hike), because the Senate Republican bill has a proviso to gut Obamacare. As health care expert Sarah Kliff explains: “The bill repeals the individual mandate, a key piece of Obamacare that requires most Americans get covered. Economists expect its elimination to reduce enrollment in both the Affordable Care Act’s private marketplaces and Medicaid by millions. The money saved will be pumped into tax cuts for the very wealthy.”
All this is being done without a single public hearing. It’s no wonder that Martin Sullivan, a nonpartisan tax analyst who began his career in Ronald Reagan’s Treasury Department, refers to the rushed Trump-Republican scheme as “legislative malpractice.”
Wow, big surprise that Trump’s campaign promise turned out to be fraudulent. As he drew closer to the GOP nomination in the spring of ’16, he vowed: “The thing I’m going to do is make sure the middle class gets good tax breaks. For the wealthy, I think, frankly, (taxation) is going to go up. And you know what, it really should go up.”
He vowed last year to cut taxes tremendously for the middle class.” As recently as two months ago, he said in a speech: “Tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected.”
The problem, of course, is that the phony populist’s pie-in-the-sky promise collided with Republican reality. The truth, as any voter who paying minimum attention should have realized, is that the GOP is eternally hostage to its rich donors and corporate overlords, and those constituencies have been threatening to turn off the spigot unless they get their just rewards. The GOP needs those big bucks for the ’18 midterms, so it needs to deliver. Some Republicans have admitted this out loud; for instance, congressman Chris Collins of New York: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'”
And what about the screwed voters who made Trump’s triumph possible? Let’s talk about them.
Americans aged 65 and over — who, as I mentioned, will suffer cuts in Medicare; millions of whom will see tax hikes — voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton, 52 percent to 45 percent. Happy now?
Households earning between $50,000 and $99,000 a year — the working and modest middle classes, who get zilch from this tax “reform,” most of whom will see modest tax hikes over the next 10 years — voted for Trump over Clinton, 49 percent to 46 percent. Happy now?
And yet, Trump is still shoveling his BS. In a tweet at 6:21 this morning, he declared (I’ll preserve the bad punctuation): “Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. A once in a generation chance.”
Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
Right. A once in a generation chance to pick the pockets of the average Joes who put him and his abetters in office. When, if ever, will these voters wise up? Or is it their willful fate to be played for saps?