As an individual who struggles over the best way to invest a $20 bill, I see the numbers in the tax bill passed by the senate last night as staggering. Big gub’ment numbers about taxation and budget are ALWAYS mind-boggling because they use words like “gazillion” and “bazillion” to describe the current state of handling the money of the American people.
However, I am pretty good at understanding scale, percentages and what not. Take for instance the magnificent photo images that I often present on the site, more often than not they are a function of the original size. So, if an image that starts off at 1280 x 960 ends up at 320 x 240, I know that’s one-quarter scale – in my nomenclature. From a publisher’s standpoint, that’s not a lot. But, from a photographer’s standpoint, that’s nigh-on to sacrilege.
Such as it is with the sweeping tax cuts passed by the senate last night. Maybe from the perspective of the congressional “publishers” cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20% may not seem like much. But, from my perspective as a $20 photographer, that is one helluva bazillion.
The bottom line is that it don’t add up. Oh, I get it, and I really want to believe. Growth helps everybody. That’s not what I mean. The simple fact is, there is no way you make that kind of tax cut unless there is something else going on in the economy, and if there is, it isn’t being told to the tax-payers. Where the hell is that money really coming from? The end of the cold-war dividend? Projection for a lack of military involvement in the future, mining asteroids for gold?
And where does that leave the “crumbling infrastructure” that you don’t really need a bridge inspector to understand? I’ve always thought that the 35% rate seemed high, but at the same time cutting that nearly in half in one fell-swoop while cutting back on health care subsidies suddenly don’t seem quite right after all. I do oppose Obamacare on other larger principles, but even still, I also see ways of redistributing wealth that would more evidently benefit common folks – who the money really belongs to in the first place.
And really, who really believes that the corporate windfalls will result in living wages? NOT. The first thing they will do is build a reservoir of cash to buffer their risk taking ventures. Growth will result in more stable employment, maybe, and the big fat cat pocket-books to spend on the luxury sector. That’s usually how it goes, and without checks and balances, i.e. a sort of maximum income for corporate executives, that is the likely way it will go in the future. The high corporate tax rate was a de facto maximum wage for those guys, even if it was ineffectual and somewhat inefficient.
The next trouble is, if the tax cuts work the way republican’s claim, the growth will be exponential, and unhealthy, on top of already over-stimulated wall street perks, and set the stage for another crash, the likes of which may very well make 1929 look like a day at the toy store.
That being said, I don’t support this notion that we should propagate a theocracy in this country as being a good idea. The Johnson amendment was the first to go. And now the religious zealot Ted Cruise wants to give big tax cuts to put kids in religious schools. This ain’t kosher, and it don’t benefit common folks who can’t afford the land or the private school to begin with. And then, all of a sudden, it would appear that the corporate dogs can take a bunch of that windfall and launder it into the back pew of the religious cults, whereby they have a renewed interest in proselytizing and indoctrination and pushing their non-constitutional agendas with their new found prosperity and amplified political voice. Enter Roy Moore? Haven’t we already had enough of the goddamn 1960’s?
So here’s the way I see it. The tax cut is either business as usual which will result in little for common folks, and then will likely stimulate more violence than growth in this country…. Or, there’s a larger part of the equation that even democratic leadership should understand, and aren’t explaining to the American people. I wan’t to believe, I really do, but how about some information, please? Not because you love me, but because I have a right to know.
© 2017 – Jim Casey
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