The just-passed Republican tax plan shows the same greed, self-service, and lack of empathy as President Trump and those around him. And yet more than those two sins, this change of tax laws is diabolical in its own special way. When the top .01% demand and get their tribute, they do it by inflicting pain and suffering while extracting the labor from the rest of the citizenry who they leave further behind in health, wealth and education, while seeking to genetically enhance their offspring. What kind of people would do such a thing, place money above humanity and the common good? Actually, that person is not rare in America. In his epic 1935 work, Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880, W.E.B DuBois introduced them to us as the “Planter Class”, who were most ostentatious during those slavery times that former Senate candidate Roy Moore longed for.
And this kind of person, driven by an amoral greed, saw that there was a nation to be robbed, and it was now or never to pull off a heist for the ages. As Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican has said about the tax bill, “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” and they are adamant because, “83% of benefits go to the top 1%…it’s a monumental theft” as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, called this historic transfer of wealth, $1.5 trillion, to the very wealthiest.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said that the so-called tax reform “Is all about showering millionaires and billionaires and huge corporations with a massive tax cut” and he cites as only one example of the unfairness the proposal by the White House that deductions for state and local taxes be abolished “for everyday ordinary Americans, but allow corporations to deduct their state and local taxes.”
And then it gets even more sordid with the already-wealthy in congress getting richer, and any soon to be out-of-work politicians are looking to the lobbying firms and their clients to make sure their life after politics is a comfortable one. They’re biggest fear is that failure to make possible employers happy, may leave them hanging their lawyer shingles on a storefront next to a deli. That isn’t the case of course, but all things are relative and that’s how employment outside the beltway will feel.
The second drama being played out
Speaking about how unusual this president’s first year has been, one CNN commentator likened it to the usual period after election saying, “and this was the honeymoon.” And this union between President Trump, Congress the Justice Department and the people. will turn even uglier if that legal force of nature, special counsel Robert Muller, tells Trump’s lawyers their client is a target of the investigation and they’d like to speak with him. That is when all hell will break loose in a historically nasty and dangerous divorce from an amoral and abusive spouse and his crew who would be using a spittoon at the bar if it wasn’t for appearances.
This will come as a disappointment to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been entertaining the world as he uses flattery like strokes of a bow, playing the fiddle-in-chief, the United States President, Donald Trump. Former Director of National Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency, James Clapper, explained it this way, “Putin is handling Trump like an asset… he’s a former KGB officer,” and Donald Trump is in his portfolio. And if we follow the line of thought of Mr. Clapper who knows more about these kinds of things than we ever will, then that portfolio contains not just the psychological and business profiles, but perhaps compromising material used to force Trump to, in effect, aid the enemy. If so, then Muller may come back with information that makes obstruction the easy way out.
It sounds crazy, but frankly all of this is crazy. 2018 will usher in the rapacious tax, the possibility of an unstable president being charged with obstruction, collusion or more, public lands being damaged for profit, millions of people losing health coverage, the federal judiciary continuing to be stacked with rightwing ideologues, and that’s just some of what we have to look forward to next year.
This is a time when we need to take deep and slow breaths, get out the marching shoes and placards and be ready for the worse, because it’s coming and God help the Union.