‘Absurd’ GOP cuts ‘biggest tax scam in history’

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. – Unknown

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin recently visited a government printing plant where he posed for a picture clutching a sheet of dollar bills bearing his signature. His trophy wife stood next to him wearing a black leather get-up and a come-hither smile. The bizarre image went viral as Mnuchin and other administration officials were flogging so-called “tax reform.”

“If you asked us to put together a photo shoot to show this is a taxpayer-funded giveaway to millionaires and billionaires, I don’t think we could do a better job of this,” Tim Hogan, a spokesman for an anti-tax cut group told Politico.

Remember when President Trump promised to be the “voice” of the Main Street folks ignored in Washington, where lobbyists and Wall Street wise guys call the shots? As he did throughout his sordid business career, Trump pulled a bait and switch on the little guys and gals who bought his phony populism. Now they’re about to find out who Trump really speaks for.

Along with the president and his family, Mnuchin is just one of many big money Trump administration insiders, GOP donors and corporate swells set to cash in if Republicans get their tax cut passed. The middle class will see some cuts, but those would be phased out over time.

Pulling numbers out of his – wherever – Trump boasts the tax cuts would pay for themselves by producing GDP growth of 10 percent over the next decade. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center says it’s actually 0.3 percent.

Republicans gush about how their tax cuts will spur generous trickle down economic benefits for the middle class; higher wages, better benefits, and more jobs. It’s all nonsense. When the 1 percent gets a tax cut they bank the money they save. When corporations get tax cuts they boost investor dividends, pay bonuses, and buy back stock.

Recall President George W. Bush cut taxes with the same bogus predictions. The national debt skyrocketed and the economy plunged into the worst recessions in decades.

“The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan,” Gary Cohn, director of the president’s National Economic Council told CNBC. But when he met with a number of CEOs recently, Cohn asked how many of them planned capital investments in the U.S. if they got the big tax cut. To Cohn’s embarrassment, just a few hands went up.

It may not necessarily be wicked, but these hard core capitalists will continue to send their jobs to China, India and Mexico where industry regulation is non-existent and workers are paid far less than what Americans command.

That’s how capitalists think; it’s always about return on investment and never about benefiting Main Street.

“The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week without hearings, without time for even a basic analysis of its likely economic impact, is the biggest tax scam in history,” wrote Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. “(T)he bill would hurt most Americans. The only big winners would be the wealthy – especially those who mainly collect income from their assets rather than working for a living.”

Speaking of which, Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia), whose web site features a national debt counter, doesn’t want you to know the Senate bill will increase the deficit by at least $1.4 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“We can’t get bogged down in the scoring and financial modeling that is only done this way in Washington,” said former “deficit hawk” Perdue.

There are wealthy people in this country with a conscience, however. Some 400 of them wrote a letter to congressional leaders last month requesting that their taxes not be cut.

“I think a tax cut is absurd,” said Bob Crandall, the former CEO of American Airlines who was among the millionaires and billionaires who signed the letter. “Republicans are saying we can’t afford to spend money, but we can afford to give rich people a huge tax break. This makes no sense.”

Meantime, corporations will see their tax rate cut from 35 to 20 percent even as their profits and the stock markets hit record highs. Trump, who takes an undeserved bow every time the markets hit new highs, also insists U.S. corporations are somehow suffering.

“We have a lot of businesses,” said Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffet in October. “I don’t think any of them are non-competitive in the world because of the corporate tax rate,”

Kevin Foley