The NY Times reported yesterday that due to all the troubles brewing with the Trump White House…..Russians impacting the election, the Flynn matter still in play, the Comey firing, giving confidential information to the Russians, the memo written by Comey detailing Trump’s request to stop the Flynn investigation, etc (see note at bottom)….Republicans are seeing their hopes for “tax reform” fading away this year. This might be a good thing for us.

Yet some Republicans are still holding out hope that they can pass some kind of “tax cuts” this year.  However, as the Times article states, “Analysts on Wall Street are also tempering their optimism. Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a note to clients last week that the prospect of tax cuts was looking less rosy than a few weeks ago and that passage of any legislation in 2017 was ‘unlikely.’ ”

Why are tax cuts for the rich such a big deal for the Republicans?  After all, the recent failure of their Obamacare “repeal and replace” legislation has been tied to their obsession with including such tax cuts as reported by Vox.

Why? Vox states, “Republicans have multiple reasons for focusing on the wealthy. They believe that tax cuts at the top produce big job gains by increasing investment and work effort (despite considerable evidence that gains are far more modest); they believe that high taxes on the affluent are punitive; and they know that the wealthy (and corporations) are an important and resource-rich part of their coalition.”

Short version of that:  their rich coalition donors have paid them in anticipation of having their taxes cut. (Sort of sounds improper, doesn’t it?)

At some point, no matter what happens to Trump…..the Republicans will be calling for “tax relief”.  Relief? Relief implies that we are suffering, we are in pain, that we are carrying some excessive burden and we must have “relief” from it. Truth is, that phrase comes from the same makers who brought you “death taxes”, “death panels” and the like….they are bogus phrases that have been drilled into our awareness based on the constant repetition of right wing talking points.

It’s time to reframe the discussion…..

Next time you hear someone talking about “tax reform”, ask exactly what they mean…..when they say “tax cuts”, ask for whom?….and when they say they are looking for “tax relief”, say you are looking for “tax justice”.

Repeat that phrase….”tax justice”…..burn it into your lexicon.

What is “tax justice”?

Well here are a couple of sites that can describe it in more detail:

Citizens for Tax Justice

Tax Justice Network USA

But we can think of it simply as this:

  • There are essential services that our government must provide and they cost money.
  • Taxes are one way of funding our government.
  • We all benefit from a well functioning government, hence we should all pay our fair share of the costs.
  • Many corporations and wealthy individuals do not pay their fair share of taxes leading to an unfair burden being placed upon the lower and middle class households.
  • Tax Justice is fixing this inequity.

I realize that none of us “love taxes”….but they are a necessary part of an effectively operating government.  We might disagree on what are the best things for our government to do with its resources….but most of us can agree that our taxes should be fair and equitable.  They must not place an undue burden on the lower and middle class.  Corporations and the rich must pay their fair share.  Simply because they can be a “wealthy donor” to politicians doesn’t mean that they can buy “tax cuts” for themselves.

So don’t be mesmerized by right wing talking points. Tax cuts for the rich are not “putting money in the hands of the job creators”.  Tax cuts for the rich when they are already not paying their fair share are simply a perversion of our democratic system.

So what are you going to do?

Check out the organizations linked above.  Check out this page from the “Our Revolution” site on fixing income inequality. Stay informed on the issues….and…

When someone says they are pushing for “tax relief”, you say you would rather they push for “tax justice”.

Mark Gilbert

NOTE:  Last week we called on Republicans to step up and fire Trump.  Since then, much more has happened to support that statement.  Even today the Denver Post is calling on Republicans to do better.  Let’s hope they get the message.


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