FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Under Cover of Kavanaugh, Republicans Passed Huge Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

While Americans were transfixed by Senate hearings over Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assaults, House Republicans quietly passed another enormous tax handout for the wealthiest Americans.

Round one of this giveaway cost $2 trillion. Round two is even bigger — it would explode the deficit by more than $3 trillion. And once again, it’s largely a giveaway to the wealthiest Americans — and could mean devastating service cuts for ordinary people.

President Trump claimed the first tax plan would be “rocket fuel” for the economy, but there’s no evidence it’s done anything to improve the economic wellbeing of working families.

The centerpiece of the first plan was a massive tax cut for corporations. The corporate tax rate was reduced by 40 percent, plus a $400 billion tax break for multinational corporations on their trillions in accumulated offshore profits.

So it’s not surprising corporate profits leaped by over 16 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same three months last year — the best showing in six years. Meanwhile corporate tax payments are on schedule to come in $120 billion lower than in 2017.

But corporations aren’t sharing their winnings.

Trump guaranteed working families a $4,000 raise if corporate taxes were cut. Yet average real wages have been stagnant for the past year. Only 4 percent of American workers have gotten any kind of payout related to the corporate tax cuts, and most of those have been one-time bonuses, not permanent raises.

There’s no sign tax cuts have spurred hiring. Job growth under President Trump is merely a continuation of six years of job growth under President Obama — and Obama created more jobs in his last 19 months than Trump has in his first 19 months.

Cutting business taxes was supposed to cause an explosion of investment. Yet business investment has increased at a slower rate this year than at several periods during the Obama recovery.

Instead of investing in workers or equipment, companies are mostly buying back their own stock, a maneuver that artificially inflates the share price and rewards CEOs and wealthy investors. Corporations have announced $733 billion worth of stock buybacks since the Trump-GOP tax law was enacted — 103 times more than the $7 billion workers have gotten in bonuses and raises.

For the money McDonald’s spent on stock buybacks, it could’ve given every one of its 2 million employees that $4,000 raise President Trump promised them. But they didn’t.

The economic miracle envisaged by the tax plan’s backers hasn’t materialized. But the dire consequences predicted by the plan’s opponents certainly have. To cover the deficits created by their own tax cuts, Republicans want to cut trillions of dollars from essential public services.

Despite promising never to touch Medicare or Medicaid, President Trump is seeking $1.3 trillion in cutsto those programs and to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House GOP wants to cut a total of $5 trillion, including $2 trillion from health care. Trump and House Republicans would also slash funding for students in school and college, among many other service cuts.

Round two of the Trump-GOP tax cuts would only repeat the same destructive pattern: huge handouts to the rich, huge deficits, and huge service cuts for working families. The big difference is that the budget hole created would be much deeper this time, making the resulting cuts to services that much more severe.

No wonder they did it while Americans were distracted.

The sane policy would be to repeal the existing tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and use the money raised to strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and other essential services the American people rely on.

Frank Clemente is the executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 17, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: No Woman, No Cry
Kathleen Wallace
Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style
Robert Hunziker
The Rumbling Methane Enigma
Frank Joyce
Will the Constitution Fail Again?
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Vijay Prashad
Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right
Ramzy Baroud
Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank
Norman Solomon
Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom
Ted Rall
America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia
David Rosen
The Irregulators vs. FCC: the Trial Begins
Jennifer Matsui
The Krown
Joseph Natoli
Resolutions and Obstacles/2020
Sarah Anderson
War Profiteering is Real
James McFadden
The Business Party Syndicate
Ajamu Baraka
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
David Swanson
CNN is Trash
Rev. William Alberts
Finally a Christian Call for Trump’s Removal
Dave Lindorff
The ERA Just Got Ratified by Virginia, the Needed 38th State!
W. T. Whitney
Mexico Takes Action on Coup in Bolivia and on CELAC
Steve Early
How General Strike Rhetoric Became a Reality in Seattle 
Jessicah Pierre
Learning From King’s Last Campaign
Mark Dickman
Saint Greta and the Dragon
Jared Bernstein - Dean Baker
Reducing the Health Care Tax
Clark T. Scott
Uniting “Progressives” Instead of Democrats
Nilofar Suhrawardy
Trump & Johnson: What a Contrast, Image-wise!
Ron Jacobs
Abusing America’s Children—Free Market Policy
George Wuerthner
Mills Are Being Closed by National Economic Trends, Not Environmental Regulations
Basav Sen
Nearly All Americans Want Off of Fossil Fuels
Mark Ashwill
Playing Geopolitical Whack-a-Mole: The Viet Nam Flag Issue Revisited
Jesse Jackson
New Hope for One of America’s Poorest Communities
Binoy Kampmark
Harry and Meghan Exit: The Royal Family Propaganda Machine
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again!
Rob Okun
A Call to Men to join Women’s March
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
We All Need to Be Tree Huggers Now
Tom Stephens
The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire
Julian Rose
Fake-Green Zero Carbon Fraud
Louis Proyect
The Best Films of 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo
Colin Todhunter
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis
Julian Vigo
Can New Tech Replace In-Class Learning?
Gaither Stewart
The Bench: the Life of Things
Nicky Reid
Trannies with Guns: Because Enough is Enough!
James Haught
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
David Yearsley
Brecht in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail