Senator Bernie Sanders has referred to the Senate Tax Bill as one of the great robberies in US history, as it allows the Republicans to loot the Treasury. The Republicans chose to take from veterans, the disabled, seniors, students, teachers, and public education to give to their real constituents, the wealthy and corporations. Both groups are sitting on massive amounts of cash, which they use to buy congressmen and fund so-called think tanks. These congressmen and think tanks then propose, support, and vote for legislation that enriches their paymasters. Buying government like this subverts democracy for the many and turns it into an oligarchy for the few.
The Republicans purposely designed this bill to explode the deficit. Then, when the deficit skyrockets, they will demand cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, other safety net programs, and even Social Security. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch has already said that the US cannot afford to fund CHIP, the children’s health insurance program, because it spends too much—he considers the children served by this program freeloaders who expect the Federal Government to provide for them instead of making their own way.
Illinois citizens have seen firsthand the effects of starving social service agencies and higher education under our current governor. His stubborn refusal to sign a budget has triggered penalties that have tripled the state’s debt in order to gut state government. Our children and grand children will be on the hook for his increase to the state’s debt and will be burdened with even more federal debt generated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs act.
With the Tax Cuts and Jobs act the Republicans are having their cake and eating it too. They will reward their donors with the lion’s share of the tax cuts. Then, when the deficit balloons, they will gleefully become deficit hawks and champion cuts to social programs that the people in their district count on.
Voters should keep calling and emailing their Senators and Representatives, especially the Republican Representatives who voted for the House version, until they enact true tax reform that benefits those who need it before those who want it.
Submitted by: Nancy Turner, Chair of the Economics Committee