GOP Tax Plan is Anything but “Winning” for Regular Americans

If you call yourself a Republican, vote for Republicans, make less than 200-grand a year, and think the GOP tax plan is good for you, you have been duped.
 
Again.
 
Scrooge
 

Every time I eye the GOP’s tax plan, I’m reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge’s wish to “decrease the surplus population” of the working class and poor.

Scrooge’s sentiment is re-animated in myriad ways that punish retired, working folks and the poor in recent GOP attempts to reward the ultra-affluent and corporations in their version of “tax reform.”

“How The GOP Tax Plan Scrooges Middle Class, Retired And Poor,” John Wasik, Forbes Contributor

Want to see how bad it is?

 
It shows that if you make $30,000 – $40,000 per year, 61% of taxpayers in your income group would get a tax cut in 2019.
 
Sounds good, right?
 
Now look at the facts.
 
  • 26% of you will see $500 or more.
500 bucks. Maybe more. Feels like “winning” to you? Fine. Live it up now, because it won’t last.
 
  • 35% of you will get between $100 and $500.
The equivalent of 40 bucks or so a month at best. Feeling that GOP slap of your face yet?
 
  • 34% of you will see little or no change, meaning $100 or less.
How’s that kick in the nuts you’re getting from your Party feel? That feel like winning to you 1/3 of people in this income category?
 
  • 4% of you will pay more.
Well done. You’re the big “winners.”
 
By 2027, 9% of you will get a tax cut and 21% will pay more in taxes.
Plan to let us know how sleeping in that bed you made for everyone feels, won’t you?
 
Oh. One more thing.
Please plan to explain your loyalty to and your voting for Republicans when the 1 trillion dollar shortfall in 10 years adds to the deficit, and you and your friends and relatives see their Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security fall shorter and shorter of their needs.
 
Yep.
 
If you’re not already in the top 10% of income earners making over 130-grand a year and you’re still voting for a Republican, any Republican, in any level of government, you have been and continue to be duped. And, this is just on the facts and reality of economics. It says nothing about the complete bankruptcy of the party on social, moral, ethical, intellectual, and ecological issues.
 
This country will be great again, but it won’t be thanks to you Republican voters who keep voting against your own self-interests and the best interests of your family, friends, neighbors, fellow American citizens, and the rest of the world.
 
So, go ahead and continue to willingly set yourself up as cannon fodder for Republican politicians and the people who pull their strings. The rest of us will clean up your mess.
Again.
Oh, and no, Democrats aren’t perfect. Save your breath. That’s not what I’m suggesting at all, and that is a ridiculous retort.
That said, however, the one thing Democrats absolutely are not are the same as Republicans.
Which also means you so-called progressives and liberals need to stop with that bullshit, too. You’re embarrassing yourselves.
GOP tax plan vote
“Senate passes sweeping GOP tax plan in early hours of Saturday morning” http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/senate-tax-bill-vote-uncertainty/index.html
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History will not be kind to Trump supporters

The story for me in this NBC News/WSJ poll isn’t so much that his overall approval has sunk to 38%.
 
It’s that it’s at 81% with Republicans.
Trump job approval
 
I guess this means that 8 out of 10 of our fellow Americans who have been duped into thinking they are Republicans are happy with him and the job he’s doing.
 
I pity them for how future generations and history will treat them for being so thoroughly and willingly played for fools.
 
This cretin has precisely zero concern for them and absolutely nothing in common with common – or decent – Americans.
 
The fact that 8 in 10 Republicans approve of him is the epitome of blind obedience and partisanship.
 

What every American needs to say to the GOP, and what they need to do every election day

This is exactly how I feel toward the GOP.

There can never be another compromise with them on anything. Ever.

Trump is all the proof any thinking person should need to accept the reality that conservatives and Republicans are waging a war on decency, intellect, intelligence, and the future.

The Republican Party is the enemy of everything this country is supposed to be about.

What to do?

Show up on every election day to vote against every Republican at every level of government, from school board and town council to Congress and the Presidency. If we don’t, we don’t get to complain, and we can’t be angry and outraged about the country sliding down the slippery slope toward the kind of hate-filled, corrupt, and stupid kleptocracy embodied by Trump.

Complain that the system is rigged.
Complain that there’s not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Complain about Big Money in politics and anything else that bothers you.

But, stay home or throw away your vote, and you need to understand that you’re helping the GOP.

It’s that simple.

From W to Drumpf

Here’s the latest and surest sign that The Apocalypse is upon us.

W was funny, self-deprecating, and way, way, WAY more mature than the current President of the United States could ever hope to be.

That’s not the sign.

The sign is Republicans have gone from someone so patently unqualified as W to Drumpf.

Parties, primaries, processes, and paying for democracy

This article from April by Ezra Klein in Vox, “This presidential campaign is developing a legitimacy problem,” is worth reading even though it’s now July.

Bernie future

The videos with it were helpful, too. I especially liked the explanation about why we don’t have a single day for primaries – something I’ve always wondered about.

Seems to me that issue rests at the feet of this anachronistic idea called state’s rights. To the point about a lack of national standards made by a friend of mine, when political parties in 52 jurisdictions get to make up their own rules, why would we expect anything but chaos, corruption, and questionable outcomes? I think we need national standards like single-day primaries and the ‘retirement’ of caucuses – another anachronistic idea that serves to exclude more Americans than it includes.

Tax Status of Parties and the Cost of Elections

I found this article, “Tax-Exempt Political Parties Have Money and Resources to Keep Elections Rigged,” from IVN while researching the question of the tax status of political parties. It’s from 2014. Political parties are, according to IVN, non-profit 527s, not for-profit corporations. Perhaps there was a time when they were for-profit? I’m asking because I don’t know.

Another point made in this IVN piece that I hadn’t really considered before is just the straight-up “operational” costs to have polling places.

Candice Nelson, a professor with American University’s government department, balks when asked whether states should do anything to restrict funding, tax-exempt or not.

“[I]t costs money to put on elections — to have a voting booth and have a place to go and vote,” Nelson said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for states to pay for the funding of those elections.”

The quote got me thinking about the costs that go into making it possible for us to cast our vote, and that includes campaigning and primaries.

It does cost money, and I do see elections as a function of the public sector that benefits the public good. I think the process should be funded by taxpayers, even those who choose not to participate. That’s their choice. (I’ll get to open vs closed primaries next.)

What I am totally against is privatizing anything that has to do with our electoral process, and that includes how political parties are funded, how campaigns are funded, and how the electoral process itself is funded. Privatizing any (more!) of that would, it seems to me, only strengthen the grip of power those with all the money have already over us and our politicians.

IVN t-shirtPublic service announcement:
I’d like to encourage everyone to kick a few bucks to IVN as I just did and have done in the past. I have the t-shirt to prove it.  😉

Primaries

As for open vs closed primaries, I admit to being more for closed primaries under the current process because I tend to think that a party’s members should be the people who choose who represents their party. This is where I’m admittedly not aligned 100% with IVN.

I don’t see primaries as the election. I see primaries as the means by which parties choose whom they wish to represent them. While IVN’s arguments do hold up that, for all intents-and-purposes under the present system, primaries serve in a big way as proxies for the actual election, they are not, in my mind, actually that. Here’s why.

Some people I know will tell you that they plan to cast their vote outside the two parties in November because they don’t like either candidate. If that’s the course they choose to follow because their candidate didn’t get enough support within a respective party, then they still have that as their prerogative.

I also think under the current system that closed primaries are the best way to keep people from rigging the outcomes even more perversely than is claimed that they are today. Democrats don’t want Republicans showing up to cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, and vice versa, just as Greens and Libertarians probably don’t want Democrats and Republicans despoiling their selection processes.

For a really interesting review of primaries in the U.S., see this Wikipedia page, Primary elections in the United States. Per this page, there are only 11 states that have closed primaries.

Now, as I see it, if we had single-day open primaries, then I think these problems are mostly solved. Bear in mind that nothing is perfect; however, under this scenario, everyone can vote, they all do so on the same day so crossing-over is reduced, and unaffiliated voters can participate but, as in any election, only a single vote gets cast. I’d also turn this whole electoral process, primary and general, into instant-runoff voting so that a second, third, and even fourth choice actually has a chance to win.

What I am absolutely all for is more parties. Figuring out how to fund parties seems like the thorniest problem to resolve. I don’t claim to have any answers. I sometimes think publicly funded elections are the best way to go, but then the question becomes how to distribute public funds to the parties? Is it relative and based on size of membership, or is it a flat amount? Then it feels like we’re right back to the question of party membership and open vs closed primaries.

Why have parties at all?

I think it’s human nature. We are not individuals. We are social animals who instinctively, emotionally, and for all kinds of practical reasons need each other to survive. As such, we’re going to coalesce into groups, and groups tend to take positions for or against all sorts of things based on what the group’s individuals collectively want, need, and believe. I think this “for or against” human tendency explains a lot about why there are only two major parties with lots of less popular and less populated parties who haven’t gotten traction. Most people don’t want to be in a group with little to no power and influence.

There’s no question that our political system is clearly broken and rigged to favor the present duopoly. I firmly believe that we need a different way of running our campaign, electoral, and political processes. As those who know me know, I’ve been advocating for years for ideas like the American Anti-Corruption Act and for the work that the people like Represent.Us and MayDay.us are doing on this issue. I support them along with the Independent Voter Network, and hope that everyone reading this will, too.