It looks like I will get my tax cut today, so why am I not celebrating? If you are comfortable does that mean you have to be greedy for even higher tax benefits when there is so much that needs to be done in the public sphere that is being neglected by Congress?
Take one broad issue that I had an extensive thread on in a previous iteration of the forum--growing inequality. This tax bill is an annual steroid injection. It accelerates and expands income and wealth inequality on a trajectory as far into the future as anyone can project. I could post more charts, but what's the point. The new ones are the same as the old ones. Capital gets rewarded, labor gets the tax bill and America becomes a plutocracy with increasing political dysfunction. Why? Because the billionaires are able to buy the politicians and secure passage of legislation that has a 26% approval (the tax cut for the rich) and refuse to pass legislation that has 90% approval (background checks for all gun purchases). That is the tip of the iceberg, but emblematic of how democracy at the basic level is being eroded by foolish decision-making at every level, from the voting booth to the oval office.
The US was master of the universe in the post WWII era and received a boost with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet, we have squandered our opportunities in a turn to the right that has continually reduced benefits for average income people to the advantage of the wealthy. A good example is the Amtrak wreck from just yesterday. A safety device was left off the tracks on the approach to the curve where the accident occurred. Officials were warned about the danger in a public hearing. Budget constraints won out. Now several people are dead, many injured and the costs are severe. Rest assured the real lesson will not be learned. A first class public infrastructure requires generous PUBLIC funding and oversight. Could anyone believe today that a Conservative Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, promoted the construction of a nationwide interstate highway system? Forget that. Trump and Corker want a real estate tax windfall and that is just a sampling of the warped philosophy that guides our public policy.
Ayn Rand has triumphed and the rest of us will suffer the consequences while Paul Ryan walks away with his soon to be announced gig of public speaking and Fox News commentary. He plans to build his personal wealth in readiness for a White House run. May this tax bill forever hang from his neck like the proverbial albatross.