Last night the U.S. Senate facilitated, on a strict party-line vote, a forseeably disastrous end game: to steal from the poor and middle class as a giveaway to the already super-rich. The implications are, for ordinary Americans, worse by far than 9-11-01.
The public has a very short time to weigh in on this initiative with their own representatives. The bill was hurriedly passed with virtually no public view, much less input. All that remains is for the Senate and the House of Representatives Republicans (the Republicans are all that matter, here) to reconcile their differences, which are helpfully laid out in this mornings Washington Post.
This is how CNN sees what is being proposed.
This is not the first ‘stealth’ effort by the Republicans. Twice they failed to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (derisively called “Obamacare”), using the same strategy. Now they’ve hidden the down-the-road repeal of such programs within the latest bill, which virtually nobody has really seen, including those who voted for it last night. The ‘bait and switch’ is pretty obvious: the damages will not really take effect until after the next election, with short term sweetness in 2018.
For those who contend that the Republicans are doing only as the Democrats did to pass what came to be called Obamacare in 2010, never forget that Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was publicly debated for a year before its final adoption in 2010. See especially the section on “Healthcare Debate 2008-2010 at this link.
Haters of Obamacare would send me extracts from, let’s say, page 1023 of some draft, allegedly proving the Acts dangers. You can’t share pieces of last nights action. Some pieces were handwritten in by people not long before the vote.
Those who passed this bill depend on a sloppy and lazy citizenry.
I’m old enough to possibly be gone before the bad news within the plans of this bill hit the young folks who will be most adversely affected by its provision, and the satellite initiatives to slash other programs like medicare to pay for the immense deficits it will create. The young need to figure this out for themselves.
I’ll do what I can….
POSTNOTE: I question not at all the issue of needing to “reform” taxation. This has been an obvious problem for years. The problem is that this is a country with differing points of view, and it is dangerous to cede to one radical side control of this or any issue.
POSTNOTE 2: An afternoon mailing from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Dec. 2.
“While most of America was sleeping last night, the Senate Republicans jammed through their terrible tax bill.
I wish I could tell you all of the awful things that are in it, but I’m still reading the bill myself. The Republicans released the bill only a couple of hours before the votes started last night. There were no hearings. There was no debate. In fact, they were literally sending around edits in hand-written chicken scratch minutes before we had to vote.
But we do know that the big Republican donors are popping champagne today. This 500-page bill is a massive tax giveaway to billionaires and giant corporations, paid for by America’s working families. It attacks college students. It sabotages the Affordable Care Act and threatens health care for millions of Americans. It opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling in Alaska. And who knows what else is buried in there?
That’s not how you make tax policy, health care policy, or any other policy in the United States of America.
This Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists and campaign donors in backroom deals and 1:30 AM votes. This is corruption – plain and simple. And this corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class and tearing down our democracy.
But we cannot – CANNOT – give up. The other side has concentrated money and concentrated power – but we have our voices and our votes. And there are a lot more of us than there are of them.
We need to fight harder than ever to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. When this tax scam causes the national debt to explode because billionaires and giant corporations don’t pay their fair share, the Republicans will say – “Sorry!” There’s no money to pay for the things that affect working families. Remember that when the sequester cuts kicked in during 2013, cancer clinics had to turn away patients from their chemotherapy treatments – and that was just fine with the GOP.
And we need to fight harder than ever to elect Democrats who will fight for working families – not for those who can afford to hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists. Not a single Democrat in the House or the Senate has voted for this terrible tax scam. If we want to change policy in America, we have to change the people who are in the room fighting for those policies.
It’s been a brutal week. This is a David vs. Goliath story, and this time David got his slingshot shoved down his throat – sideways. But even though we won’t win every fight, we won’t win what we don’t fight for.
Stay in this fight. We need you.
Thanks for being a part of this,