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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Something Bigger Than Tweets



I've been trying to get back to writing my morning column about Trump's tweets, but I'm starting to find it exhausting and deflating. Too much is going wrong right now. The biggest is the tax bill going through Congress. It's much more than a tax bill; it's a society killer:

The tax plan has been marketed by President Trump and Republican leaders as a straightforward if enormous rebate for the masses, a $1.5 trillion package of cuts to spur hiring and economic growth. But as the bill has been rushed through Congress with scant debate, its far broader ramifications have come into focus, revealing a catchall legislative creation that could reshape major areas of American life, from education to health care.
Some of this re-engineering is straight out of the traditional Republican playbook. Corporate taxes, along with those on wealthy Americans, would be slashed on the presumption that when people in penthouses get relief, the benefits flow down to basement tenements.
Some measures are barely connected to the realm of taxation, such as the lifting of a 1954 ban on political activism by churches and the conferring of a new legal right for fetuses in the House bill — both on the wish list of the evangelical right.
With a potentially far-reaching dimension, elements in both the House and Senate bills could constrain the ability of states and local governments to levy their own taxes, pressuring them to limit spending on health care, education, public transportation and social services. In their longstanding battle to shrink government, Republicans have found in the tax bill a vehicle to broaden the fight beyond Washington.

This isn't about Trump. He's just a hand with a pen to the Republicans. Despite their lack of legislative success to date in 2017, this wraps almost their entire agenda into one bill. Despite the fact that one bill has passed the House and another looks like it will probably pass the Senate, the complexity of it will make it quite hard to roll everything into one bill that can pass both Houses at once. But it still might happen. If it does, America as we know it is fucked. There's no other way to put it. The Democrats are itching to run against the fallout, but it's not that simple:



I can't deny it; I'm really, really scared right now. And even if this bill doesn't pass, it's incredibly demoralizing to know that people that can support this even exist, let alone hold almost all of the power in this country.

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