Brent Budowsky: Tax cut warning to GOP

Brent Budowsky: Tax cut warning to GOP
© Greg Nash

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Do you want your legacy to be a massive federal deficit of gargantuan proportion created by a tax bill whose biggest winners will be the most profitable multinational corporations, the Trump family and the wealthiest billionaires, and whose biggest losers will be millions of Americans with incomes under $100,000, who will be burdened by tax increases imposed by Republicans, and America’s poor, who will be further punished by GOP policies as Christmas approaches?

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Do you believe legislation that would profoundly impact the lives of every American should be passed without any semblance of bipartisanship or serious and thoughtful hearings, with nationally respected experts carefully considering the sweeping impact of this bill on your constituents?

Do Republican senators believe it is good politics to force-feed an unpopular tax bill negotiated in secret late-night talks, behind closed doors, on very short notice, by members of only one party, colluding with their lobbyist benefactors, on a tax cut for the rich, passed after banana republic procedures, by a swampland of the Senate?

Consider Plan B. Republican senators should support a motion to recommit the tax bill to the Senate Finance Committee, with instructions to bring back a bill by March 1 that cuts taxes for every middle-class American without creating a deficit disaster, after a genuine effort for real bipartisanship, following thoughtful hearings worthy of a bill with such immense consequences for every constituent.

Americans do not want and will not accept a giant and permanent tax holiday for our most profitable corporations, and a huge tax cut for our wealthiest citizens paid for by gigantic deficits, tax increases for millions of citizens and an aggressive attack against America’s poor during the Christmas season.

Sen. Corker, who has spent a political career opposing big deficits, appears poised to stain his legacy by offering, with the best of intentions, one of the worst proposals in economic history.

Corker probably knows that GOP claims that the tax bill will not cause a deficit disaster are phony. He proposes automatic tax increases when the fraudulent budget estimates used to promote this ill-considered bill are exposed.

The Corker plan guarantees that when the revenue shortfall inevitably occurs and his tax increase is triggered a growing economy will slow, a slow economy will sink into recession, and an economy in recession will collapse and cause the next great financial crash.

George Santayana warned that those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them. Trump Republicans are making the exact same mistakes that caused the financial crash that plagued the nation during the last Republican presidency.

The Trump–Republican attack against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a dastardly attack against middle-class Americans protected by the agency against the kind of financial crimes and abuses that caused the last financial crash. 

The surge of financial abuse that will inevitably begin if Republicans destroy the agency that protects consumers, plus the ballooning deficit that will be caused by the GOP tax cut, plus the humongous tax cut for the wealthiest individuals, plus the huge permanent tax cut for the most profitable corporations, plus the tax increase on millions of middle-class Americans that Republicans would impose, guarantee a replay of the last financial crash that could poison the GOP brand for decades.

In the timeless holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the patriotically kind small town banker George Bailey came under attack by the ruthless, greedy and heartless mogul Mr. Potter.

If the Senate passes the tax bill as written, Democrats will campaign in 2018 as the party of modern George Baileys, fighting for the large majority of Americans, while Trump Republicans will be tarred as the party of modern Mr. Potters, fighting alongside their lobbyists, donors and influence peddlers in the Washington swamp.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.