Now that the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act has been signed into law by President Donald Trump, a few lessons we can learned from this.
First, the legislation is not a tax cut for middle class taxpayers, but a windfall for the wealthy and the large corporations. These are the two groups, who contributed most to the Republicans in last year’s national election.
Remember, one of the promises the president made was that this would be a tax cut for the middle class. On the contrary, the legislation makes tax cuts permanent for the large corporations and by the year 2025 middle and lower income taxpayers will see their income taxes increase.
Second, unlike the Reagan and George W. Bush tax legislation, some members of congress will personally benefit from the legislation. A case-in-point is Republican Senator and real estate developer Bob Corker. This was the same Senator who said he would not vote for any tax legislation which increases the deficit by even one dollar. However, with the real estate provision inserted in the legislation, Corker will gain millions.
Additionally, the legislation is projected to increase the deficit by approximately $1.5 billion. Congress will obtain the revenue lost from the tax cuts by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and some of the other programs that benefit the least fortunate citizens among us. It is also estimated that the Trump family will receive billions from the legislation.
Third, the legislation showed how disingenuous and condescending members of congress are. At the ceremony celebrating the signing of the legislation, Orin Hatch — Republican Senator from Utah — told the president he was one of, if not the best president, the country ever had.
Flattery is okay in its place, but realistically how many of us believe that Trump is not only a great president but the greatest president — c’mon man.
To date, Trump’s only signature accomplishment is the tax cut. Additionally, his approval rating is the lowest of any president since the presidential polling has been conducted. This calls into question, Senator Hatch’s judgment. For his condescending performance, one of Utah’s newspapers has suggested that he resign from the senate.
For reasons unknown, the Republican-led congress refuses to listen to the voters. This is a reflection of the party’s weak leadership in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As I indicated in last week’s column, the voters will have their say in the 2018 mid-term and the 2020 presidential elections.
Happy New Year to my fellow citizens.
Dr. Noel A.D. Thompson is a political scientist who now teaches at Tuskegee University after many years as a professor at Auburn University.