Talking Points Memo
YEE HAW: Sens. Corn and McConnell had plenty of reason to smile this morning.
The U.S. Senate early this morning
voted 51-49 for a tax bill that will give huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, increase the national deficit and bestow dozens of favors to special interests crammed into a bill passed without scant notice and without public review.
The 479-page bill came with numbers of favors for reluctant Republicans, some hand-written into the margins of the proposal shortly before the vote.
The bill still must go to conference
for reconciliation with a House bill. It will be interesting to see if one particularly odious amendment, unexpectedly defeated by defection
of four Republicans, will be put back in. This was a special exemption from a new tax on college endowments for the right-wing Hillsdale College, a major beneficiary of billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss.
The Washington Post notes that, as the bill evolved, it became more weighted in favor of the wealthy. It will actually increase taxes for many lower-income workers and by full implementation punish many in the middle class while awarding billions in tax breaks to the wealthy.
Republicans rejected numerous non-partisan findings
that the bill will not produce the economic boon
that they predict will override the deficit-increasing impact of the tax cuts.
The bill also damages the Affordable Care Act and inevitably — though Republican tried to dispute it — mean reductions in Medicare and Medicaid spending. Some 13 million people are expected to lose health insurance coverage as a result of the bill.
Most media are depicting this in terms of victory for Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. It is more accurately depicted as a battering loss for working class
Americans, the very people who supposedly powered Trump's victory.
Need I mention that Arkansas's senators cheered the outcome and voted for all the terrible amendments? Arkansas's House Republicans stand ready to do the same.
Some forces of resistance were up early with responses.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families'
Rich Huddleston wrote:
Both the Senate and House tax bills are costly new giveaways to the very wealthy and major corporations at the expense of working families, including tens of millions of low-income and middle-class Americans who actually would face a tax increase. In Arkansas, approximately half of the benefits of this tax cut will go to the top 5 percent of earners. By voting for this bill, Arkansas Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman voted against the best interests of our children and hardworking families.
Make no mistake, these tax cuts will begin a domino effect that will debilitate programs our kids and families depend on for years to come.
a Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congresss
hoping to unseat Plutocrat French Hill of Little Rock, said:
While most Americans were sleeping, the Republican-controlled Senate showed the American people just how far they are willing to go to obey their wealthy donors. At the expense of the people they are elected to represent, these Republican Senators have paved the way for a cascade of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest members of our society. With the passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the Republicans have utterly disregarded working and middle-class Americans, and have made clear their commitment to rigging the economy in the favor of a privileged few.
Many believe this vote will have election consequences in 2018. You'd think so. But we have evidence in the White House to discourage faith in facts and reason.
I can remember when Republicans said deficits matter. I can remember when they said legislation deserved ample consideration before votes. What we have here is the metaphorical equivalent of Donald Trump's pussy grabbing. When you're rich, you can grab whatever you want without fear of ill consequences.
Also criticism from Arkansas Communit Organizations — “The Senate tax plan that passed by a narrow margin last night will hurt working families in our state while giving millionaires like French Hill massive tax breaks” — and from 2nd District Democratic candidate Gwen Combs. She said: “The Senate’s egregious pre-dawn vote for tax “reform” - which will hurt the vast majority of Arkansans - is merely the latest example of how true statesmen have been replaced by power-hungry shysters who serve only one master: Money.”