Saturday, December 23, 2017

America's Going Out of Business Sale Has Begun

Well, it's official now.  The Republican Tax Scam has now been signed into law on December 22, 2017.   The TL;DR version:  It is basically reverse Robin Hood economics--rob from the poor, give to the rich, and torpedo what's left of the middle class.  In other words, it's Reaganomics on steroids.

The lion's share of the tax cuts will go to the rich and mega-corporations, while the bottom 99% will get little or nothing, or even a tax hike depending on the exact vicissitudes of where one falls in the tax code.  Small businesses, or at least many of them, will likely get a swift kick in the margins, while large corporations make out like bandits.  And the price tag?  Over $1 TRILLION added to the national debt over the next ten years.   So much for the GOP being the party of fiscal responsibility, right?  Which will trigger automatic spending cuts to Medicare among other programs, unless Congress chooses to waive such cuts.  And it will also provide the perfect cover for Paul Ryan and his buddies pushing further cuts to the programs that they have had in their sights since forever, most notably Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, among several others as well.

If that wasn't bad enough, the Tax Scam also contains a bit of chaos manufacture in regards to Obamacare.  It effectively repeals the individual mandate for Obamacare, without replacing it with anything or doing anything whatsoever to stabilize the markets. Granted, the TSAP has long advocated (until we get single-payer healthcare) replacing the mandate with more positive incentives (such as increased subsidies), more stringent rules for special enrollment, and perhaps a surcharge as well for those try to game the system by dropping coverage and getting back in later.  Even the greedy insurance industry would be fine with such a replacement mechanism to prevent adverse selection.  But this bill contains no such mechanism, so unless something else is done soon, the result will indeed be chaos.

Oh, and to top it off, the bill also opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for "Drill, baby, drill!"  Because we really, really need to rape and plunder one of the very few remaining pristine areas of the Earth, because GROOOOWWWWTH!  Or something.

So overall, this is a very bad deal, and is essentially America's going out of business sale.  But hey, at least we will all get cheaper booze from this, right?