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Taxation (3) Nightmares on Scam St

November 19, 2017

If America wakes up, it will wake up screaming, because it is living a nightmare within a nightmare. Within our general nightmare of national wealth mismanagement, we’re entering a nightmare of taxation mismanagement. If we don’t wake up soon, we’ll be wakened, too late, by an American economic and social catastrophe.

[[I’ve now read all of this page, including the linked articles, and more, and I have to say, What happens when we have driven even more people into survival-by-public-assistance, reduced public assistance, impoverished and sickened people who were struggling to stay out of poverty, enfeebled the aspiring middle class by making it impossible to obtain education, thereby reducing the size of the professional upper middle class, insolated the lower upper class from need to pay attention, and all of that thereby sapping the power of the citizenry and putting the wellbeing of the nation (and the globe) in the hands of a well moneyed elite who don’t gave a shit about anybody but themselves? As The Lion of the Senate put it, “When does the greed stop?!” Because for all their pseudo-sophisticated Chicago School, Randy economic rationalizations and protestations (see e.g. Republican Hatch and Dem Cloobeck), it’s all about their greed. These are crazy people.  They’ve lost it, all.  They have broken the electric chain of humanity. They have lost touch.]]

Really? Could things be that bad? Yep, if the criterion is the amount of misery in the living conditions of the vast majority of the population, many of whom are already living in daily misery. Just wait until we don’t have the money to deal with global warming, and government is in the hands of a handful of rich people who don’t experience our level of need, and who don’t give a damn about our wellbeing.

I wonder why the people of Boston who threw that tea into the harbor were so pissed with the London government. Was it because the king was insisting that they make do with rum with their cake? Or was it because the London rich and their global corporation, The East India Company, was threatening their standard of living?

For decades, the income level and standard of living of all Americans, except the very rich, have stagnated or declined. Our quality of life—measured either by the spiritual standard of Thoreau’s “amount of life that must be expended” for something, “immediately or in the long run,” or by the mundane material standards of “(a) how much of what I need can I buy with a buck? (b) how many bucks do I need in order to buy what I need? (c) do I have that many bucks? (d) what’s the chance I can get more? or (e) if I buy something, how will its quality compare with the quality of such a thing 50 years ago?—ain’t  what it was during the postwar years before “the Reagan revolution.”

(Answers: (a) not much, (b) a lot, (c) r u kidding?, (d) see (c), (e) most things other than luxuries are approaching the state of lemon. We’re all being programmed according to planned obsolescence.  Now add the rising cost of necessities such as clean water.)

But there will be wealth, and as long as there are the wealthy, there might be Good Will. We can re-invent the workhouse and the poorhouse, American style (oh wait, we’ve done that).

Why the mismanagement? Because the economy, in the largest sense, has been managed by the corporate monopolists of the financial sector, which now includes every other sector, including the federal government. Those monopolists are the rich, who serve nobody’s interest but their own. They, and their Republican shills, are currently in the process of revising federal taxation to more amply serve their interests.

See, for instance, this analysis in The Guardian (great photo too: that’s Steve Mnuchin, our Secretary of the Treasury, proudly exhibiting his signature on the newly printed bucks, and his notorious wife – quels jerks, and an anonymous generic citizen bomber).  [In case you’re a masochist, more links to analysis below.]

The Rs are triumphally rolling back The New Deal—yes FDR’s programs (and Truman’s, JFK’s, and LBJ’s). They’ve been gunning for it from that long-ago moment when the Ds started to put it in place, and now they have their best chance to take it down. They’re saying, okay, you think an income tax is a good idea? Then you pay it. We rich people and corporations think it’s a bad idea, so we’re not going to pay it; and in fact we’ll rig taxation so that it’s another means of transferring your wealth into our pockets.

The radical Rs (that’s almost all of the active R politicians and their donors) made a Mephistophelian deal to get control of the federal government, so that they can grab more power, wealth, and fame, at the nation’s expense. If they succeed, the Devil will get his due, but we’ll pay the piper.

[More links to analysis:  Borosage / Nation: Cong Rs “think you’re an idiot.” Long / WaPo on what’s in the House bill. Davidson / NYer: “The report shows that the rich benefit and the poor are hurt in every way that it measures.” Rubin / WaPo: 5 ways the plan would inhibit growth, etc.  SamuelsonWaPo:  No historic evidence that tax cuts boost growth.  Bartlett (Republican) / WaPo: R playbook is to create deficit and then use it to pressure for reduction in social services such as medicare and SS.   Ollstein / TPM: trigger $25 billion Medicare cut.  Krugman / NYT on Medicare cut.  Lawson / DK: “Begin cycle of disinvestment in public education, . .directly by crippling state and local ability to collect adequate taxes, and indirectly with R’s call for further decreases in st & loc taxation/spending to ‘make up for’ what they would claim was increased fed taxation.”   Leonhard / NYT: “Which do you think sounds like a more urgent national priority: cutting this country’s depressingly-high child poverty rate or sending $130,000 a year to every household in the top 1 percent?  (More coming, but i need a break.)   ]

[Taxation (1) & (2)]

 

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