Throughout my career as a marketing and media relations consultant, I have had the good fortune to help many people achieve their dreams. All were smart and dedicated. None, to my knowledge, purposely tried to hurt or take advantage of anyone. They worked hard to bring new ideas, services and products to their customers. They hired many people and paid them fairly. Today, several rank among our nation’s millionaires.
I’m proud of my small role in helping them succeed because I know they deserve their successes.
Still, despite all their wealth, not one is a member of the .001%, the oligarchs now disassembling our nation, the United States.
Perhaps, someday, the oligarchs’ “useful idiots”, the Republican Party and the American voters who put Trump into office, may realize their mistake, as they try to exercise their former Constitutionally guaranteed rights. But it will be to no avail.
By then, I expect I’ll be long gone or in my mind-sapping dotage, parked in my wheelchair, staring at a fish tank, in some God forsaken “nursing home”, just like so many of the people I see today “living out” their final days on this Earth under our “healthcare” system.
As I see it, the Republican tax plan is just another nail in our collective coffin.
All this is clearly in the stars for us. Unless we, the 99.9%, have some sort of a mass epiphany and together see “the light” to begin to restore our “Constitutional Federal Republic” experiment, The United States of America.
I agree with Dr. Robert Reich's* perspective about this Republican Tax. Here is what he has to say:
The Triumph of the Oligarchs, Robert Reich, robertreich.org, 17 Dec 2017.
The Republican tax plan to be voted on this week is likely to pass.
“The American people have waited 31 long years to see our broken tax code overhauled,” the leaders of the Koch’s political network insisted in a letter to members of Congress, urging swift approval, adding that the time had come to put “more money in the pockets of American families.”
Please. The Koch network doesn’t care a fig about the pockets of American families. It cares about the pockets of the Koch network.
It has poured money into almost every state in an effort to convince Americans that the tax cut will be good for them. Yet most Americans don’t believe it.
Polls shows only about a third of Americans favor the tax plan. The vast majority feel it’s heavily skewed to the rich and big businesses – which it is.
In counties that Trump won but Obama carried in 2012, only 17 percent say they expect to pay less in taxes, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 25 percent say they expected their family would actually pay higher taxes.
Most Americans know that the tax plan is payback for major Republican donors. Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic advisor, even conceded in an interview that “the most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.”
Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted “my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’” Senator Lindsey Graham warned that if Republicans failed to pass the tax plan, “the financial contributions will stop.”
By passing it, Republican donors will save billions – paying a lower top tax rate, doubling the amount their heirs can receive tax-free, and treating themselves as “pass-through” businesses able to deduct 20 percent of their income (effectively allowing Trump to cut his tax rate in half, if and when he pays taxes).
They’ll make billions more as their stock portfolios soar because corporate taxes are slashed.
The biggest winners by far will be American oligarchs such as the Koch brothers; Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor; Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate; Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets football team and heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune; and Carl Icahn, the activist investor.
The oligarchs are the richest of the richest 1 percent. They’ve poured hundreds of millions into the GOP and Trump. About 40 percent of all contributions for the entire federal election came from the richest 0.01 percent of the American population.
The giant tax cut has been their core demand from the start. They also want to slash regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and cut everything else government does except for defense – including Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
In return, they have agreed to finance Trump and the GOP, and mount expensive public relations campaigns that magnify their lies.
Trump has fulfilled his end of the bargain. He’s blinded much of his white working-class base to the reality of what’s happening by means of his racist, xenophobic rants and policies.
The American oligarchs couldn’t care less about what all this will cost America.
Within their gated estates and private jets, they’re well insulated from the hatefulness and divisiveness,
They don’t worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes.
Climate change doesn’t concern them because their estates are fully insured against hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
They don’t care about public schools because their families don’t attend them. They don’t care about public transportation because they don’t use it. They don’t care about the poor because they don’t see them.
They don’t worry about the rising budget deficit because they borrow directly from global capital markets.
Truth to tell, they don’t even care that much about America because their personal and financial interests are global.
They are living in their own separate society, and they want Congress and the President to represent them, not the rest of us.
The Republican Party is their vehicle. Fox News is their voice. Trump is their champion. The new tax plan is their triumph.
But if polls showing most Americans against the tax cut are any guide, that triumph may be short lived. Americans are catching on.
The recent electoral results in Virginia and Alabama offer further evidence.
A tidal wave of public loathing is growing across the land – toward Trump, the GOP, and the oligarchs they serve; and to the deception, the wealth, and the power that underlies them.
That wave could crash in the midterm elections of 2018. If so, the current triumph of the oligarchs will be the start of their undoing.
* ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.
Bruce Springsteen - We Take Care of Our Own