Here, via The Turner Report, is GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s statement on the tax sham being muscled through Congress right now:
The release of this final tax reform bill brings hard-working Missouri families one step closer to relief. I look forward to voting on the tax package next week and getting it to President Trump’s desk before Christmas, so that Americans will see their paychecks increase and more jobs come back from overseas.
I want you to read this carefully in order to appreciate how remarkable it is. Remarkable, I mean, in terms the number of lies that can be packed into a relatively short statement:
The Tax bill will bring relief to “hard-working” Missouri families: I suppose this is true insofar as it’s possible that some billionaires are hardworking. And these guys are going to have so much relief that they will, to paraphrase Trump, who will also make out like the proverbial bandit, get sick of being relieved. Others, we are told by tax experts who have reviewed the document, may or may not pay less and, of course, even these much smaller poor folks “cuts” will expire within 5-10 years. Many working and middle class families and some small businesses will pay more in taxes right away since crucial deductions have been “simplified” out of existence in order to pay for huge, permanent cuts for corporations – which will, incidentally, keep almost all of the loopholes that the elimination of which have in the past provided a rationale for lowering the corporate tax rate.
Americans will see their paychecks increase: Most economists agree with those who assert that if it hasn’t already happened, increasing the corporate bottom line via a huge tax cut isn’t going to make it happen. As The Washington Post notes, “wage growth has remained relatively sluggish over the past several years, even as corporate profits hover near all-time highs as a share of the economy, and the unemployment rate continues to fall to levels that economists normally associate with rapid increases in worker pay.” Expect the corporate tax windfalls to go straight into corporate stock buybacks and to wealthy stockholders.
Americans will see … more jobs come back from overseas. The tax scam bill would allow companies to repatriate profits on a one-time basis at a 15% rate, a strategy that has failed to stop offshoring in the past. Tax lawyer David Herzog reminds us in a New York Times op-ed that, “by instituting a tax holiday in 2004, the government signaled to companies that future untaxed profits could eventually be repatriated when the budget was in trouble.” That’s why corporations are now sitting on $2.5 billion dollars they’ve squirreled away in foreign countries, waiting on the next tax holiday – and, voila, here it is.Thank you Daddy Trump.
Nor, as an AP Fact check observes, does past experience indicate that repatriated profits have much of a positive effect on the economy, but rather go into shareholders pockets or to finance stock buybacks. Tax experts, as opposed to Rep. Hartzler who clearly is not, are nearly uniform in the considered opinion that “the legislation fails to eliminate long-standing incentives for companies to move overseas and, in some cases, may even increase them.”
Nevertheless, we can expect this disastrous, deficit busting bill to pass with unanimous Republican support today. Its passage will happen even though a majority of Americans, even those who will get a tax cut, have made it clear in polls that they know it stinks. If you are interested in why Republicans don’t care about their constituents needs and preferences, Steve Benen has done an excellent job of outlining the possible reasons for GOP disregard of public opinion in this case.
I personally think that Rep. Hartzler’s mendacity in trying to pass off a mess of spoiled pottage as caviar and champagne can give us a clue to at least one aspect of the GOP strategy. I expect that we’ll hear many variants of Hatzler’s fantastic stories tripping off the lips of our imaginative Republican congresspeople in the coming weeks.They’re so sure that the voters they need have been Foxized to the point that they can be told up is down and they’ll not only believe it, but will start walking on their hands. Republicans think we’re dumb, manipulable bozos who can be led by our noses straight off a cliff.
And maybe they’re right to be contemptuous of their voters. Just look at who is sitting in the White House.