Don’t hold your breath waiting for Annie to come clean about what she actually voted for – there’s lots of undeniable details that she
will try to deny apparently doen’t want you to know.
First, this bill is a veritable cornucopia of goodies for the 1%. It gives big tax cuts to rich folks – some permanent since it abolishes the estate tax, the Alternative Minimum tax that insures rich folks pay some taxes, and changes rules for pass-through income and investment income. It cuts corporate tax rates permanently from 35% to 20% without closing many of the loopholes that allowed most big corporations to actually pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 0 – 18%. Can you imagine how much less they’ll pay since they”ll be applying a plethora of tax breaks to an even lower rate?We’ll probably end up paying them.
Second, although the bill does give a few breaks to middle and lower income taxpayers with one hand, it mostly takes them away with the other. Many of the deductions and credits that are eliminated under the rubric “simplification” are those relied upon by middle class families. Some middle income earners will see higher tax bills right away, but even those who end up with a lower tax bill now may ultimately end up getting the shaft. GOPers usually neglect to point out that many of the goodies designated for the middle class are, for the most part, temporary.
Oh – crucial fact, given Rep. Wagner’s former concern for the national debt – the sham tax cut bill also adds $1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit. That’s why middle class folks don’t get permanent tax cuts and lose lots of exemptions and tax breaks they rely on – they can’t let that deficit go past the aforementioned $1.5 trillion and still pass the bill with only GOP votes. It’s all smoke and mirrors (albeit thin smoke and murky mirrors) that lets rich investors make out like the proverbial bandit on the backs of those of us who aren’t rich enough to invest in a pet congressman. Or woman.
It’s hard to touch on all the mischief the sloppily written grab-bag of crony pleasing giveaways manages to do in its effort to please the more vicious members of the far right. It does away with the individual mandate of the ACA, a feature that will likely result in premium increases for all of us and eventually deprive 13 million people of insurance coverage. In a bid to convince dumb-as-dirt evangelicals (i.e. those who still try to excuse Roy Moore) that big gifts to GOP cronies a good thing, it does away with the provisions of the Johnson Amendment that stipulated that churches could retain tax-exempt status only by refraining from political advocacy from the pulpit. Now thanks to the corrupt GOP, we get to subsidize the efforts of some more authoritarian religious types to impose their religious views on the rest of us.
Thanks to laws created by the Tea Party’s infamous 2010 sequester showdown over government spending, automatic cuts spring into action anytime Congress passes a bill that balloons the federal deficit, as the tax bill would. The approximately $136 billion in cuts spurred by the GOP tax bill would hit a number of government programs—including farm subsidies and the Border Patrol—but would cut most deeply into Medicare. Medicaid, Social Security, and food stamps are protected.
So if Wagner’s keeping quiet about what the GOP tax sham bill really does, what has she actually said about this travesty to justify her vote? Two words: mendacious fantasy (a.k.a. lies). Here’s an excerpt from her floor speech (I assume that the presentation of the word “yes” in all capitals means that our Annie is still screeching every time she votes for something that is bad for her constituents – her tell maybe? :
I vote YES to fix our broken tax system; I vote YES to help reignite the American economy; I vote YES to make it a little bit easier for that single mother of two, that firefighter, that teacher, shop owner, family of four, that Veteran; I vote YES for bigger paychecks, better savings and a more secure future. I ran for Congress to fight for the people of Missouri and to ensure that every hard-working American can realize their own American Dream,”
Broken economy? Not to hear economists tell it. And that nonsense about cutting corporate taxes to fix this “broken economy,” create jobs and raise wages? No one believes that trickle-down nonsense anymore. For example, when asked recently to affirm that the tax cut would inspire them to invest more, even a panel of CEOs of major companies bluntly shot that idea down. As for rich-folk goodies like eliminating the estate tax, write-offs for private jets? Like to hear how Wagner thinks that’ll help that “single mother of two” that she’s so worried about.
But hey! Annie’s has got a middle-class card up her sleeve. In her latest email newsletter she enthused about one feature of the bill that she voted for in particular: “This bill also protects the Adoption Tax Credit which I fought to protect. For decades this pro-family provision has helped provide children with loving families and stable homes.”
So that leaves us with the Adoption Tax Credit. All this misery, but we get to keep a small-potatoes adoption tax credit that wouldn’t be in danger if Rep. Wagner and her GOP pals didn’t desperately need to please their donors in order to keep the money flowing.
CORRECTION: The House Bill that Wagner voted on did not, as implied above, eliminate the ACA’s individual mandate – that provision is currently only included in the Senate version although many GOP House members have indicated that they will support its inclusion in the final legislation.