The following post, written by The Rev. Robert A. Franek, is a part of Politicus Policy Discussion, in which writers draw connections between real lives and public policy.
Apparently after having failed at health care reform and learning that “it’s complicated,” Donald Trump and his Wall Street filled administration now want to address tax reform with such sweeping actions as has not been seen in a generation. Ostensibly this will be less complicated and able to make its way through a Republican majority Congress that can’t seem to agree on anything, except passing a bill to keep the government open for an extra week.
However, despite the nearly 100 days in office to come up with a new plan, the administration released a one-page document that has almost as much white space as it does text. It lacks specifics and actual numbers, you know, the basic building blocks of a tax plan. Rachel Maddow noted, “If your plan for comprehensively overhauling that tax code is one page, double-spaced, with deep indents and almost no numbers, that’s a lot of things, but that’s not a tax plan.” Stephanie Ruhle put it quite concisely saying, “It’s not a plan; it’s a page.”
And since the Trump administration failed at hiding a huge tax cut for the wealthy in their health care bill, it is going to be quite difficult to hide a huge tax break for the top ten percent in their actual tax plan while also working to simply its structure.
It will be no surprise that when actual numbers and clear policy plans do come from the Trump administration they will heavily favor the most affluent and corporate interests over middle-class and financially poor Americans.
As they have for women’s rights and Muslim’s rights, health care rights and the climate crisis, the people will again march this time for a fair and equitable tax code. Marches and rallies seem to be the way to get the people’s voice heard these days as Congressional Republicans are taking note of town halls and city marches. Marches, town halls, a deluge of phone calls, and correspondence are forcing them to listen to their constituents or risk their seat come election day.
Any tax reform plan that is going to make it through Congress must not only be financially sound but morally just in accordance with the values that make for the common good of our country. This will require new leadership as the current Republican leaders are beholden to corporate interests, party platforms, and failed economic policy over the good of the country.
Thankfully, our country has the perfect person who is ready and willing to encourage and help raise up a new generation of leaders for public service at every level of government.
Former President Barack Obama made it clear last Monday that his most important priority is helping to raise up a new generation of leaders for public service. Indeed, this is already happening with young people like Jon Ossoff running a quite competitive campaign in ruby red territory. Imagine a Congress filled with people like him who care more about doing what is right for the people in their districts and for the good of the country than appeasing special interests and campaign financiers. Imagine a Congress that worked for the people and not their own self-interest.
This is not a pipedream but a reality that is awaiting as a blue wave continues to build toward the 2018 election. Donald Trump with his petulant temperament, his indecent behavior, and his corrupt and scandal-ridden administration has exposed the utter moral bankruptcy of Republican leadership who fail to hold him accountable on matters from emoluments to pathological lying and who are giving little effort and energy to the Russia election scandal which is likely the greatest scandal in the history of the United States. The people in march after march after march from women to science to climate are saying: enough!
More importantly towards a future filled with hope and promise built on our shared moral values of dignity and freedom, compassion and justice, where inclusivity is encouraged and diversity is celebrated the people are boldly saying: Yes, we can. Yes, we will. Yes, we did.