Albert Einstein was a brilliant theoretical physicist, and although he was by no means a noted psychologist, he did accurately define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By Einstein’s definition, Republicans are truly insane, and yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that Republicans plan to both do nothing throughout 2014 and wait until next year to enact an even more disastrous tax scheme than during the Bush administration to devastate the economy again and destroy the government according to Grover Norquist’s plan. However, Republicans do not labor under any delusion that their plan for “tax reform” will produce different results than during the Bush years because the scheme Republicans are proposing will deliver the government to Norquist to “drown in a bathtub” and produce a population paying the rich and corporations for the privilege of living in “their America.”
Yesterday McConnell said he did not see a path forward for tax reform this year, and it is likely because in Republican parlance “tax reform” entails giving major tax cuts to the richest 2% of income earners and their highly profitable corporations. McConnell said, “If we had a new Republican Senate next year, coupled with a Republican House, I think we could have at least a congressional agreement that this is about getting rates down and making America more competitive, not about giving the government even more revenue.” Forget that tax rates are at their lowest levels in 60 years, or that the rich and corporations already pay a low rate compared to 27 other wealthy nations, it is never low enough for Republicans so they have a plan to give the rich and corporations a nearly tax-free existence.
The Republican “tax reform” plan is Paul Ryan and Willard Romney’s proposal to cut the tax rate for the richest Americans and their corporations to 25%, but their effective tax rate means they will likely pay hardly any taxes. Although the corporate tax rate stands at 35% currently, the effective corporate tax rate is only 10% in 2013 according to the Government Accounting Office. If the corporate rate is cut by 10%, corporations will pay an effective tax rate of 0.6% at most, and for the largest corporations that already paying nothing in taxes and get refunds from the hardworking taxpayers, the Republican plan will mean taxpayers will be paying corporations directly for being American corporations. It is likely why Republicans intend on raising taxes on the poor and middle class to fund taxpayer subsidies for the rich and their corporations.
Reducing the tax rate for the richest Americans to 25% also brings their effective rate to next to nothing compared with middle class taxpayers. As it stands now, Americans earning over one-million dollars annually pay an effective rate of 23% instead of 39% due to generous tax loopholes and the ability to hide their money in offshore tax haven accounts. The Republican plan to reduce the wealthy’s rate to 25% means at most the richest 2% will pay less than 8.5% while the poor and middle class who lack offshore accounts and loopholes will pay 25% to help the rich and corporations as McConnell says,
“be more competitive.” This is the grand tax plan Romney and Ryan campaigned, and lost, on in 2012 and yet Republicans intend on enacting their hideous plan to increase taxpayer gifts to the rich and corporations.
Although the Republicans’ tax plan is a giant gift to the rich, McConnell exposed the GOP’s intent to starve the government of revenue to eliminate its ability to function by not “giving the government even more revenue.” The Republican plan does increase revenue to partially cover tax breaks for the rich and corporations, but it will not be enough to pay them for the privilege of living in a country where the bottom 98% of the population sends tax dollars directly to corporations and the rich.
McConnell and Republican ideology is in line with fascist Grover Norquist who wants to destroy the U.S. government by starving it of revenue and getting it down to a size he can “drag into a bathtub and drown.” In order to starve the government of any revenue, Republicans plan to enact their idea of tax reform to increase the income inequality that is slowly destroying the economy and the middle class. Americans have to face the sad fact that Republicans will effectively slash tax rates for the rich and corporations to the point they will eventually pay nothing in taxes; that is McConnell’s idea of making American more competitive. But while Republicans intend on eliminating taxes for the rich and corporations, 98% of Americans will see a substantial tax hike that inordinately targets the poor and middle class.
According to McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, it appears Republicans intend on doing nothing throughout 2014 and still draw their inflated salaries and taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits. To date, Republicans have revealed they will not raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits, pass comprehensive immigration reform, fund infrastructure improvements, or anything the American public supports. But they will attempt to reverse the President’s executive orders and investigate Benghazi and the IRS to death, and attempt to pass religious liberty laws to give evangelical Christians the right to dominate the rest of the population; but they will do absolutely nothing for the American people.
Republicans will likely fine-tune their so-called “tax reform” scheme to raise taxes on the poor and middle class to fund tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and slash domestic programs to fund what tax hikes on the poor and middle class fail to cover. The result will be a teabagger-libertarian dream where the great majority of Americans toil to fund the military, religious and oil industry subsidies, and of course the wealthy and corporation’s tax cuts. All the while, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers will wait in the wings until they can finally achieve their vision of an America without a government.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.