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TAXES AND IDEOLOGY

August 26, 2018

TAXES AND IDEOLOGY

Professor Kennedy’s blog today takes to task the use of taxpayers’ money to fund voucher and religious education and decries the lack of evidence to support such public expenditures – and I agree with her. She also briefly notes the recent tax cut for the rich and corporate class engineered by Trump and Ryan which caught my attention as a huge public expenditure not supported by any evidence (other than discredited trickledown theory chatter) or even an attempt to hear any evidence in support of this statutory monstrosity. Professor Kennedy asked for comment and the following, slightly edited, was mine.

Though Sheila’s evidence discussion centers on cost-benefit and other pre-policy discussions of the evidence relating to education, I think a better example of evidence vs. ideology relates to her statement that “The recent tax bill is an example.” That monstrosity was passed last December and is one of the biggest revenue bills in history, rivaling even those passed by Reagan and Bush, Jr., and get this > There was not a single committee hearing (where we have debates and evidence-sharing for and against legislative proposals) and not a single Democrat who voted for it, but it passed. Think Ideology 101. Who needs evidence when you have sycophantic ideologues in the majority?

We transferred 1.5 trillion dollars (not counting interest on its addition to our national debt) by way of deficit financing for this giveaway to the rich while simultaneously slashing the tax rate for the rich and corporate class – and what was the unshared evidence to support such a huge giveaway of taxpayer money?
Members of the rich and corporate class were already awash in cash and opportunities for low-interest leverage and with labor costs at a minimum due to right to work laws and fear of jobs going to Mexico their balance sheets could hardly be better – so corporate performance and profits were not discussed – only the taxes paid or payable were on the table.

Ideology (and wage inequality) won; the rest of us and our children’s children lost (speaking of taxation without representation). Apparently Ryan did not think such a huge transfer of wealth to the already outrageously wealthy was even deserving of an evidentiary hearing, and apparently House Rules did not require such an airiing. So vote blue this November? I will. Perhaps if we prevail we will in time repeal or at least neuter some of the terms of this tax monstrosity for the ages, and I’m sure our unrepresented posterity who will be helping pay for this Republican gift to the already rich would agree with such an effort.      GERALD       E

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