Littwin: In case you’ve been distracted, Trump still insists tax bill will cost him a fortune (column)
Fair and Unbalanced
I’m distracted. I admit it. You can’t help but be distracted — also appalled — when the president of the United States retweets far-right, anti-Muslim videos from a British fringe group and his spokesperson says it doesn’t really matter that the videos might be fake because “the threat is real.”
You can’t help but be distracted by Trump’s use of Pocahontas as a racist slur at an event honoring World War II-veteran Navajo code talkers. Or by his use of the firing of the apparently slimy Matt Lauer to slime Joe Scarborough. Or by the New York Times and Washington Post stories that Trump is privately saying his vulgar Access Hollywood tape is phony and, even now, that the Obama birth certificate is fake.
I don’t know if Donald Trump’s outrages and lies are strategic or simply signs that he has lost it, but either way, they confirm what most Americans must understand by now — that he is a danger to American democracy.
The problem with the “distractions” is that to call them distractions is to minimize how thoroughly they diminish the country Trump insists he wants to make great again.
And yet. And yet.
I came here today to write about the horrendous tax bill that Republicans are rushing through Congress. There’s no secret about the reason for the no-hearings, no-testimony speed legislating. The parts are moving so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with the lie at the heart of the bill. As everyone must know, it’s not really a cut for working people, but rather the expected giant transfer of wealth to the already rich.
There’s so much wrong with the bill, but let’s start with the front-loading strategy that has middle-class cuts, averaging $1,000 a year, kicking in right away and then, as if by magic, disappearing altogether. By 2027, the average family making under $75,000 actually pays more in taxes. Or to put it another way, as the Joint Committee on Taxation and the CBO do, those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes while those making at least $1 million a year receive a $5.8 billion cut. You can draw a straight line for money taken from poor and given to rich.
But you get all that. That’s why the many versions of the tax cut are so wildly unpopular. You have to do real work to make a tax cut that unpopular, but you’ve seen the polling. People see it’s a huge corporate tax cut with a few added benefits like the repeal of the estate tax. Who’s fooled by that?
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