NC Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr vote to give themselves big tax cuts

Sigh. If I’d known the tax bill was coming up early Saturday morning, I’d have called my senators, not that it would have made a difference.

While we don’t know exactly what’s in the bill, we do know it means big tax cuts for the rich. While a lot of press has focused on the donor pressure on Republicans, we should remember they’re rich men themselves: the bill amounts to giving themselves a massive tax cut (both Burr and Tillis are multi-millionaires) and screwing over the rest of us. As a lot of Dem Senators are wealthy too, I’m pleased none of them voted for it (Bob Corker was the lone holdout on the Republican side).

Next up: gutting Social Security and Medicare. Rep. Paul Ryan, who went through college on Social Security disability money his family received is looking forward to making it harder for other people to get the same help.

Jonathan Chait points out that lots of rich people see themselves as Ayn Rand-style superachievers: They’ve earned their wealth! Taking it away in taxes is like what Hitler did to the Jews (spoiler: no, it’s not). It’s a manifestation of the underlying fear that democracy is bad because it allows the poor to vote themselves welfare on the backs of the rich. Just like health coverage is a giveaway for people who don’t care for themselves.

Of course, we’ve never seen that massive poor-dominated Robin Hood take-from-the-rich thing happen; if anything it’s usually the rich sucking from the rest of us. As in this case.

Even if we assume that it’s unfair to raise taxes on the rich, it should be just as unfair to raise taxes on the middle-class or the poor, but the rich have no problems with that. And the conviction that being rich proves they’ve earned it is fallacious. CEO pay, for example, doesn’t track performance. I’ve read multiple accounts over the years of CEOs whose companies enter bankruptcy or see stock prices plummet; the board’s response is to reward the CEO because they did the best they could in a tough time, or to incentivize them to do their difficult job (apparently millions of dollars in pay is not an incentive in itself). Poor people need to suffer more to make them work, but rich people need more rewards.

Nor do their concerns about persecution translate into an enthusiasm for say, putting the people in Wells Fargo’s corrupt fake-accounts scam in jail or holding them accountable (no, that’s interference with business). Nor do they apply the same standards to people like Curt Schilling, the pitcher who took millions in loans from Rhode Island to launch a company but didn’t pay it all back when the company tanked (he did, however, pull his own money out). Schilling still insists (and perhaps believes) he’s not some welfare queen. Nor are they troubled by Trump evading his debts with multiple bankruptcies. And I doubt they’ll do much about Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold using $84,000 of taxpayer money (though apparently legally) to settle a sexual harassment case.

As for Republican voters, Breitbart has just announced We Win, Tax Cuts For All! Voters who rely on Breitbart, Fox News and Info Wars for the truth will never blame Republicans.


Filed under Politics

4 responses to “NC Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr vote to give themselves big tax cuts

  1. Zosimus the Heathen

    Sheesh. Given how many generous tax cuts the rich in the US have been given already, surely their tax rate would be pretty close to zero by now anyway. What’s another tax cut going to do – drive that rate into negative numbers (so now the government’s *paying* them money)? Unfortunately, this sort of nonsense is happening here in Australia right now too, with the current mob in power (basically our version of the Republican Party) adopting an attitude that boils down to: “Yes, I know the working and middle classes are doing it tough right now, but I really think we need to look after the rich first, don’t you?”

    Last year, there was a bit of a scandal here when the government proposed some generous tax cuts for those on higher incomes, and had one of their representatives spouting the virtues of this course of action on a popular TV show called Q&A (which, as I understand it, involves political and media personalities engaging in televised debates before a studio audience, whose members are given the chance to ask questions themselves[*]). Anyway, one of the audience members on this particular occasion – a guy called Duncan Storar – asked why the government was planning on giving a tax cut to people who probably wouldn’t even notice the extra money in their pay packets when a similar cut to a struggling single father such as himself would actually make a real difference. The government spokesperson was apparently a bit taken aback by his question, and responded with some blather about how the beneficiaries of the government’s proposal would no doubt use the extra money to create JOBS (in other words, just the usual “trickle down” baloney). Duncan Storar’s question apparently resonated with a lot of the other audience members (who no doubt felt similarly to him), which, of course, was utterly unacceptable to the Murdoch media here, who (doubtless incensed that a lowly pleb such as himself had dared show such disrespect to his betters) then engaged in a thoroughly unseemly smear campaign against Mr Storar, dredging up every misdeed they could find from his past to paint him as a complete scumbag. (His story thankfully had a somewhat happy ending, with someone setting up a GoFundMe for him, and lots of people donating money to this.)

    *I’ve never actually watched it myself, as I can’t actually get decent television reception where I live.

  2. The US, in the world of Republican bullshit, is the most highly taxed nation on Earth, which isn’t even remotely true.
    Hatch had a similar meltdown a while back, blustering about how he came from a working-class family so he was very, very, very offended that another senator called this a tax cut for rich people. So offended!

  3. Pingback: The right wing and the just world fallacy | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: NC Sen. Thom Tillis lies a lot (and more political links) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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