Thursday, December 07, 2017


Seeing that the public is not buying the propaganda that everything will come up roses under the Republican tax rewrite, the billionaires who will get even filthier rich are putting some pocket change into trying to convince the rest of us that we should be grateful.

For example, Americans for Prosperity -- with a large field staff and volunteers, some of them high school students working off a community service requirement -- is spending $10 million nationwide for grass roots canvassing and advertising to rally middle-class support for the tax rewrite. They've reportedly hit more than 41,000 homes and made 1.1 million phone calls.

knock knock “Hello. Do you have a moment to hear my claim that Americans for Prosperity believes it’s time to fix our broken tax code and let families keep more of what they earn. By 'families' I don't mean necessarily yours. I mean the families of those who sent me out here today with this informative orange flyer."

You know Americans for Prosperity, right? Charles G. and David H. Koch. They have your best
Charles and David Koch
interests at heart, no matter which cold storage unit currently holds theirs.

Here's an example of some of your "best interests" written into the Republican tax plan: young and well educated people are specifically targeted in a "tuition tax" on university graduate students pursuing higher degrees. Many US universities waive tuition for students who conduct research or teach, but a provision in the tax bill would add the value of those waivers to a students’ taxable income. They're already poorly paid as graduate assistants. So making them suffer for being smart and innovative, that's especially nice.

Part of the Koch Bros' pitch is that the tax cuts will pay for themselves. That's an old, old line which hasn't improved with age. Their gospel is that more tax revenue will flow to the Treasury from higher paid workers (who'll therefore pay more in taxes because they're better paid) and from increased investment (jobs! more tax payers to take up the slack) -- growth in general. That's their fairyland: because corps will reap windfalls, they'll just naturally want to rain benefits on both workers and the general public.

Tax cuts will pay for themselves? The Republican tax cut will create a $1.5 trillion deficit for the budget. The Joint Tax Committee scored the plan, taking into account expected economic growth, and found that only $400 billion of the $1.5 trillion would be recouped. Falls well short of paying for itself. It will doubtless spur some economic growth, which conservatives want to claim will disproportionately benefit the middle class. It will benefit corporations more. They are not philanthropic organizations, and being thankful to them for the huge tax cuts they're getting is a little too much like the serf's rejoicing when some ort drops from the table where the lords are feasting.

In essence, Republicans and their corporate bosses are trying to sell us a free lunch made up largely of projected mirror images.


Pixelshim said...

Thoughts.. the attack upon student loans and graduate students is basically pay-back for their liberal views. And the most devious part of the tax cuts and the deficits it will increase is step-two: decry the deficits and then move to cut security and Medicare.

Anonymous said...

Hate calling them 'entitlements' by the way - we're only entitled to them because we've each of us been paying into them for more than 40 years.

Took part in an investor-aimed roundtable by my investment company last night. The Chief Global Economist for the company (not exactly a tree-hugging lee-brul by anyone's standards) pretty much shot down the 'we'll grow our way out of this increased deficit' idea. He said we came close to finding that balance 5 years ago, half-way through Obama's second term, but now we're ratcheting the deficit up again we can pretty much expect our economy to collapse by the time Millennials hit retirement age (in 30-40 years).

Mike said...

It may be, as Sears says, Republican disdain for liberal views in higher education that motivated making student tuition waivers taxable (and not allowing deductions for student loan interest?), but there are lots of Republican students and Republican wannabees who will be hit by this tax, not just liberals. And, don't student-athletes get tuition waivers? What the hell will rich alums do when athletic programs can't recruit footballers and basketballers to entertain them.
Besides, if universities are dangerous because they foment liberalism, how come most of these Republican complainers hold B.S. degrees or even graduate degrees. It's because they spout cliches, now enhanced by partisanship, rather than test themselves by thinking critically. Those damned liberal professors surely have often failed in their one important task, at least for the humanities, to teach successfully critical thinking.

Mike said...

This is Mike---too careless above about student-athletes and tuition waivers. The waiver issue
would only apply to S-A graduate students.

Anonagain said...

I will never, ever understand the motivation of people like the Koch brothers. If I was in my 80s and worth several billion dollars, do you know what I'd be doing? I'd be retired and enjoying my life, instead of trying to amass more and more wealth for myself. How much money does one person need, anyway? Especially when said person already has enough to live on a million times over. You can take it with you, Kochs!! You two probably don't have too many years left, why don't you go and enjoy all that money before you're in diapers again? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Anonagain....How much more do they need? Since they have given milions and millions and millions to fund cancer centers, I guess they can always use more...or, at least for as long as cancer continues to be a problem.

bettywhite said...

Great deflection, Anonymous. You know as well as I do that the Kochs’ primary focus is not cancer research. Sure, they throw a few bones to charity and other causes to make themselves look good, but most of the time they are grabbing more and more for themselves. Why are you defending them? That’s what they want -they don’t have to defend themselves when they can trick others into doing it for them.

Anonymous said...

Those "few bones" added up to well over a BILLION dollars for cancer related causes. Just because you disagree with their politics doesn't mean that their charity is not commendable! Is pointing out their positive contributions "defending them"?

You seem to have a very myopic view of the world.

bettywhite said...

Um, I don’t think I said anything about their contributions not being commendable. But again you are deflecting. This article was about the Koch brothers spending 10 million dollars to try to convince people that this tax bill is a good thing. Wouldn’t that 10 million be better spent helping people?

Anonymous said...

bettwhite...I wasn't responding to the article. I was responding to the post from Anonagain which preceded mine.

You could be right that the 10 million might be better spent "helping people"..but, since it's not my money or yours, we don't get to decide. It's sort of like how you spend your money. I may have different ideas on how you should spend it, but it's not my choice, is it?

You should, therefore, feel free to spend your money trying to convince people that this tax bill is a bad thing. I wonder tho, will you keep any money you get from having your taxes cut?

bettywhite said...

I don’t have 10 million to spend on convincing people of anything. My tax cut will be tiny compared to what the Kochs will get. Again, why do you seem to care more about them than about ordinary people like me (and you, I presume). That’s what they want - for you and me to fight with each other so we don’t notice that they’re making out like bandits. Do you think that the top 1% gives a shit about me or you?

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think they care about either of us. so what? I don't care about them either. If we all get a tax cut, it stands to reason that those who pay the bigger amounts would have a bigger benefit from the cut. It seems that you are more concerned about what other people have than what benefit you yourself might get.

The reason why your tax cut will be tiny compared to what the Kochs get is that your tax bill (if you have one at all) is tiny compared to what the Kochs pay.

Anonagain said...

It has been proven over and over again that giving more money to people who are already rich does NOT translate into economic growth and jobs. Trickle-down is a myth.