Hundreds of activists held a rally in Foley Square before marching to Wall Street to protest Congress’ tax bill, which was approved by the US Senate in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2017. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
After watching her home state struggle with budget shortfalls, a concerned Illinois teacher urges fellow citizens to take action on pending legislation.
By Nancy Turner / 12.11.2017
Sen. Bernie Sanders has referred to the Senate tax bill as one of the “great robberies” in US history, as it allows the Republicans to loot the US Treasury.
The Republicans chose to take from veterans, the disabled, seniors, students, teachers and public education to give to their real constituents — the wealthy and corporations. Both groups are sitting on massive amounts of cash, which they use to buy members of Congress and fund so-called think tanks. These officials and think tanks then propose, support and vote for legislation that enriches their paymasters. Buying government like this subverts democracy for the many and turns it into an oligarchy for the few.
The Republicans purposely designed this bill to explode the deficit. Then, when the deficit skyrockets, they will demand cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other safety net programs. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has already said that the US cannot afford to fund programs like CHIP, the children’s health insurance program, because it spends too much – and while he considers the children served by this program worthy of funding, but denigrated other “freeloaders” who expect the federal government to provide for them instead of making their own way.
Illinois citizens have seen firsthand the effects of starving social service agencies and higher education under our current governor. His stubborn refusal to sign a budget has triggered penalties that have tripled the state’s debt in order to gut state government. Our children and grandchildren will be on the hook for his increase to the state’s debt and will be burdened with even more federal debt generated by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Republicans are having their cake and eating it too. They will reward their donors with the lion’s share of the tax cuts. Then, when the deficit balloons, they will gleefully become deficit hawks and champion cuts to social programs that the people in their district count on.
Voters should keep calling their senators and representatives — especially the Republican representatives who voted for the House version of the legislation — until they enact true tax reform that benefits those who need it instead of those who simply want it.
Originally published by BillMoyers.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.