& opinion by Robert Reich
CA.) -- The Republican tax plan to
be voted on this week is likely to
pass. “The American people have waited 31 long years to see our broken
overhauled,” the leaders of the Koch’s political network insisted
in a letter to members of Congress, urging swift approval.
added that the time had come to put “more money in the pockets of
The Koch network doesn’t care a fig about the pockets of American
cares about the pockets of the Koch network.
money into almost every state in an effort to convince
Americans that the
tax cut will be good for them. Yet most Americans don’t
about a third of Americans favor the tax plan. The
vast majority feel
it’s heavily skewed to the rich and big businesses – which it is.
counties that Trump won but Obama carried in 2012, only 17 percent say
expect to pay less in taxes, according to a recent NBC
News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 25 percent say they
family would actually pay higher taxes.
reform" = Big
Payback For Rich Donors
Americans know that the tax plan is payback for major Republican
donors. Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic advisor,
in an interview that “the most excited group out
there are big CEOs,
about our tax plan.”
Rep. Chris Collins admitted “my
donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me
again.’” Senator Lindsey Graham warned that if
Republicans failed to pass the tax plan, “the financial
passing it, Republican donors will save billions – paying a lower top
doubling the amount their heirs can receive tax-free,
themselves as “pass-through” businesses able to deduct 20 percent of
income (effectively allowing Trump to cut his tax rate in half, if and
make billions more as their stock portfolios soar because corporate
biggest winners by far will be American oligarchs such as the Koch
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor; Sheldon Adelson, the Las
casino magnate; Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets
and heir to the Johnson
& Johnson fortune; and Carl Icahn, the activist
oligarchs: who they pour their money into, what they want in return
oligarchs are the richest of the richest 1 percent. They’ve
of millions into the GOP and Trump. Half of all
contributions to the
first phase of the 2016 election came from just 158
families, along with the companies they own or control.
giant tax cut has been their core demand from the start. They also want
slash regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and cut everything
government does except for defense – including Medicaid, Medicare, and
return, they have agreed to finance Trump and the GOP, and mount
public relations campaigns that magnify their lies.
has fulfilled his end of the bargain. He’s blinded much of his white
working-class base to the reality of what’s happening by means
racist, xenophobic rants and policies.
American oligarchs couldn’t care less about what all this will cost
Live In Their Own Separate Society
their gated estates and private jets, they’re well insulated
hatefulness and divisiveness,
don’t worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be
there for them
in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes.
change doesn’t concern them because their estates are fully
against hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
don’t care about public schools because their families don’t attend
don’t care about public transportation because they don’t use it. They
care about the poor because they don’t see them.
don’t worry about the rising budget deficit because they borrow
global capital markets.
to tell, they don’t even care that much about America because their
and financial interests are global.
are living in their own separate society, and they want Congress and
President to represent them, not the rest of us.
Republican Party is their vehicle. Fox News is their voice. Trump is
champion. The new tax plan is their triumph.
if polls showing most Americans against the tax cut are any guide, that
may be short lived. Americans are catching on.
electoral results in Virginia and Alabama offer further
tidal wave of public loathing is growing across the land – toward
GOP, and the oligarchs they serve; and to the deception, the wealth,
power that underlies them.
wave could crash in the midterm elections of 2018. If so, the current
of the oligarchs will be the start of their undoing.
B. REICH is the
Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of
Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing
served as secretary of
labor in the Clinton administration and Time magazine named him one of
most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century.
Reich has written 14
books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations,
Outrage and most recently Saving Capitalism.
is also a founding
editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-creator of the
documentary INEQUALITY FOR ALL.