This Is Class Warfare

One of the most common rhetorical fallacies in U.S. politics is that raising taxes on wealthy people to help fund social programs for people in need is "class warfare." That is not class warfare. That is a basic economic necessity to maintain anything resembling a functional capitalist society.

We hear an awful lot about how taxation of the wealthy constitutes "a war on the rich" and is part of a "wealth redistribution" scheme to give away rich folks' hard-earned money to layabouts who refuse to provide for themselves with an honest day's work.

That is a lie. It is also a perfect projection of the reality of conservative economic policy — which is entirely dedicated to giving working people as little compensation as possible and then taking even more in taxation, to subsidize and reward the lazy lifestyles of a class comprised of investors, heirs, and people who themselves might have worked very hard once upon a time but now spend their days guarding piles of gold coins like insatiable dragons.

"Class warfare" is economic policy that is designed to plunder wealth from the lower classes and redistribute it upwards to create ever higher concentrates among the already-wealthy.

The Republicans' tax plan is class warfare. It isn't going to help anyone but people who already have more than they could ever need and whose only objective is collecting even more.

Here are a few things to read about their execrable scam today:

Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post: Why Are Republicans in Such a Rush to Pass Tax Reform? To Outrun the Truth. "[Republican Senators' priority is] jamming through their plutocratic, sloppy tax overhaul as quickly as possible. By 'as quickly as possible,' I mean as soon as this week, which would be a mere month after the first draft of the GOP tax bill was introduced in the House. For comparison, the last time such a major overhaul happened — during the Reagan administration — the process took more than two years. And it included dozens of hearings and consultations with voters, tax practitioners, and experts."

Paul Krugman at the New York Times: The Biggest Tax Scam in History. "The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week without hearings, without time for even a basic analysis of its likely economic impact, is the biggest tax scam in history. It's such a big scam that it's not even clear who's being scammed — middle-class taxpayers, people who care about budget deficits, or both. One thing is clear, however: One way or another, the bill would hurt most Americans. The only big winners would be the wealthy — especially those who mainly collect income from their assets rather than working for a living — plus tax lawyers and accountants who would have a field day exploiting the many loopholes the legislation creates."

Caitlin Owens at Axios: Report: Tax Reform Might Not Produce That Much Growth. "The GOP tax bill will not produce enough economic growth to pay for itself, which will add to the federal deficit, according to a report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The report analyzes a series of estimates by both right- and left-leaning groups." #NoShit

Perry Bacon Jr. at FiveThirtyEight: 10 Senate Republicans Who Could Tank the Tax Bill. "The vote count in the Senate seems fairly simple at this point. Fourteen Republicans already voted for the legislation when it was considered by the Senate Finance Committee, and 28 other members have either praised the bill or not yet publicly indicated any kind of serious disagreement. That leaves 10 Republicans to watch, with Republicans needing to get support from at least eight of them."

Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Trump Could Personally Benefit from Last-Minute Change to Senate Tax Bill.
Last-minute changes to the Senate tax bill could personally benefit [Donald] Trump, who has investment stakes in roughly 500 entities that could be affected by the planned adjustments.

Republicans are seriously considering expanding a new tax credit that these types of entities use to lower their taxable income in a way that benefits most people tied to these firms. Trump and other senior administration officials have been in personal contact with lawmakers about the changes.

The changes focus on "pass-through" entities, companies that direct income through the individual income tax code and not the corporate tax code. There are millions of these entities, and they are most often sole proprietorships, limited liability companies or partnerships. Trump's stakes in these entities include many large and small ventures, including the Trump Organization.

Trump's 2005 tax return showed that he had more than $109 million in income from businesses, partnerships, and pass-through entities, although he has not released updated figures, so the precise impact is not known.
Of course.

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