INDIVISIBLE CEDAR MILL OREGON
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Resistance Letter #32
November 4, 2017
Day 287 of 1461 days
Dear Co-defendants –
FORCE MULTIPLIER AVAILABLE TO US
This letters is sent to about 200 recipients, all associated with Indivisible Cedar Mill (ICM) in some fashion. You can easily multiply that number by two or three, simple by posting it on to friends and relatives, particularly to those who live in red or purple states whose senators are not solidly Democratic. In turn, those recipients can send it to a few interested friends who are likely to take the Calls to Action as just that. Don’t be afraid to offend. Dare to disturb the universe!
TAX CUT AND JOBS ACT AKA TAXSCAM
Yes, that is what those mendacious congressional Republicans have christened a bill that will, most certainly, neither cut taxes for the masses nor create any new jobs. Taxscam is a huge transfer of wealth, as always with these Trumpian Republicans, from the poor and middle class to the enormously rich and to high-profit corporations. There are five main areas of taxscam legislation, along with a slew of individual crimes, which we will ignore for the moment:
1.-Creating an acknowledged $1.4975 trillion ($1,497,500,000.00) deficit over ten years
2.-Eliminating all state and local taxes as deductions, so the income is taxed twice
3.-Eliminating child deduction credits, allegedly offset by increasing the personal deduction
4.-Decreasing and finally, by 2024, completely eliminating, the estate tax
5.-Reducing the 35% corporate tax rate, which is now really an effective 18-20% tax rate
WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW
Both the House and the Senate have passed and agreed upon a budget resolution for 2018, which allows for a ‘Budget Reconciliation Agreement’ (BRA) process. This clause allows the senate to pass the taxscam package with only 50 votes, but it also puts some restraints (really!!!) on the Senate. The maximum deficit allowed is $1.5T over 10 years, conveniently enough just slightly above the current phony deficit projections. The BRA also forbids legislative changes, only fiscal transfers. Finally, the BRA specifies that any deficit must not extend beyond ten years — that is to say, by 2028 that deficit has to just magically disappear. It won’t.
The House has narrowly passed the taxscam legislation, with a large number (over 20) Republicans dissenting for a variety of reasons. It goes to committee hearings and markups next Monday, and the Republicans hope to pass the House version by Thanksgiving. You may be sure that lobbyists and special interests will voice loud concerns, forcing some changes. But, as noted those changes cannot push that projected deficit over the magic one point five trillion dollar mark. For our part, we are leaving the House largely alone, excepting vocal support for our representative who will vote, and has voted against it.
The Senate is working to produce its own version of taxscam, and they have a very narrow ledge to walk. They can afford right now, to lose only three votes, if the Democrats stand fast against it, and there is little or no incentive for any Democrat to do that. Senators who have already expressed opposition to various elements of the plan (and this is before they are all inundated with special interest money and lobbying) are: Corker, McCain, Flake, Collins, Murkowski, Paul, Lee, Cotton and Cruz. These senators are opposed to parts of the bill for a world of contrary reasons, all of which we will try to take advantage. The Senate has laid out no timetable; Trump has said Christmas at latest.
The necessity of increasing the national debt comes up starting December 8. This will greatly complicate things for the taxscam proponents. Failure to come to an agreement on this will shut the government down. The Democrats have leverage here.
WE CAN BEAT TAXSCAM IN THE SENATE
Trump and the Republicans have put all their bets on pulling off this taxscam. The Republicans themselves are very divided on this legislation. We can trounce them, forcing them to either drastically reduce this so taxscam becomes either simple reduced tax relief, or nothing at all. It’s in our power!
WHY WE ALL SHOULD BE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES
Trump’s top legislative priority is overhauling the tax system. The GOP plan echoes the tax cut experiment implemented by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in 2012. According to Brownback, the so-called Kansas experiment was supposed to be a “shot of adrenaline” to the state’s economy by dramatically cutting income taxes and eliminating “pass-through” small business taxes. In reality, it bled the state dry, creating billions in deficits, cutting state services drastically, and even forcing the schools to reduced daily hours and only four days a week. In 2017, Brownback was out (he now works as a religious ambassador in the State Department!) and the Kansas legislature reversed the Brownback/Trump tax cuts and reinstated the majority of those taxes that Brownback scorned.
The Republican intent of incurring such large annual deficits is to give them opportunity to cut programs to cover the annual deficit. The only programs, apart from the military which is sacrosanct, that can support cuts of this size are Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. You can be sure that these annual deficit won’t be covered by annual tax increases. This deficit is intended to accomplish fiscally what the Republicans failed to do in the healthcare fight.
Thus, therefore, and ergo, we will attack first on the proposed deficit. The next letter will deal with eliminating the corporate tax and the deduction for state and local taxes. After that comes discussion of the estate tax and elimination of personal deductions.
Sufficient for the day is the evil of planned deficits. See below for Calls to Action.
CALLS TO ACTION
The highest priority calls now and in the future are aimed at defeating taxscam. Start off with calling Wyden, Merkley and Schumer: the message being to oppose taxscam, this wealth transfer. The Republicans will probably need a few Democratic votes to get this things passed. We do not want any Democrats to break rank; tell Schumer that.
Senator Ron Wyden(OR)—202-224-5244
Senator Jeff Merkley(OR) – 202-224-3753
Senator Charles Schumer(NY) – 202-224-6542
The taxscam promises to increase the deficit and the national debt by $150 billion dollars a year for the next ten years. Budget hawks should be encouraged to oppose this huge increase in debt. These three senators need to be reminded what the taxscam would do to the budget and the deficit. They are previously, on the record, openly opposed to increasing deficits.
Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) – 202-224-4521
Senator Bob Corker(TN) – 202-224-3344
Senator John McCain (AZ) – 202-224-2235
The next priority is to tell Susan Bonamici, our ‘district one’ representative, that we thank her for her opposition to taxscam. Use that word!
Representative Suzanne Bonamici – 202-225-0855
In following weeks we will attack taxscam using Senators Paul, Collins, Murkowski, Lee, Cruz and Cotton on their particular issues with the legislation.
The meeting is set for Monday, November 13, at (email firstname.lastname@example.org for location). Doors open at 6:30PM and the meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. Refreshments, both adult and juvenile will be provided along with a few tasty snacks. Speakers will be announced in a week or so. The speakers for this meeting are Ryan Deckert and Kathryn Harrington, both running for Washington County Chair. This is an important local position being vacated by Andy Dyck, current Washington County Commissioner. His replacement should be of great concern to all progressives in the county.
L’audace, encore l’audace, et toujours l’audace!