After barely a few months of hasty scheming, Republicans in Congress have finally forced through their tax scam — and you are on the hook for the extra cash they're personally pocketing.
It has finally happened.
Despite months of public outrage and protests, despite overwhelming antipathy in polls, despite every commitment made by Republicans to prevent deficit spending and protect their constituents — Republicans in the House and Senate have passed their tax scam.
The bill now heads to Donald Trump’s desk for his inevitable signature, just in time for Christmas.
Republicans resorted to some incredibly dirty tricks to pass this monstrosity.
They shut Democrats, journalists, and the general public out of every room in which they were writing the bill. They took late-night votes on drafts written by lobbyists that no one had read, with handwritten, scribbled amendments in the margins. They promised Sen. Susan Collins a deal they never had any intention of honoring — and she voted yes anyway despite knowing this.
But the spoils are huge. Dozens of senators and representatives stand to make a fortune from this bill. It blows hundreds of billions of dollars of new loopholes wide open in the tax code. One loophole alone, the “Corker Kickback,” cuts taxes on $14 million in profit from real estate shell companies owned by just 14 U.S. senators.
This tax bill is, in essence, exactly what the 27th Amendment was passed to prevent. It is a huge salary increase for members of Congress — and you are paying for it.
If you are in the bottom 60 percent of income earners, your taxes will actually go up by 2027. And if you got your health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, expect your premiums to rise an extra 10 percent a year as the individual mandate goes away.
A special, ignoble shoutout goes to Sen. Jeff Flake, who was confronted by an activist with ALS pleading with him to vote against a tax bill that guts health care, so he could live long enough to be with his son. Flake proceeded into the Senate chamber and voted against that man having a little bit of extra time in this world — so he could cash in and retire happy at the end of next year.
Republicans have convinced themselves the American people will suddenly switch to supporting their tax scam when they look at their pay stub next month and find the withholding will be 1 or 2 percent smaller for a few years. But Americans aren’t idiots. They know what this bill actually costs, and they know who it is really benefiting.
Next year, it is time for the nation to rise up and tell every Republican on the ballot who gave themselves a raise with our money that they’re fired.