To The Herald-Whig:
As President Trump, head of the Republican Party and self-described stable genius, leads this country southward in a hand basket, the Hallelujah Chorus that are his followers continue to sing the refrain "at least we got our tax cut." True, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill of 2017, passed by Republicans only, is in the history books. The question is, was it worth all the adulation?
After a "sugar high" of two quarters, business investment dropped to zero and new orders for capital goods steadily declined. The GDP dropped to barely 2%. The federal deficit continued to grow.
Some corporate earnings were returned from the trillions of dollars stashed overseas, but they were not reinvested in this country. Instead, they were used for stock buybacks and for shareholders.
The tax cut had no effect on wages or job creation because the increases that did occur went along a trend line that started in 2014. The average annual bonus increased briefly but now is lower than before the tax cut.
The tax cuts gave middle- and working-class folks a plus 1 to 1.5% change in aftertax income while the wealthy got nearly plus 3.5%. After 2027, these tax cuts will disappear for all but the wealthy.
Corporate profits went up, but the taxes corporations paid went down.
In summary, with these tax favors to the rich and the corporate elite, Trump and his Republicans unnecessarily weakened our economy. Now the pandemic has gut-punched this country. Our economy will require a real stimulus that will help pull us through this crisis. This stimulus should obviously not be another Republican tax cut. After 40 years of fooling the public into thinking this was serious economics, we cannot afford to play Charlie Brown to their Lucy.
But why would Republicans do things to purposely undermine our government? To paraphrase Grover Norquist, Republicans want to reduce government down to the size where it can be easily drowned in a bathtub. That leaves the Republicans not respecting the government of which they are a part.
The crux of the matter is that the government, in a real sense, is us. It is "We The People" and it exists to serve and protect us. So it appears the only reason why Republicans would run for public office is to use their elected position to gain power, improve one's brand and enrich themselves. Sound familiar?
Why would "We" vote for any Republican?