Open Letter to Congressional Republicans re Tax Bill: Have You No Sense of Decency?

Dear Republican U.S. Senators and Representatives:

There once was a Republican Party that, while being supportive of business interests and in favor of more limited government, was also concerned about avoiding large deficits, and had at least some sense of decency in regard to the common good, and some concern about enacting policies that enable the poor to rise out of poverty and the middle class to thrive.

What has happened to you and your Party of Lincoln?

What in the world are you thinking as you move towards voting in this coming week the most regressive tax bill in modern American history?

Do you really believe what the President says about this tax bill being “a big, beautiful Christmas present” for the American people?

Have you lost your capacity for critical thinking and, instead, given blind allegiance to the fiction of supply-side economics — that tax cuts to the rich and corporations automatically trickles down into prosperity for the poor and the middle class?

Are you so mathematically challenged that you can’t see what all reliable economic analysis has clearly pointed out — that there is no way even the most positive forecast of job increase and taxable corporate profit can remotely match the $1.5 trillion loss in government revenue?

Have you not taken in the lesson learned from Kansas, where the Republican governor’s massive 2012 tax cuts that were supposed to be a “shot of adrenaline” for the economy were instead a spectacular failure, turning a billion dollar surplus into a billion dollar deficit and failing to bring anything close to the number of jobs projected?

Are you so hard-hearted and craven as to believe it will be all right, and even a good idea, to reduce your massive deficit by cutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other government social safety network programs that provide a lifeline to the poor, the disabled, the elderly and children?

And are you unmoved by the stern warning of the International Monetary Fund that redistribution of wealth to the top through regressive taxation risks undermining rather than aiding global economic growth? Or the recent findings of the U.N. rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights that the tax reform you want to enact “stakes out America’s claim to become the most unequal society in the world.”

Also, does it not rankle your conscience that many of you, as well as the President himself and his circle of cronies, clearly stand to gain personally by the tax bill you seem hell bent on passing in the face of overwhelming skepticism among the general public?

Have you lost all sense of decency?

Have you lost all sense of self-respect?

Have you lost all sense of commitment to the welfare of all your constituents, not just those with the highest incomes or those who have been manipulated by the moneyed puppeteers into believing that the interests of ordinary people and the 1% hyper-rich are convergent?

But perhaps all these issues are not your concern. Perhaps your only concern is your own political future in a Republican Party that has been transformed beyond recognition.

As is by now well known, you and your colleagues in Congress have been increasingly elected with the backing of a wealthy donor class to whom you are beholden.

And so, if you stray even a little from your moneyed and corporate backers’ litmus test — tax cuts for the rich, subsidies for large corporations, cuts in social programs for the poor and the middle class, elimination of protective regulations that reduce corporate profits — you risk being replaced in the next primaries by a candidate in your own party who is ready to toe the line on this litmus test with regardless of the consequences for the nation.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

If a few of you had the courage to take independent and non-self-serving action on behalf of people other than the top 1% of the country, you would stand up, even at this late date in the process, and, whether you are in the House or in the Senate, you would vote for decency and say “Stop!” to the deeply flawed tax reform juggernaut that your highjacked Republican party is about to push through Congress.

Sincerely,

A concerned voter who will not let you and today’s corrupted Republican Party forget when the 2018 elections come around.

Karine Schomer, PhD is a writer, speaker, scholar, political and social commentator, and, by profession, a management & cross-cultural consultant at www.cmct.net and www.indiapractice.com.

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Karine Schomer

I explore the worlds of society, politics, culture, history, civilizations, language, life lessons— wherever curiosity takes me. karineschomer@cmct.net