Blowin in the Wind
Notwithstanding a massive campaign by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party to derail it, almost always couched in hyperbole and hysteria, the GOP has succeeded in structurally altering federal level taxation in the United States.
How will it affect you personally and how will it affect Congressional elections in 2018 and presidential elections in 2020?
I guess that pretty much depends on which political party was telling the truth and this time it will be fairly easy to determine. Your taxes will either rise as the Democratic Party claims or fall as promised by the GOP, and your paycheck ought to make the case clear almost right away.
I oppose both the current tax system and the GOP modifications because I am a proponent of a set of revolutionary economic hypotheses that require that the state assume control of the creation of money now in the hands of financial institutions (with the state a mere facilitator) and use monetary supply expansion to fund government, making taxation obsolete other than as a means to punish hoarding that decreases the rate of monetary circulation. A mouthful, I know. While such alternative would be inflationary, the elimination of taxation, tax fraud and related administrative costs would, in my perspective, result in a net increase in purchasing power. That is because the reduced personal costs inherent in not paying taxes and elimination of the possibility of legally or corruptly evading the consequences of taxation would offset any inflation, and government would be better able to directly implement social welfare policies rather than hope that mere luck and good will would make them prosper.
However, I can still understand the allegedly benign premises in the GOP tax plan, “alleged” premises very different than the nefarious “rip off everyone but the wealthiest” allegations of every Democratic member of Congress and all of the mainstream media other than Fox news.
But which of the two villainous political parties is closer to describing the truth?
According to its GOP proponents, lowering taxes on virtually everyone who currently pays them will increase consumption and that in turn will accelerate economic growth. Reduction in corporate tax rates will provide additional corporate funds for increased and better paid overall employment and for capital investments. Further, because of related economic expansion, the reduction in federal income would be offset by an increased tax base resulting in more rather than less federal income. An illustration: 40% of 1000 is less than 20% of 3000.
I would, had increased and better paid employment and capital investments designed to increase the tax base while reducing individual taxes been the goal, have done it differently. I would have deprived businesses of alternative options such as increased dividends and executive salaries by making related tax reduction business benefits available through tax credits, perhaps even more generous than the anticipated tax reductions. The consequences on federal income to fund government operations would be just as dangerous if the plan failed to adequately increase the tax base but the reduction in federal income would be specifically targeted only to expenditures designed to attain the promised goals. Thus the Democrats’ claims that the plan is merely a giveaway to the wealthiest at our expense would have absolutely no validity. However, no one proposed that option although had Democrats really been interested in anything other than politicization of the issue for partisan purposes, they might have made the suggestion. Instead, Democrats painted the reduction of corporate rates as a personal gift to the wealthiest ignoring any potential benefits to the economy as a whole and to each of us individually. Apparently, rather than improving the GOP plan, they merely hoped it would fail and that while we suffered the consequences, they would reap electoral profits. Cynical at best but par for the course. That now seems a binding rule for whichever major party finds itself out of power.
Either result is possible and thus it seems entirely appropriate that we base our voting decisions in 2018 and 2020 on the reality which we will individually and independently be in a position to verify rather than on the fairy tales or tales of woe we will be sold by partisan hacks with little interest in our welfare. The GOP tax plan and its results will provide us an objective standard on which to act rather than relying on polarizing Identity Politics designed to set us at each other’s throats.
Again, however, in the interests of honesty, I must admit that I personally despise both “major” political parties’ neoliberal economic premises and neoconservative postures on international affairs. I oppose the constant state of war, the renewal of cold war with the soviets and Chinese and support of Israeli expansionist and apartheid policies at our expense to which both “major” political parties adhere. I desperately seek to assist in the evolution of alternative political movements divorced from the corrupting influence of money on politics. I am utterly convinced that the mainstream media has little or nothing to do with journalism but rather, that it is primarily a medium to force feed us propaganda, as is the “entertainment” establishment, so that we can be kept in line for the benefit of the most selfish and most dishonest among us. Thus, regardless of whether the GOP or Democratic Party proves prescient on the results of the recently adopted tax plan, and whether we have the wisdom and will to take the party that deceived us on this issue to task electorally, we will still find ourselves mired in the political quicksand in which we have been cast during our entire lives; at least until we develop the political, civic and social courage to vote our consciences instead of catering to manufactured fears and illusions. To finally try something new.
For some reason, the foregoing calls to mind Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind”.
When will we ever learn?
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.