Congress – Please listen to the nonpartisan economic groups

Early this morning the Senate passed their Tax Bill, complete with hand written amendments and no public hearings. Senator McConnell declared it a victory for the American people. But, which people? From my reading the people doing a touchdown dance already have an awful lot of money. 52% of Americans disapprove of this bill, but only the opinion of the privileged few matters.

On NPR yesterday, I heard Congressman Kevin Brady, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, smugly say we do not believe the projections of Congress nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation who measured the Senate bill as increasing the debt by $1 trillion and saying this bill is not as kind as portrayed to people in poverty and middle class. But, Congressman, why do the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Fix the Debt and The Concord Coalition say pretty much the same thing?

Without public hearings, Republicans did not take the time to know this. What should be surprising is the two Senators from Kansas voted for this bill after a similar state bill had to be unwound last year after it decimated Kansas’ economy and budget.

Outside of Senator Corker, my former party seems to have forgotten what fiscal stewardship means. We are projected to have a debt of $31.5 trillion in 2027. I want to hear what Congress plans to do about that.

As a former Republican, this continues to support why I left the party. Passing a bill to get a win is no way to pass good legislation.

Please feel free to use a variation of this to let your Senators and Congressperson know of your concern. I added that they call me with a response to my concern and not send me a form letter.

13 thoughts on “Congress – Please listen to the nonpartisan economic groups

  1. Note to Readers: I am not a fan when politicians either don’t remember history or misrepresent it to justify a current action. Senator McConnell likens ramming through the current Tax Bill without public hearings to the ACA. As I recall, there were several public hearings attended by Republicans of a bill that took several months. It also was a variation of a Republican idea. In fairness, insufficient time was allowed to read the full ACA.

    The Tax Bill has been rushed without hearings or taking the time to set a guiding policy with analytics and bipartisan input. The rush was due to having one success before the year closed. Rushing tax legislation is foolish and produced a very flawed bill per the folks who voted on it. Yet, not responsibly addressing the debt issues is malfeasance and will harm our country as abrupt changes are needed at some point of reckoning.

    • Dear Keith,

      Your analysis is right on the money.

      The Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is also rushing passage of this bill before the public has a chance to figure out that the US Senate’s tax cut bill is the largest tax increase in US history for the middle/ poor class at $4.5 trillion dollars to pay for the huuuge tax cut for the donor class and themselves at about $6 trillion dollars with a net result of $1.5 trillion dollars which gets added to the US deficit.

      He is also worried about losing a crucial senate vote by 12/12/17 if the democrat Doug Jones should win the former republican held seat for the State of Alabama.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, at the heart of all the chaos in Washington are two major themes
        – why is the Tax bill and other failed bills being rushed through without public hearings?
        – why is the President and leaders of the GOP lying so much about legislation, executive orders and Russia?

        As a 59 year old, my only conclusion is they are trying to hide something. With Trump’s rate of untruthfulness around 70% and his inability to be coherent on pretty much any thought, I find myself not believing anything he says. So, this is not a MASSIVE cut for all as he says, just for the big dogs. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Warren Buffett was on CBS Sunday Morning today and shared a few interesting rebuttals to the Tax Bill in normal conversation.

    – American business is flush with cash with low borrowing rates, so a tax cut is really not going to promote more growth.
    – While he said America continues to be a great place to live and invest, he is not happy with how the wealth is distributed – per Buffett, in 1980 the Fortune 400 richest Americans had $92 billion in wealth and now they have $2.6 trillion.

    – He said Trickle Down economics does not work.

    These three comments negate everything reason why the GOP passed the Tax Bill. I would listen to Buffett about making money before I would listen to Brady, Ryan, McConnell and even Trump. Buffett made his billions investing in good companies. Trump made his by taking advantage of folks.

  3. Excellent post, Keith. Congress would do well to listen to the economists, for a number of things will come to pass in the coming years. The national debt will skyrocket, in order to even begin to pay back what we owe, we will need to make spending cuts, which will almost certainly affect all of us who earn less that a quarter of a million per annum, which will hurt the economy, in turn bringing the markets to their knees. Not only the U.S. markets, but global markets as well. There is a domino affect that is not a ‘maybe’, but an absolute certainty. We need a person with some degree of common sense in the White House, and we need to take out the garbage in the Capitol and start over.

    This bill is not a done deal yet, for my understanding is that there are some bones of contention in the reconciliation between the House and Senate versions, but I am certain that in order to receive their “Attaboy” and head pat from the rich donors and from Trump, they will find a way to work through the problems quickly. They have been warned by the people they think matter most. Now it’s time for We The People to show them our teeth.

    Thanks for this post, Keith … I shall re-blog.

    • Jill, thanks for your comments. On top of the debt not being dealt with, the heavy emphasis on the wealthy and failure of trickle down economics, doing this at the top of the market after more than 100 consecutive months of growth is not the right time to stimulate the economy.

      The feedback on the emails which mirror the blog have been supportive. Thanks for the reblog. Keith

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Well, the Senate all pulled together and sold themselves to the highest bidder. We The People were not, unfortunately the highest bidders, but we are the biggest losers. The Senate, in their effort to be good little lapdogs, refused to listen to the well-educated and very experienced economists who shared a consensus about how the national debt would be negatively affected. They not only refused to listen, but some smugly claimed to disbelieve. Our friend Keith has written a post that says it all as well as I could, so I am sharing his post today, rather than re-invent the wheel. Please take a few moments to read and ponder, and I shall have an additional post a bit later. Thanks, Keith!!!

  5. This has been a crime of major proportions committed against the American public. The people paid to represent them have in turn turned their backs on them to give huge tax advantages to those people who donated to an election the incumbent couldn’t win alone. Whose extra monetary gifts carried the loyalty of the Republicans despite the annual salary provided by the electorate. There are so many changes needed to ensure no politician can accept monies from any private donor in the future.
    A great post Keith.
    Hugs

    • David, agreed. It is highly disappointing that this was jammed through to avoid scrutiny. The Senate and House leadership have done this all year and legislation attempts have been poor, like this one. Keith

  6. Note to Readers: One of the more reasonable members of the GOP caucus in the Senate is Susan Collins from Maine. But, even she voted for the Tax Bill. On Meet the Press yesterday, Chuck Todd played her own words back to her about her concerns over the building debt when it wa $8 trillion then $14 trillion. She defended her vote by saying economists said the Tax Bill would reduce the debt and to her credit she named a few individuals. Yet, Todd put up a chart with three economic forecast groups that showed a range from $500 billion to $1.3 trillion in impact, including only one of the groups I did.

    What frustrates me is she and others are missing the large, but little discussed point. Even if she is right and the Tax Bill is neutral to reducing it $500 billion that still puts us at $30 trillion in debt in 2027. And, we cannot cut our way out of this problem.

    The other frustration I have is done by both parties – when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows favorable numbers to their cause, politicians say they are fair, yet when the opposite occurs they are biased. I recognize what the CBO and these other groups are forecasting, but they take great pains to get it as accurate as possible.

    As noted in earlier posts and echoed by Warren Buffett on Sunday, companies are already flushed with cash, so giving them more is not going to cause a rush to invest.

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