Monday, December 4, 2017

Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money - 13

Progress: It's that way ! ... No, it's this way !
I. One Person's Progress is
Another Person's Regression

I began this series in August of 2009 (Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money).

It has covered a lot of ground since then (Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

I thought I would add another post to this series, since major tax legislation is in the works; one version passed in the House of Representatives and one version passed in the Senate.

The two bills are contrary to one another, so, as with any such bill it must go to a conference where elected politicians will struggle to make it unified.

If that takes place, then both houses will have to vote on it again before it can be sent to the president for final approval or disapproval (Another delicate challenge for Republicans: Reconciling House and Senate tax bills).

Members of both houses have spoken of "progress" when discussing this now bifurcated legislation, as have the bankers and citizen commentators (all Democrats in the Senate voted against this "progress" while all but one Republican in the Senate voted in favor of this "progress").

There has been "progress" ("a movement toward a goal") by Banker Jekyll who continues to want to Hyde our money, and there has also been "progress" by honesty-and-justice seeking working class members.

In other words, as I have said before, the word "progress" is a meaningless dog whistle,  a doublespeak word, which like a "coffee cup" can hold a refreshing beverage or a poisonous mixture that will kill anyone who drinks it.

The ambiguity in the word "progress" manifests because the word is bound, by definition, to "a goal."

As the dictionary link above reveals, in its core definition "progress" is "a movement toward a goal" (I sense that "one person's progress is another person's regression").

So, since the number of goals that exist in our universe is most likely infinite, the word has no real absolute meaning unless and until it is transparently linked to a goal.

The goal of the tax bill is not a goal that everyone seeks, thus there are several types of "progress" involved (The House and Senate tax bills, explained, From Tax Rates To Deductions: Comparing The House & Senate Bills To Current Law).

II. Deficit Considerations

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that the tax cuts to corporations and the
Senators Hatch up a Grassley story
wealthy will generate an increase in the federal debt by some 1.4 trillion dollars (PRELIMINARY: 8:49PM, December 1, 2017, SUMMARY OF THE DEFICIT EFFECTS, PDF; cf. this and this).

According to Senators Hatch and Grassley, the reason the taxpayer money is being taken from the poor and given to the rich is because the poor spend all their money on booze and women. and, like Americans of Puerto Rico will not lift a finger to help themselves (The Guardian).

III. Corporate Tax Rate

The "progress" according to one group indicates that corporate rates will drop to 20% from 35%, ostensibly because corporations are better persons than poor people are (now that the Supremes have made a corporation a person).

A past Labor Secretary had a different view of this "progress" and its goal:
"But the tax plan gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters. And it gives America’s wealthiest citizens trillions more, when the richest 1 percent now hold a record 38.6 percent of the nation’s total wealth, up from 33.7 percent a decade ago.

The reason Republicans give for enacting the plan is “supply-side” trickle-down nonsense. The real reason is payback to the GOP’s mega-donors.

A few Republicans are starting to admit this. Last week, Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic advisor, conceded in an interview that 'the most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.' Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted that 'my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that if Republicans failed to pass tax reform, 'the financial contributions will stop.' "
(Robert Reich). I am reminded of the song with the lyrics "freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose" by Janis "Pearl" Joplin.

IV. Conclusion

"What we gonna do when the money runs out?" - David Gray (@Nightblindness)

The previous post in this series is here.

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