Letter from a Reader:

Trump/Republican Tax Plan: A Major Attack on the People, a Big Fascist Move

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Dear Revcom,

The Trump/Pence regime and the Republicans are trying to ram a massive tax bill through Congress right now. One version has already passed in the House, and another is before the Senate. Nothing is yet finalized, and there are a lot of different things packed into these bills, but there’s plenty to be alarmed and outraged about (and different groups are planning protests).

First, the centerpiece of these bills is a massive, $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations, permanently cutting their tax rate nearly in half, from 35 percent to 20 percent. This is a huge shift of the tax burden away from America’s biggest capitalist exploiters on to ordinary people (especially in Blue states). Meanwhile, tax rates for many in the middle and working classes will initially decline, but then likely rise over the next decade!

The Trump/Republican “tax reform” also includes devastating attacks on healthcare. The Senate plan eliminates the Affordable Care Act's (“Obamacare’s”) individual mandate that requires people to buy health insurance. If passed this could strip 13 million people of their healthcare, and lead to even higher health insurance premiums, which would be unaffordable for many more people.

These tax bills may also raise federal government debt by as much as $1.4 trillion. If so, this would trigger deep, automatic spending cuts which would probably target social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education. This would put the lives of many millions at risk, especially Black, Latino and other oppressed or impoverished peoples.

This vicious, draconian assault on the people reflects a core element of the fascist program: unleashing even more ruthless capitalist exploitation to strengthen U.S. imperialism’s ability to compete and dominate globally (“Make America Great Again”). Bob Avakian analyzed this program and what’s driving it in his prescient 1998 analysis, “The Truth About the Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer”:

And, in the present period and the present "global environment," the requirements of the capitalist economic and social system not only demand that the lords of capital be able to carry out their supreme commandment, "let us prey," in a more unrestrained and more "mobile" way, on a world scale. They also demand, within American society itself, a slashing of major social programs and a heightening of the repressive powers of government, along with the fostering of a repressive social atmosphere. They demand what the organization Refuse and Resist! has called the politics of cruelty, or the politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy.

A Fiscal, Political & Social Attack Against Liberalism, Secularism & “Blue States”

These Trump/Republican tax plans target and raise taxes on those sections of the middle class (professionals, artists, intellectuals), institutions (private colleges), and areas (big cities, the West Coast, and the Northeast) that are centers of liberalism, secularism, and scientific thought. Funds from these sectors, which generally oppose the Trump/Pence regime, will be funneled to corporations, billionaires, “Red States” and rural areas the fascists dominate. Here are some of the ways the Republi-fascists are doing this in the guise of “tax reform.”

  • Raising taxes by cutting the deduction for interest on home loans. The Republican bills cut the mortgage interest deduction sharply on more expensive homes. This would disproportionately hit homeowners in urban areas in states like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California where home prices are much higher than in rural areas or many “Red states.”
  • Deductions for state and local taxes are eliminated. State and local taxes are generally higher in “Blue states” because they fund far more social services than “Red states.” Eliminating the deduction would hit those living in Blue states, including upper middle class professionals.
  • Raising Taxes on Private Universities. This is a major assault on private universities with 500 or more students. These are centers of secular and critical thought and scientific research. “This is the beginning of the full-bore Republican assault on the private universities,” according to David Brooks of the New York Times.
  • Massive tax increases for many graduate students. Many university graduate students depend on waivers of their tuition (in return for teaching classes, etc.) in order to complete their studies. Under the House bill, such waivers would now be taxed as income. The Harvard Crimson estimates that many graduate students would see their taxes soar by as much as 400 percent. Students, professors, and other educators have condemned the tax hike as "an assault on the value of knowledge" that would "make graduate study impossible for everyone who isn’t already wealthy," and grad students have organized a nationwide walkout/protest against it on November 29.

So these Trump/Republican tax bills are clearly a major assault on the people, and another way the fascist Trump/Pence regime is fighting to reshape U.S. politics and society.




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