Plutocracy – Government by and for the wealthy.
Chris Collins is my new favorite politician.
Not that I would ever vote for him, despite his last name, and not that I ever could. He is a representative from New York and we live in North Carolina.
But Collins gets major kudos for being the most honest plutocrat to come forward and champion the tax cut bill the Republicans are trying to ram down the throats of the American people.
When explaining his ardor for the bill, Collins was candid as candid can be.
“My donors are basically saying, `Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ ‘’
Notice Collins’ expressed concern is not for the good of the American people, those he was elected to represent.
And notice he’s not talking about the middle class, the purported target of the proposed cuts.
No Collins is talking political survival. The donors, the big money responsible for putting him in office and keeping him there, must be served.
All this at a time of record inequality in our country, a time when the gap between the richest of the rich and everyone else gets wider with every passing year. All this at a time that middle class wages have stagnated over the last 50 years, ever since Republicans began to convince the American people that if they can take care of those most capable of taking care of themselves, then along the way some of the crumbs are bound to fall off the table for the rest of us.
The studies I’m reading say that’s exactly what the bill being advanced through Congress today will do. It’s just more of the same old same old trickle-down economics, once described so poignantly by the first President Bush as voodoo economics (of course that was before he realized he had to toe the line to get elected.)
What’s interesting is that so many of the powers that be aren’t even trying to hide it.
Did you hear what Gary Cohn, a former executive officer of Goldman Sachs who is now the president’s leading economic adviser, had to say about the cuts?
“The most excited group out there are the big CEOs, about our tax plan.’’
Or how about the words of wisdom from Steven Law, the head of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Mitch McConnell.
“(Donors) would be mortified if we didn’t live up to what we’ve committed to on tax reform.’’
Heaven forbid we mortify the big money.
If Congress was truly concerned about the middle class, there are many ways it could help. There’s the Child Tax Credit, for example, and there’s the Earned Income Tax Credit, cuts that go directly to the middle class instead of being filtered through the richest of the rich.
I’d be all for those kinds of tax cuts because I’m convinced they would actually stimulate the economy. Give our family more money and we’ll spend it at the grocery store, the car lot, the neighborhood restaurant. And those places, in turn, would have more money to expand and hire more people I know.
But give it to the wealthiest of the wealthy a tax cut and odds are it will end up like so much of their other money, to be used to boost the salaries of the CEOs or get stashed away from the IRS in an off-shore account.
So before you support the current efforts to cut taxes, ask yourself two questions.
Do you really think those pushing for the cuts are looking after your interests, or are they just serving those responsible for putting them in office and keeping them there?
And how do you feel about living in a plutocracy?