The Sinister Agenda behind the New Tax Bill

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If the Senate’s new tax bill has taught us anything, it’s that it will be long before we get money out of politics. Perplexing as it may seem, the Republican Party has managed to maintain a stranglehold on two opposite yet equally crucial demographics: working class whites and wealthy elites. The former, a demographic rife with skepticism of the elite, still votes with the latter, which has made it its duty to disregard the plight of the former.

This dynamic combination of blue collar and blue blood has granted the Republican Party a double-edged sword with which it can easily defeat Democratic opponents. While the middle class portion of the GOP comprises the majority of the party’s constituency, the upper class voters, very much in the minority, will remain the lifeblood of the party for much of the foreseeable future. The new tax bill, which passed narrowly in the Senate 52-48, reveals that the affluent portion of the party constituency holds a disproportionate sway over the party’s policies.

That such a small minority now controls the national policy is a blatant subversion of democracy, and the Senate’s new tax bill represents another step in a decades-long transition to American aristocracy. Built on the false principles of trickle-down economics, which have caused an unprecedented redistribution of wealth to the very top of the economic ladder, this new tax bill will place the United States in a unique place in the developed world. As the income disparity began to manifest itself during the Reagan years, it is a no-brainer that the widening gap between the rich and poor is a result of the neoliberal doctrine of the Republican Party.  

While many European countries embrace the advent of the welfare state and manage to weave a sufficient social safety net into a functioning market economy, the United States refuses to follow the trend. It’s not like Americans are not in need of a strong social safety net. Indeed, the influence of money in policy-making has prevented the United States from adopting Scandinavian welfare policies. The reliance on donor money has compelled many politicians to manipulate their constituencies into voting against their interests and instead for the interests of large corporations.

To achieve this end, our politicians have convinced a critical mass of the population that socialized healthcare is going to eat away at personal liberty, that expanding entitlements is communism, and that the rich deserve a tax cut. And worst of all, through their advocacy of “personal responsibility” and “limited government,” they have ensconced an “everyone for himself” philosophy.

The culture that neoliberal politicians have ingrained in American society has already caused a myriad of tangible effects. Research in psychology suggests that suicide rates are higher in societies where individual failure is attributed to personal shortcomings. The conservative ideal that one should be able to succeed without guaranteed food, healthcare, shelter, and security could be to blame for increasing cases of anxiety and depression. 

Coupled with the incident cuts to healthcare, the Senate tax bill is going to further entrench the toxic culture of individualism without offering sufficient access to mental health resources. It will slash the welfare and entitlement programs on which millions of needy Americans rely, further exacerbating the state of economic inequality. Working in tandem with other damaging policies like the RAISE Act, the new tax bill is sending a clear message that the Republican Party does not care about the people. By appeasing wealthy party donors with tax cuts and leaving the middle class with only modest tax cuts, the GOP has epitomized the idea of putting party over people.

The state of economic inequality has reached an unprecedented level. However, compared to the decades of trickle-down economics since the Reagan administration, this piece of legislation could be an easy fix for a Democratic majority in 2018. While a quick repeal would save future Americans from the burdens of medicare and entitlement cuts, we must not overlook the lasting damage that this tax bill will end up wreaking in terms of economic inequality. The Democratic Party can no longer afford to sit by the sidelines, consoling themselves by declaring that the current Republicans will be “on the wrong side of history”. Rather, moral outrage is necessary, Americans deserve a party that looks out for them. If only the Democrats could win.

Featured Image: https://www.10tv.com/article/senate-oks-tax-bill-trump-gop-near-big-legislative-win

About the author

Matt Walsh is a V Form day student from Southborough, Massachusetts. He is a member of the Model U.N. club, edits for LEO, leads Openly Secular, plays trumpet, and works on the Lion Term Leadership Committee. Matt is a hot sauce connoisseur, and he loves Tabasco. In his free time, he enjoys sailing, skiing, and playing with his dog, Portia. He plays baseball and runs cross country, and his academic interests include chemistry, biology, Spanish, and government.

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2 Comments

  1. Trump

    Hogwash

    • Matthew Walsh

      I am completely open to debate on the subject if you are.

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