One of the sure signs that our republican form of government is on its last legs is how establishment cowards in both parties go about passing major legislation. Gone are the days when bills were openly debated and simple to understand. Instead, legislation hundreds, even thousands of pages long—after special interest groups and their bought and paid for politicians pile on their self-interested addendums—is negotiated behind closed doors and voted on without debate, often without giving legislators time to even read it.
During the Obama administration, the most obvious example of the disastrous consequences of making laws in this fashion is Obamacare—legislation negotiated behind closed doors and so full of special interests that Nancy Pelosi famously stated that Congress had to pass the bill before we could find out what was in it. Obama also provided cover for Obamacare before and after its passage with his now-famous repeated lie: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
Trump and the GOP have created an Obamacare moment of their own with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
Like Obamacare, TCJA was so massive and contained so many special interest considerations—mostly to corporations and donors—that it was hammered out behind closed doors, and under McConnell’s Pelosi-inspired instructions, TCJA could not be read by Senators until after it passed the Senate. And just like Obama before him with Obamacare, Trump kept the details of the tax cut plan hidden while spreading the lie that it would provide “the biggest tax cuts in history.”
The folks at InfoWars.com said that Trump’s promise had an Obama-esque “if you like your money, you can keep your money” ring to it.
The similarities between Obamacare the Trump tax cuts don’t end there. In the same way that much of the damage from Obamacare wasn’t known until after it became law, the damage from Trump’s tax cuts are now being revealed.
A previously unnoticed change to the tax code included in the TCJA has been discovered that imposes newly created taxes on churches, synagogues, and other non-profit organizations of 21 percent on employee benefits like meals and parking, forcing these organizations, regardless of size, to pay taxes for the first time ever. This is a costly burden when you consider that many nonprofit organizations operate with small and/or volunteer staff.
Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX), who is apparently one of those who didn’t read TCJA before voting for it, is trying to fix this “oops” moment, but House Ways and Means Chairman and Trump loyalist Kevin Brady (R-TX) is defending the stealth-like tax grab because it will provide “parity”—GOP-speak for fairness—regarding taxing employee compensation.
Parity has nothing to do with it. From day one, Republicans targeted charitable deductions as a source of income to offset the massive tax breaks they were giving big business and special interests. Failing to get as much as they had hoped from adjusting deductions, the GOP went after the recipients of those donations.
This is why the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was created behind closed doors, why nobody could read it before voting, and why Trump lied to protect it. It’s also a sign that our great Republic is quickly approaching its end.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.