Just in time for Christmas, Senate Republicans pushed through their tax reform bill early Saturday morning and, as expected, progressives gnashed their teeth and wrung their hands shortly thereafter.
However, the tone of their criticism, full of apocalyptic rhetoric and doomsday prophesy, is off the charts. Here’s just a small taste from Twitter. Remember, these are well known, respected progressives that are considered thoughtful and have huge followings:
There has never been a more outrageous, revolting, unfair process to pass a corrupted bill in the history of Congress. That Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Lindsey Graham have endorsed this makes anything positive they have done get erased. Unconscionable
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) December 1, 2017
America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred.
Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 2, 2017
Bernie Sanders says people will look back at Dec. 1, 2017 as the night of one of the greatest robberies in our history.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) December 2, 2017
The Washington Post‘s coverage has hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico freaking out:
"..if the GOP tax bill gets enacted" pic.twitter.com/Bpf4yfQMpq
— Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 (@PuertoRicoPUR) December 2, 2017
And protestors even met President Trump’s motorcade to an event in New York Saturday morning with signs that read:
“Tax cuts destroy energy”
I’ve yet to see the stories explaining how, but I’m sure they’re coming.
I suspect most of the panic stems from this element of the reform bill:
The sweeping tax overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate on Saturday contains the Republicans’ biggest blow yet to former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, repealing the requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance.
The individual mandate is meant to ensure a viable health insurance market by forcing younger and healthier Americans to buy coverage.
Removing it while keeping the rest of Obama’s Affordable Care Act intact is expected to cause insurance premiums to rise and lead to millions of people losing coverage, policy experts say.
That last part is, of course, debatable enough to be almost false as those policy experts are relying on the ever-changing models coming out of the not-so-non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). There have even been calls for an investigation into the CBO over their chameleon-like coverage predictions.
The point is that the histrionics are overwrought and irresponsible. They would be appalling except for the fact that they’re also sort of hilarious and are reaching a “boy who cried wolf” threshold, where people on both sides of the aisle are moving toward disbelief when the world, in fact, doesn’t end over tax reform.
The level of rhetoric surrounding this tax bill makes me numb to any criticism it might contain. I'm tired of hearing how everything is the worst thing you've ever seen and America is dead and life as we know it is over. I just don't buy that shit anymore.
— neontaster (@neontaster) December 2, 2017
For what it’s worth, the White House released a statement applauding the GOP for passing the tax reform bill that read, in part:
The policies in this bill will cut taxes for hardworking families and put our economy on a path of sustainable economic prosperity and job creation. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reclaim America’s great destiny. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to fulfill the promise we made to deliver historic tax cuts for the American people by the end of the year.
That just doesn’t sound so bad to me, guys.