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LIBERAL LOGIC - The best-laid scams

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Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 10:39 am

Here’s to life, liberty, and the pursuit of being rich enough to pay zero in taxes. 

Like most people who don’t have their own dedicated team of accountants working for them year-round, I hate April 15, but in the long run I don't mind paying taxes if they are fair and proportional. Especially, when I see veterans getting healthcare at the VA, when I visit one of our national parks, when I drive on a well-maintained freeway and see kids of every kind and every class educated in a great school system.

I don't mind paying taxes rather than walk on streets filled with starving and diseased people like you see in some developing nations—a longstanding situation that is heart-wrenching in its awfulness; even animals don't treat each other like that. But especially when you consider how much of all of our tax money is given over to subsidize massive corporations—many of which have (legally) cooked their books so that they pay no taxes while making hundreds of billions of dollars—is paying a reasonable amount of taxes toward the kind of social reforms that all decent people can agree on too much to ask? 

There is fair, and and then there is the Republican tax scam—I mean tax plan—which is built on the back of a $25 billion cut from Medicare, which funds 80 percent of medical costs for people 65 years old and older, in order to finance the sort of tax cuts that will make it less pricey for Republicans to fly in their private jets, go play golf on the—now tax-deductible, if the new tax plan passes!—golf course they own. Hey, wait! Where’s the deduction for polo ponies? Call your congressman to remind them to put that in there too!

What other kind of breaks do they have in there for us “hard-working Americans,” who they’re always claiming they’re working so hard for? Well, the top rate that large corporations pay will be cut from 35 percent to 20 percent —permanently. Wait! You don’t see how that helps the little guy? Why, it’s simple: big corporations make more money and, you know, they eventually hire more people and give them big raises. You know—like big corporations always do.

There’s more cuts, though. The estate tax, for one thing, will be permanently eliminated. Great news for all those regular Joes out there who want to pass on assets of more than $5.5 million to their kids—I mean “heirs.”

Some bad news, though: Are you a teacher? Maybe you’ve been taking advantage of that sneaky deduction that lets you write off up to $250/year for classroom supplies for your students that you’ve had to buy yourself, because your local school district doesn’t have enough money. Well, say goodbye to that, baby—someone’s got jet fuel to buy.

So, don't be fooled. The more you learn about this tax bill, the more you will realize that millionaires and billionaires are Trump's and the GOP’s only priority. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it best: "We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle to feather their own nests." 

Steven Seymour is a Vietnam veteran who lives in Navasota and writes a bi-weekly opinion column. The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of The Examiner.

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