Subject: Analysis of benefit to Irish Mike and 'travel' in Republican tax legislation
What's it like to be a useful tool?
'The biggest single goal of this bill is a huge tax cut for the top 1 percent. The bill slashes
taxes on corporations, increases tax benefits for foreign dividends, and cuts taxes for
"pass-through" corporations (which will immediately become the new hotness in tax shelter legal
chicanery). Ultra-wealthy heirs get a particular bonus through the abolishment of the inheritance
tax. All that will be partially paid for by jacking up taxes on graduate students by up to 400
percent, limiting home ownership tax benefits, repealing the ObamaCare individual mandate, changing
inflation calculations to increase taxes more broadly, and by cutting the deduction for state and
local taxes (though Susan Collins got some of it restored). Future deficits created by these cuts
will almost certainly require large cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Some of the tax benefits the GOP is attacking are actually somewhat bad — the mortgage interest
deduction, for instance, is a ludicrously rich-tilted subsidy. But it was at least aimed at the
traditional American value of homeownership, and did help a nontrivial number of middle-class
Americans. The GOP bill sharply reduces this benefit and gives the proceeds to Eric Trump and Co.
The bill is an attack on homeownership, education, entrepreneurs, and the middle class, all to
benefit the owners of existing huge businesses — especially people who inherit them. Forget
entrepreneurial startups. Republicans are all about handing as much money as possible to the third-
and fourth-generation idle rich. It is a bill written by the landed aristocracy, for the landed
This conservative radicalism and contempt for precedent can be seen not only in the god-awful
content of the bill, but also in the way it was passed. At every point Republicans relied on lies,
concealment, and trampling over traditional democratic deliberation. They held no hearings, they had
no official score from the Joint Committee on Taxation (the JCT scored an earlier draft, but not the
most recent one, especially not a slew of last-minute giveaways to corporations and hedge fund
managers) — indeed, they did not even release the final text until the last possible moment. House
Speaker Paul Ryan lied constantly about its contents. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin repeatedly
promised an analysis "showing" that the bill would not increase the deficit by turbo-charging
growth. This was such a preposterous lie that he didn't even bother faking the numbers. The secrecy
prevented people from examining how it is stuffed full of quiet corporate handouts, only some of
which have been discovered — like a big one to General Electric.
This bill will explode the deficit. And make no mistake, when it does, Republicans (and deficit
scolds, who have been notably quiet up to now) are going to immediately start demanding cuts to
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — indeed, under congressional rules Medicare is due for a
$25 billion cut in 2018 alone.
Let us hear no more about how Republicans are the defenders of traditional American values. They are
about strip-mining the citizenry to give as much money as possible to rich people. There is no other
coherent explanation for this bill.'