Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Immoral Minority

Why couldn't we have this as our president?

Yes, I know her views on Israel would not be popular, but at this moment in time, don't we need someone who has some, say, morals?

As far as I'm concerned, all of the men who've been caught, have admitted, or have been credibly accused of inappropriate and/or criminal sexual activity should not be eligible for elective office. That's Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, agree or disagree, religious or secular. It's only when we have a zero-tolerance policy backed up by real and convincing action will people take this seriously.

The problem now is that we have a president who has no moral authority on this issue. Of course, that hasn't stopped him from saying nothing about Roy Moore, but a lot about Al Franken. I stopped taking the president seriously about most issues last winter, but this one resonates because his supporters have created unique pinholes by which they are trying to weave their moral needles through with arguments that use very slippery thread. What it all comes down to with them is that Trump didn't act on what he said about women.

To which I say, read what he said. It was not theoretical.

The same is true for Roy Moore, but since he's the darling of the religious right, they need to twist a moral ideology so his behavior is OK. Like hanging around 14-year-olds. When he was 32.

The right likes to bring up Bill Clinton, and they should, because his behavior was reprehensible and probably cost two people--Al Gore and Hillary--their chances to be president. The big difference between Clinton and some of the others is that he was punished. He was impeached, although not convicted by the Senate, and he was disbarred. Meanwhile, many of these other predators are walking around unscathed and still either elected or eligible for office.

But harassment of women is not the only moral issue floating around these days. The tax cut bill, because it's not really reform, is another example of retrograde Gilded Age thinking being gussied up as something new.

This bill is a moral disaster on a number of levels, but the key is that some middle class and even lower income people will actually pay more in taxes under the bill, either now or by 2026, in order to pay for the massive tax cuts that corporations and the already wealthy will see. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone who makes under $150,000 to see anything but a robust, healthy, consequential tax cut and a promise that the tax cut will last into the future.

Instead, what we seem to have in Congress is a bill that takes some of the most immoral and questionable stances we've ever seen. For example, teachers can now take a $250 deduction for items they buy for their classroom. The GOP wants to get rid of that so it can pay for the cuts to the wealthy. Imagine that. We already know that teachers mean nothing to this administration other than as a mostly unionized special interest, and that their goal is to destroy the public schools and make teachers into an even lower paid work force. But taking a paltry deduction away is beyond insulting--it's immoral because it hurts students and communities. It sends a message that even that small amount of money is too much for public workers.

Further, the Senate wants to drop the personal mandate that everyone have health insurance, meaning that many people who should have it, but won't because of the cost, will drop insurance, leaving themselves vulnerable to a financial catastrophe, and would use that money to further cut taxes.

The egregious immorality of this move is that in order to save money, the GOP is actually hoping that people will drop their coverage. And who will end up picking up the tab? Why, taxpayers like you and me in the form of higher premiums. And if you think that a further tax cut will make up for an insurance rate increase, then you haven't been paying attention, unless you believe that you'll be getting more than a 10% increase on top of what the GOP is offering now, because that's at least how much your insurance will be increasing.

And the president thinks that wages will go up because of this tax cut. Um, not if insurance rates go up, they won't because your employer will have to pay more to cover you if sick people can't or won't buy health insurance.

Have I also mentioned that taxpayers in high property and income tax states, like NY, NJ, and CA, will also lose in this bill because they will no longer be able to deduct those expenses? Not a problem for the GOP, though: Those states don't vote Republican.

The only hope I have is that the GOP Senators who seem to get the danger of Trump--Corker, Flake, McCain, Murkowski and Collins--will sink this bill and ask for time, negotiations, hearings and analysis.

You know, democracy.

For more, go to or Twitter @rigrundfest

No comments:

Post a Comment