I have never been more frustrated with Congress than I have this year. This scam of a Tax Reform bill is just the latest example. There is absolutely no reason why a bill needed to be rushed through and passed in the middle of the night. None.
And for what? So that the uber wealthy can get richer while the working class gets poorer? So that the biggest businesses, already flush with cash, can do better while the cash-strapped working class can do worse? So that teachers and students can do worse? So that seniors and all those already struggling with the cost of healthcare can do worse? So that we can further inflate our national debt and threaten the ability to provide the services our citizens depend upon most?
It was driven by the desire for a legislative win, even if Americans had to lose in the process. What they have done is shameful and wrong.
All of us want tax reform. But the GOP is blatantly leaving all others out of the process, and pushing through a bill that fits their partisan agenda, and which the American people overwhelmingly do not support because they know it will hurt them.
This isn't how our system is supposed to work. It is completely possible to create true tax reform that is both pro-business and pro-citizen.
Do you know why it's been 31 years since tax reform was last addressed. Because working together in a bipartisan way is hard. It means setting aside your own agenda and standing for the common good. It means being willing to listen, work together and compromise.
President Reagan's tax bill passed the Senate with a 97-3 vote. That's right, NINETY-SEVEN YES VOTES. That's because they used regular order and worked across the aisle to accomplish it, something not even considered today. As recounted by The Economist:
The bill that passed in 1986 took a long, arduous path to President Ronald Reagan’s desk. Originating out of a three-volume report by the Treasury department, it faced numerous brushes with death, and took more than two years to wind its way through Congress. The process included full committee hearings, markups and deliberations. The final bill eliminated many deductions, credits and exemptions that favoured some taxpayers over others. This generated new revenues, which were then used to reduce tax rates, mainly for low and middle-income individuals. The bill did not increase the budget deficit.
I think that President Reagan would be ashamed of how today's GOP is bullying this legislation through Congress. I bet most members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, are ashamed of today's system too. They know that this isn't how our government is supposed to work, and that they all play a part in the the current dysfunction.
It's time for that to stop. It's time to put Country over Party.