The Republican Party passed its first major piece of Trump-era legislation—a massive $1.5 trillion reshaping of our tax code that systematically shovels money towards the rich during the worst era of inequality in modern history—on Wednesday, just in time for the holidays. President Trump will presumably sign the bill the moment it reaches him.
The House wound up having to pass the bill twice after some minor provisions failed to make it past the Senate. But the ultimate result was never in doubt. Passing a bill like this is the whole reason why the GOP, a party completely beholden to the donor class, exists. Paul Ryan—the Koch brothers’ “fair-haired boy”—has finally fulfilled his main function, and now he and his colleagues are spitting in your face.
After negotiations to reconcile competing House and Senate plans, the GOP leadership landed on a bill that massively cuts the corporate tax rate, lowers the top individual tax rate, and allows a huge deduction for “pass-through” businesses. While everyone would see a tax cut in the first few years, the benefits during that time will still skew heavily towards the rich. According to one analysis, by 2027, 82.8% of the bill’s benefits will go to the top 1% while more than half of all Americans will see their taxes rise. Oh, and this doesn’t even take into account the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, which will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance.
For a few days we had a fun “will they or won’t they” as to whether or not a few “holdout” or “moderate” Republicans would vote for the bill. Yet aside from John McCain, who is sick at home in Arizona (and would have totally voted for the bill) every single Republican senator voted yes. After getting almost nothing he wanted for the Child Tax Credit, Marco Rubio decided to vote for the bill. After a real-estate provision was added in last minute that would personally enrich one Bob Corker, Bob Corker voted for the bill. After reading the bill, Mike Lee voted for the bill. After getting the cover of “promises” from Republican leadership that are virtually impossible to guarantee, Susan Collins voted for the bill. (In the House, a smattering of Republicans from blue states which the bill intentionally hits very hard voted against it.)
You get the pattern, right? These aren’t reasons that these senators might have voted against the tax bill, they are excuses to vote for it. After the passage of one of the most radically regressive bills in history, we can lay to rest the idea that there is any such thing as a “moderate Republican.”
And many of the people who pushed for the bill just happen to be some of the people who will benefit from it. (Donald Trump and his family are among these.) Here are the Republican senators who will profit just from the last-minute real estate provisions:
The Republican Party didn’t even try to sell its own bill on its merits because there are none. Instead, they resorted to straight-up lies. But none of this actually sold the bill to constituents. Americans mostly hate it; only around a third favor the legislation. The fact that the GOP passed this bill anyways means that they don’t give a shit about what you think. They got theirs. Now it’s time to organize to get yours.
This is a developing post and is being updated.