My mother used to say this about politics: “Politicians promise a chicken in every pot but deliver a pot full of beans.”
I was reminded of this as I read the column submitted by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, in support of the recently passed tax bill. Like most politicians Herrera Beutler is long on speculation and short on facts. She is excellent at touting the party line shouted by her GOP cronies — “how many jobs will be created, how the economy is going to take off.”
What she doesn’t say is that small businesses and corporations have no incentive to create jobs and the tax bill has no mandate that they are required to do so. Corporations have been making record profits and the job market has been stagnant. Why would increasing profits through a massive tax break be used for anything other than lining the pockets of wealthy stockholders and increasing board of director salaries. Nothing in this tax bill indicates that an increase in profits equates to increased employee compensation and there is no historical evidence to support any correlation between tax breaks for corporate America and benefits to the middle class.
Instead of giving corporations a government handout this tax bill should have included tax breaks for corporations that create jobs, reward their workers with pay increases, provide job security and invest in creating new industry while allotting tax penalties on corporations that send jobs to foreign countries, enact pay cuts, have massive layoffs or shutdown facilities. This would have forced corporations to earn tax breaks by investing in American Labor.
Herrera Beutler also makes a statement that Medicare or Social Security will not be affected but this tax bill will affect every American currently using these vital programs and those who soon will be. AARP, a nonprofit organization that is both guardian and watchdog for those who are retired and on fixed incomes, has discovered that the GOP-controlled Congress has set their sights on cutting Medicare funding by $25 billion. This cut will mean that your grandparents, your parents, your aunts and uncles, and you if you’re over 65 will have to choose between putting food on the table or your health care needs; not a choice that any American should have to face.
According to AARP, Social Security will soon follow, no details yet, but you can bet that it won’t be good. When is comes to “falsehoods” as Herrera Beutler calls them, who should you believe, a self-serving politician or an organization that’s purpose is to protect and lobby for the rights of millions of Americans? Sadly, it’s a clear choice who is spreading falsehoods.
I was disappointed but not shocked that Herrera Beutler voted for this disastrous tax bill. She picked political ambition over the well being of the people that she was elected to serve. When she is up for reelection we can only hope that a suitable candidate with an independent mind will emerge to replace her.