Democrat Doug Jones victory over Republican Roy Moore Tuesday in Alabama’s special election has been described by Politico as an earthquake. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez boldly proclaimed “Alabama’s not an outlier, it’s a trend.” “I think we will win the House of Representatives. I think we will win the U.S. Senate,” Sounds like a rosy future for Democrats but what about the here and now? Why are Democrats sitting silently while Republicans are about to pass a tax reform bill that will reap future debt hell on generations to come, and literally cause thousands to die prematurely?
President Donald Trump’s alma mater the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released a study Monday that shows the GOP’s tax legislation would add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. Wharton’s budget analysis projects that The Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases federal debt in both the short- and long-run relative to current policy. In the near term, there is a small boost to GDP, but that increase diminishes over time because of the huge deficits the budget creates.
In other words, what tax reform gives with one hand, it takes away with the other hand. To add insult to injury, Republicans have not limited the other hand take away to tax finances, but also to our medical finances.
Republicans decided that a new tax law limited to tax reform was not complicated enough, so they added the repeal of the insurance mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that repealing the mandate would result in 13 million fewer people being covered by health insurance, it would also cause insurance companies to raise premiums by 10 percent a year.
“The repeal of the individual insurance mandate destabilizes an essential pillar of the Affordable Care Act by removing incentives for young and healthy people to purchase insurance, having young and healthy people as part of the insurance pool helps keep premiums manageable for everyone,” a coalition of health and consumer groups, including the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association, said in a joint statement. According to the CBO, the increased premiums will cause 4 million people to lose health insurance by 2019.
Republicans justify repealing the mandate by saying people should not be forced to buy health insurance, like every car owner in America is forced by law to buy car insurance. Since the credits and subsidies families receive to help them buy health insurance is typically sent directly from the government to the insurance company, Republicans argue that lower-income families are not losing any money in their wallets. Two things Republicans don’t tell you:
1) Repealing the healthcare mandate means instead of currently spending 300 billion dollars to provide healthcare to people who can’t afford it, we will use that same 300 billion dollars to give corporations and the 1% a tax cut.
2) The “greatest Christmas present” or tax cut President Trump keeps talking about that “everyone” will get, will only benefit the 1% and corporations. Any money the middle class gets will be used to pay for the increased medical expenses that the repeal of the mandate creates.
Unfortunately, we are hearing very little from Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is the invisible man. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the incredible shrinking woman, neither is leading any type of resistance. There’s no ringing of the alarm bell to even alert everyday working citizens of the havoc to come. The masses of people can’t let their feelings be known about something they are not aware of.
Why aren’t Democrats holding press conferences and raising questions about the tax bill like they have been about Russian collusion and the 2016 election, why aren’t they making speeches every day on the floor of their respective chambers about the repeal mandate to protest and raise public awareness? Most American citizens don’t even realize that there is a repeal mandate in the tax bill, and it’s not their job to know! That’s why we have elected officials, their job is to be on the front line of our civic affairs and follow the back-room, hidden, secret deals. It’s their job to inform citizens, corral citizens and defend citizens against bad policy or laws.
Democrats aren’t getting this from their elected officials on the tax bill because elected Democrats are chasing impeachment ghosts and collusion shadows, in the vain attempt to overturn the 2016 election. If they would redirect their focus on doing the right thing for what directly affects all Americans, taxes and healthcare, Americans would return Democrats to the leadership of both the House and Senate giving them the real possibility and power to overturn 2016!
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.
Originally published at isaacnewtonfarris.com on December 15, 2017.