The best part about the Senate Republicans passing this week’s tax bill was watching the video put up by Sen. Jon Tester from Montana – a fairly middle of the road Democrat.
He showed us the bill – all 479 bound pages of it with many hundreds of cross outs and handwritten new lines and paragraphs in the margins – and asked if any of us could decipher it for him. This was because he had literally just received these pages in his office and was being asked to vote on it in just a couple of hours.
Here’s the thing – as an experienced college writing professor I’ve read thousands of pages with handwritten cross-outs and wouldn’t swear to what any of them mean, much less cast my vote for or against. In fact, usually I require students to just resubmit.
It’s even worse with the stuff I’ve written over a lifetime as a screenwriter and journalist. One of my dirtiest little secrets is when I’m on deadline I am often forced to take my OWN scribbly, handwritten pages in hand and beg my OWN husband to translate something I once thought of, then rethought, which I now deem essential.
Yes he often does this (he knows me and my handwriting far better than I do) and yes this is yet one more of thousands of reasons why I married him despite the fact that the vast majority of Senate Republicans objected to it.
Though it is not merely for that reason that I more than see Mr. Tester’s point.
Let’s face it, almost no one really WANTS to read almost 500 pages in tax law or listen to endless hours of hearings about it (Note: The latter was done prior to the passage of Obamacare, no matter what you’ve heard).
In the same way almost no one really WANTS to go work out every other day, or really WANTS to go to the doctor every year or two for a physical, or really WANTS to go to work on a sunny day or even really WANTS to brush their teeth, be nice to their parents, spouse, friends and/or lovers in those off days when they’re sh-tty and you’re just not in the mood.
We do usually because we know it’s the smart choice and have learned through experience that when we’re not smart we’re stupid and that never ends well.
Often life – and its choices – are no more complicated than that.
We could spend a lot of time here trying to make a case why it’s not good to support an unread or half-read or barely or mostly read bill that will cause 13 million Americans to lose their health insurance, massively slash taxes for corporations, give the bottom 10% of earners in America $50 back in taxes and the top 1% $34,000.
In fact, we could go on about any number of things, but are instead providing just a few links that will explain it all for you far better than WE could:
Instead, know this:
YOU are in the —
Top 1% if your income is over $481,000.
Top 10% if your income is over $138,000
BOTTOM 50% if your income is under $39, 275.
What? That’s right. If you’re making MORE than $39,000 & change per year you’re living LARGE – better than 50% of the country.
Let that sink in – especially if you live in a big city where it’s a lot more expensive to live. Why, you’re practically rich! Or at least on your way! Though where – well, no one can be exactly sure.
But do we really need to be? That’s A LOT of reading.
So instead, here’s some daunting math to once again review. Yes, it’s boring and not your subject, but still:
In 2019, if you’re in the bottom 10% of earners you get a $50 tax cut. But if you’re in the top 1% you get $34,000.
And the further good news is if you own or are a corporation you go from paying 35% in taxes to 20%. Though that lets out about 90% of us, if not more, don’t worry. The new strategy is that all this new found money the rich gets will trickle down to you because THEY will put back in the economy.
Which means in about a year and a half, here’s what you’ll want to do:
Close your eyes, keep your hand out, go in the middle of the street and try NOT to think about the last time an Uber wealthy person bought a beach house or a new plane and as a result money came blowing back towards you. Or hit you on the head when you weren’t looking. Or reading.
How dumb do they think we are?