While most of America was sleeping last night, the Senate Republicans jammed through their terrible tax bill.
I wish I could tell you all of the awful things that are in it, but I’m still reading the bill myself. The Republicans released the bill only a couple of hours before the votes started last night. There were no hearings. There was no debate. In fact, they were literally sending around edits in hand-written chicken scratch minutes before we had to vote.
But we do know that the big Republican donors are popping champagne today. This 500-page bill is a massive tax giveaway to billionaires and giant corporations, paid for by America’s working families. It attacks college students. It sabotages the Affordable Care Act and threatens health care for millions of Americans. It opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling in Alaska. And who knows what else is buried in there?
That’s not how you make tax policy, health care policy, or any other policy in the United States of America.
This Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t work for working families. It works for corporate lobbyists and campaign donors in backroom deals and 1:30 AM votes. This is corruption – plain and simple. And this corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class and tearing down our democracy.
But we cannot – CANNOT – give up. The other side has concentrated money and concentrated power – but we have our voices and our votes. And there are a lot more of us than there are of them.
We need to fight harder than ever to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. When this tax scam causes the national debt to explode because billionaires and giant corporations don’t pay their fair share, the Republicans will say – “Sorry!” There’s no money to pay for the things that affect working families. Remember that when the sequester cuts kicked in during 2013, cancer clinics had to turn away patients from their chemotherapy treatments – and that was just fine with the GOP.
And we need to fight harder than ever to elect Democrats who will fight for working families – not for those who can afford to hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists. Not a single Democrat in the House or the Senate has voted for this terrible tax scam. If we want to change policy in America, we have to change the people who are in the room fighting for those policies.
It’s been a brutal week. This is a David vs. Goliath story, and this time David got his slingshot shoved down his throat – sideways. But even though we won’t win every fight, we won’t win what we don’t fight for.
Stay in this fight. We need you.