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Trump & Co.’s great big tax lie 

click to enlarge Only 17 percent of Americans feel they got a tax cut in 2018. - VECTORMINE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • VectorMine / Shutterstock.com
  • Only 17 percent of Americans feel they got a tax cut in 2018.

Fats Domino sings: “I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill.” Maybe, but America’s richest corporate powers know precisely where to find their thrill: on Capitol Hill!

They rushed there in 2017 with a passion hotter than high school love, spewing the pheromones of campaign cash into the Republican congressional caucus. Sure enough, the GOP Congress came through for the corporations, satisfying their lust to have their tax rate lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent — lower than a modest-income working stiff pays.

Actually, the corporate elites had not been paying anywhere near 35 percent, since they used dozens of loopholes to cut their average rate to about 13 percent. Yet, Republican lawmakers coddled these privileged giants with a rate cut — plus they kept intact most of those gaping loopholes. Thus, many corporate behemoths paid zero in federal taxes this year. Or less!

How is it possible to pay less than zero? By riddling the tax code with so many special deductions and gimmicks that the government owes you money! On tax day this year, a watchdog group called ITEP (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy) issued a report documenting that 60 of America’s biggest corporations used the GOP’s tax cut and special breaks to avoid paying a dime in taxes on the $79 billion in profits they’d hauled in.

Indeed, they were given millions of dollars in rebates from our public treasury. For example, Amazon, which had $11 billion in profit last year, paid zero in federal income tax, instead plucking $126 million in rebates from us. Likewise, Chevron, John Deere, GM and Prudential grabbed more than $100 million.

This plutocratic ripoff is so shameful and unAmerican that a group of embarrassed rich people are calling for its repeal. For information go to PatrioticMillionaires.org.

Meanwhile... How thrilling was tax day for you?

I refer, of course, to the thrill of getting that big juicy reduction in your taxes, thanks to the $1.5 trillion tax cut that Donald Trump and the Republicans passed. Remember? They promised it would deliver a seven-course dinner for everyone! Middle-class Americans should be grateful to the GOP, said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, because “you have more money in your pocket.”

Uh… actually, Mitch, no. While the richest one-tenth of one percent of taxpayers wallowed in more than $100,000 each from your skewed giveaway, the great majority of us have now learned that our seven-course dinner is a possum and a 6-pack! At most. Indeed, an April poll by The Wall Street Journal and NBC reveals that only 17 percent of Americans can detect that they got any tax cut at all.

In fact, the Republican tax bill was a cynical bait-and-switch job from the start. They did make a small, highly publicized cut in the middle-class’ tax rate, but — hocus-pocus — they quietly disappeared that benefit by eliminating or reducing various tax deductions that those families had previously been entitled to.

Also, by cutting about a trillion dollars from the tax payments owed by the richest corporations and people, they clearly were going to nuclearize the federal deficit. So, to overcome that political hurdle, they resorted to the hoariest rhetorical trick of demagogic political scoundrels: The BIG LIE, which Trump & Company repeated loudly and constantly. The giveaway, intoned a smirking McConnell to the media, will not gut government revenues but will be a “revenue-producer.” Of course, it was not, instead skyrocketing our country’s deficit, which is now projected to surpass a trillion dollars next year.

That wasn’t a thrill that people felt on tax day — it was a financial chill.

You can contact Hightower at jimhightower.com.

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