I’ve been surprised about the unhinged rhetoric being directed at the Republican tax cut bill passed by the Senate last Friday.
Some of it is standard partisan stuff. “This is class warfare,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, the No. 2 finisher in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, according to the Washington Post. “The wealthy and big corporations are getting most of the benefits,” says ace Democratic electoral strategist Guy Cecil. Of course, as I pointed out in my Washington Examiner column last week, when you start off with a progressive federal income tax system, any rate cut will tend to provide most of the dollar benefits to high earners, who by definition provide most of the revenues. And when you cut the corporate tax, which Democrats from Barack Obama on down have been saying should be cut since at least 2012 (because it’s just about the highest in the world), then corporations will be paying less.
That’s standard partisan rhetoric, predictable in this case because Republicans decided to address these issues with one-party legislation (much as Democrats did with Obamacare eight years ago).
But some comments are truly unhinged. “America died tonight,” tweeted Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald. “Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred.”
Widely followed comedian Patton Oswalt chimed in: “Is there any going back after this #TaxBillScam? To America? Does it matter now if Trump is impeached? There’s no America now. Not the one we knew. Sorry, feeling real despair this morning.” Or liberal blogger Bill Palmer: “Millions of Americans died tonight. So did the careers of every one of these psychotic drooling animals in the Republican Party who voted for it. This was mass murder.”
Good grief! This is a tax bill. It's readily repealable, and over the last 40 years we’ve seen how Republicans tend to cut tax rates and Democrats tend to raise them.
And the corporate tax rate was going to have to be cut sooner or later, since other countries have cut theirs and we’re left with the highest rate of any developed country — an unsustainable situation, as just about every economist has recognized. Do these outraged bloggers really believe what they’re saying? Or are they just shouting out mindlessly in rage? My guess is the latter.