The Usual Suspects: Americans Are About to Get Robbed

Steven Mnuchin , US Treasury, heist
The Great Tax Heist of 2018. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

In most great heist movies, the actual theft comes toward the end of the film and is followed only by the reveal of how a plucky band of lovable rascals pulled it off and stole from an evil billionaire or corporation. First, however, the film shows in great detail how the crew is assembled and then prepares its big coup in the face of setbacks and obstacles.

What’s going on in Washington right now is a bit like that as Republicans are just a couple of steps away from pulling off the biggest heist in world history. The key difference is that they are actually trying to rob ordinary Americans so they can give the money to the rich and corporations. They are also not a plucky band of lovable rascals but either actual millionaires and billionaires or shills funded by them.

Republicans face a challenge that seems trickier than robbing the vault of a casino or stealing a priceless work of art from a heavily guarded museum. Their goal is to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, give that money to the rich and convince regular Americans that this is good for them.

Most of the plan is now in place. One of the last key pieces was the GOP’s “tax reform” bill that passed late last year. This legislation might buy enough votes to allow Republicans to hold on to a majority in Congress in this year’s election.

Here is how: Taxpayers will see more money in their paychecks this year. However, while the tax cuts for corporations are permanent, those for regular taxpayers are not. In fact, down the road, the legislation will turn into a tax increase for more than half of Americans.

By providing corporations with a windfall, businesses can now more easily play their part in this charade. There has been a rash of announcements from large companies like AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast and American Airlines that they would pay their employees bonuses as a result of the tax bill getting passed.

While that’s nice for these workers, they should ask themselves why they are getting a one-time bonus this year (i.e. an election year) instead of a nice raise that would put more money in their wallets each and every payday. After all, the corporate tax cuts are permanent.

And it’s not as though companies couldn’t have done these things already. The economy has been solid for years now and many of them have booked record profits. So why give some of that money to their employees now merely in the form of temporary benefits?

One reason is so that President Donald Trump and the GOP can use this anecdotal evidence of bonuses as “proof” that their legislation is a boon for American families. Hardly a day goes by in which Trump isn’t touting the admittedly impressive gains of the Dow Jones and making the case this is evidence his plan of Making America Great Again is working. However, that primarily benefits the wealthy minority of Americans with money in the stock market.

In addition, upon a closer look, the numbers don’t really support any claims of the economy doing better under Trump. In President Barack Obama’s first year, the Dow gained just as much as it did in 2017; and, in his final year in office, more jobs were created than in Trump’s first year.

Furthermore, the positive conditions are not limited to the US. In fact, the global economy is booming and many countries are posting much larger gross domestic product increases.

But, as with so many things related to Trump, it’s not as much about reality: it’s more about what his supporters will believe. Chances are they will trust his tweets and Fox News reports on companies paying bonuses much more than data — and keep voting for the GOP.

That’s key because, in order to rob the major “entitlement” programs, Republicans need to stay in power past this year.

All they need then is a reason to gut Medicare and Social Security — and that’s where a second “benefit” of the tax bill comes into play. Because — Surprise! — contrary to Republican claims, the legislation will not “pay for itself,” and is certain to increase the national debt further.

Once that becomes apparent, the GOP will not blame its irresponsible tax cut for the rich but rather the entitlement programs that will be in urgent need of “reform” — which admittedly sounds much better than “theft.”

The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Steven Mnuchin caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), vault (ahobbit / Pixabay), vault door (Luis García / Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 3.0 ES), vault door (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), guards (US Marines), M4 (US Marines), seal (MohitSingh / Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 3.0), money stack (DoJ / Wikimedia), and Money (DEA / Wikimedia).

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9 responses to “The Usual Suspects: Americans Are About to Get Robbed”

  1. SeattleProgressive8 says:

    All the money is not gone.

  2. icthelite says:

    This country went through almost the same thing back in ’83 when Reagan tried cutting taxes. I guess no one supporting Trump’s tax cut plan remembers that Reagan had to strip out 2.7 BILLION DOLLARS (keep in mind this was in 1983 before the word “BILLION” was even a dream), to cover up his mistake. History, in some fashion, is getting ready to repeat itself. Once again, as in 1983, the common working class is going to need to tighten its belt and fade the heat . Yet folks refuse to oust those in Congress that continuously refuses to listen to the voice of those that put them in a position to rob us blind.
    We the people really do have the tools to control what Capitol Hill does to us but we cannot join together in a group to get anything accomplished. This is another reason why many on Capitol Hill are so much for the continuing to dilute the citizenry of this nation from folks all around the world. They do not want the masses to come together and rise up against them so they strive to keep the masses saperated.

  3. Boogie says:

    Call me a skeptic with callouses but where’s the proof of your claim? Or is this an ‘educated’ opinion? Your fearmongering is without substance, so far. All I can see is agenda driven and biased reporting on everything the President does. After watching how in the tank the media was for the election and what the msm has been spewing ever since, is so over the top it discredits itself and can no longer be taken seriously. They are so over yet refuse to just lay down for their wake. They clearly have no respect for the dead.

  4. Ian Shears says:

    Stealing from the poor and vulnerable does not MAGA. It is really GAGA. The real issues faced by the Republican Party in the next 1 to 3 years are issues of Justice and Equity. These make gaga MAGA. For instance, Djokhar Tsarnaev and his deceased brother have to be dealt with in the broad. There are many issues with Boston governance, Massachussets governance, Law, local military and FBI involvement. Another instance is Sandy Hook – this involves many levels of governance (involving very many people), possible fraud of American charity-givers, Prof. James Tracey and Gun Law, etc. Furthermore we have Susan B. Lindauer which involves a great many high-status medical folk, Judge Mukassey, Dr Fuze(?), CIA, 9/11, and much much more. Next we can consider Bundy Ranch folk’s need for compensation, the FBI shutdown vis-a-vis an Indian man (native American) gunned down in a disgraceful manner. Then there is John Brennan and worldwide Televised treasonous statements. There is JFK, RFK, Che Guevarra, Fidel Castro, Cuba. There is also the current false flag frenzy. There is also recompense for Lee Harvey Oswald – a great American hero – being refused a decent burial by a single minister in America. That is a lot of people to take in and discipline. Not one minister asked his congregation for a small grant of money to fly to Lee’s gravesite and decently bury him. This thus involves millions of pastors and congregants. Still more, what about Salvadore Allende, a President who carried the true magisterium? And to end on a decent note – David Ferrie, the only person in the USofA to show proper remorse for his part in the broader conspiracy and the noble Jim Garrison. Where is recognition?

    You get the point as Mr Waterhouse used to say.

  5. vcragain says:

    I have just one question – what do they expect anyone to live on when retired if they destroy SSec ????? When people cannot afford food, they become very expensive medically, they lose their homes, they end up on the streets…..is the final ‘plan’ to get into euthanasia to remove all the ‘problem’ people then ? Have they forgotten that in order for companies to make money they need BUYERS of their products, and when houses are no longer in demand because the buyers have disappeared – then all home prices will fall & that means investment losses…..it’s all downhill from there !!!!! Nice work ! Stagflation here we come !

    • SeattleProgressive8 says:

      Why would we cut Social Security because the debt is growing, when Social Security doesn’t add a penny to the debt?

  6. f frederick skitty says:

    Rewatching ‘Heimat’ this week.
    Americans might want to take a look at it.

  7. Ralph Crown says:

    The fascists are trying to undo the New Deal. Next up, the Enlightenment.

    • weilunion says:

      They have already undone the New Deal. Truman helped with this. It took 50 or 60 years but they killed it.

      Now we have the New, New Deal: austerity, rollback, criminal corporations, fake Dow.

      When will we learn? As for the Enlightenment; welcome to the Age of Irrationality and the New Digital Dark Ages.

  8. jakartaman says:

    CNN would be proud!

    MAGA DEUS VULT