While America slept

While America slept the Republican Congress sold our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. By passing the tax reform act long sought by conservatives, the Republican Party ensured continued financial support from a handful of rich and powerful donors. These donors, who have contributed millions, have long expected to be repaid … and now they have been.

The “tax cut” which adds anywhere from $1.5 to $4 trillion to the national debt has likely eliminated any chance of an infrastructure package to restore our aging roads and bridges, despite the promises of President Trump. By the way, he and 14 of the Republican Senators stand to personally benefit from the provision added to lower taxes on real estate developers, who create few jobs but will reap millions in savings on their tax bills as early as 2018. Meanwhile, money for education and healthcare have been and will continue to be cut for middle and working class Americans.

While we slept the Republican Congress sold our children’s future for a quick buck by saddling them with increased debt, likely setting the stage for a future attack on programs like Medicare and Medicaid when the bills come due. President Trump plans a “victory celebration” before he heads to his Florida retreat for a Christmas that will undoubtedly be merrier for the top 1 percent of America’s citizens. Don’t be surprised if the stock market rallies before Christmas as well but that rally will not result in higher wages or better jobs, that might have come with an infrastructure package. Instead, the Republican Congress has paid its debt to their backers at the expense of the very people who elected them to serve. Draining the swamp has turned into “robbing the bank.”

That readers, is not the end of the story, however. In their wisdom the Founding Fathers of this, the greatest Democracy in the history of the world have given us an out … the ballot box. We all need to begin now to consider who among us might defeat the incumbents who perpetrated the so called “tax cut.” Representative Bill Johnson and Senator Rob Portman are not our friends and they no more represented the people of southeast Ohio than the infamous “Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” Unlike the Grinch, Johnson and Portman are unlikely to have a change of heart and be prepared to hear lots of talk about how good the tax reform package is for America.

The one fact that allows thinking Americans to sleep at night going forward will be the knowledge that “we the people” do have the power to vote in or out each and every member of the House of Representatives in 2018. The recent election in Virginia demonstrates that change is not only possible but contagious. So forget about calling or writing Johnson, that is a lost cause. Begin now to inform yourselves about who is running against him next year, find out how they stand on the issues and work to get that person elected to the House. As for Senator Portman we are stuck with him for a few more years so continue to let him know that his seat is on the line.

As America slept, moving ever closer to the next election we were once again reminded that our democracy is only as good as we make it. While service men and women spend the holidays away from their families to protect our freedoms, we must resolve to work here at home to do the same. God bless our efforts.

Teresa Porter