GOP tax reform bill is a big favor to the middle class

Philip W. Sturm was West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2000 and has been Professor of History for 50 years at three different institutions of higher education in the U.S., but that does not obscure the fact that he is a liberal Democrat, and is in fact no expert on United States tax policy. And it no surprise that he feels the Republican tax cut is a flim- flam excuse to play the middle class for a bunch of fools. He says that we the middle class are mindless peons and that the Republicans are giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations and disguising these as tax cuts for the middle class.

He seems to think that by lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent is in fact a big disguise which will allow these wealthy fools to use their high class lawyers to invest their millions in off-shore shell companies that will allow these big jerks the opportunity to sit around the next several years eating caviar and drinking champagne and generally having the times of their lives while the rest of us middle class fools are scammed again. After all are not the Republicans and their big buddy donors in the business of fleecing the rest of the country while the rest of us simply wallow in hoarse hockey. That is what Dr. Sturm thinks the Republicans traditionally do while his Democratic buddies wait in the wings to come to our rescue in the end.

What Dr. Sturm has forgotten is that President William Jefferson Clinton working with a Republican Congress signed into law in the 1990s the same kind of tax cuts as well a big cut in the capital gains tax which spurred the biggest economic explosion in the economy since the Second World War. And this tax cut turned the biggest budget deficit in history at that time and gave the United States the biggest budget surplus in the country’s history. This economic expansion lasted through the 1990s and created over twenty million new jobs. President Clinton took credit for all of the job growth when it was just as much the doing of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. This was the era of the personal computer explosion and everyone from Silicon Valley to all the corporations either adding to this growth or being expanded by it all hit record highs during this time.

Dr. Sturm does make a point about the individual tax cuts expiring after ten years, and the corporate tax breaks being permanent. This does not happen by any action that the Republicans are taking, but because of the Byrd Amendment which sets deficit limits on how far the government can go in debt because of the tax cuts. This was named after the great Senator form West Virginia, the Honorable Robert Byrd. This amendment which was both wise and fiscally necessary made the task of combining all of the new and eliminated deductions such a big task when it came to the writing of this bill. But the deductions which were left, such as the deductions for state and local taxes and also for mortgage interest deductions were both fair and affordable. Also the deductions for teachers buying supplies for their own students and deductions for medical costs will not be eliminated as Dr. Sturm stated in his editorial. And while the individual mandate for Obama Care, which was ruled as a tax and constitutional, will be eliminated, The Congressional Budget Office estimates on how many people will lose insurance is very much skewed. Most of the people who will not have insurance now are the thousands of young people that were only insured in the first place because they were forced to by the mandate. Many of these single Americans usually do not buy health insurance anyway, because they would rather spend their hard earned dollars on something else and can afford to pay for the occasional trip to the emergency rooms.

He tells us that he is a Christian Conservative who has been duped by Republicans for the last 30 years into believing that they were against abortion and gay marriage. While it is true that the Conservatives have held the Supreme Court the last 30 years, the Court has been Constitutionally conservative and not socially conservative. They have not overturned Roe vs. Wade, because they feel a woman’s right to choose is a Constitutional right and Chief Justice Roberts casting the deciding vote to legalize gay marriage was because he felt this was a civil right in which religion should have no say.

And the previous Republican tax cuts have brought both a great surge in job growth and higher wages, a fact that Dr. Sturm shamefully denies. After President Reagan’s tax cuts, the economy boomed as well it did after President Bush’s tax cuts in the early 2000’s. And President Bush’s policies were not the cause of the Great Recession as the Democrats boastfully stated. In fact if President Bush would have towed the line on spending, the budget surplus would have continued even after the tax cuts. The Great Recession was caused by the Clinton Administration’s easing of the standards it took to get mortgages approved that were only exasperated by the legislation of the Democratic Congress mid-way through the Bush Administrations rule.

I was raised by a Republican Mother and Father who were both pro- choice and socially liberal. My father was a religious conservative that struggled with the gay rights issue before his death in 2013. He was a deeply devoted Christian with a giving heart who was raised in a socially conservative household before Christ’s truth revealed that he, too, was a social liberal. My mother, who will be 83 on Christmas Eve, and I are both fiscal conservative and social liberals who look at life not necessarily from either a Republican or Democratic point of view, but one of little political prejudices. I hold no dislike of Dr. Sturm, but I just felt that the record needed to be set straight after his slanted editorial.

Joseph Helm III