The benefit of the tax bill that Republicans pushed through on a party line vote is heavily weighted toward those who are already rich, but there are crumbs for the ordinary voter — and approval for the bill seems to be ticking up on that basis.
It’s the story of Minga and her road. The previous president of Panama, Martinelli, was demonstrably corrupt and looted millions of dollars from the treasury. But he paved the road in front of Minga’s house, something no president had bothered with before. No matter how vociferously the press claimed good riddance to a corrupt leader, Minga would respond, “But he paved my road.” She approved of him, and was sorry to see him go.
What the tax bill does, in a larger sense, is starve the federal government of revenue. What difference does that make? This, from the Washington Post’s Health 202:
“The CDC is dramatically cutting back its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out, government officials said yesterday. Four years ago, in response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Congress approved a one-time, five-year emergency package to train frontline workers and strengthen laboratory and emergency-response systems. But in September 2019, CDC will run out of the $600 million it was awarded, and the Trump administration has not budgeted additional resources, Lena reports.”
Because global travel has increased exponentially, the world is far more vulnerable to epidemics of all kinds, from the familiar but lethal influenza to the more exotic Ebola and other viruses. We are one plane flight, one infected passenger, away from a health crisis.
Why did the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress choose to drain the federal coffers of money for things like global prevention of epidemics? So that Trump could brag to his Mar A Lago guests that he’d just made them a lot richer.
There’s a Panama parallel there too. One of the biggest recent outbreaks of dengue fever happened in Betania, an upper class neighborhood of Panama City. Mosquitoes don’t know, or care, about giving the rich a pass on lethal diseases.
I guess we should all enjoy the sugar high of having a bit more money in our pockets while we have it, without second thoughts for our corrupt president. I guess.