Jackson: Trump’s high point, low point and turning point

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Flynn
Lt. Gen. Flynn, who may lose military benefits due to his scandalous behavior. US Armed Forces photo.

Trump’s high point, low point and turning point

by Eric Jackson

On December 1 the Republicans pulled off the biggest political raid on the public coffers in US history, with well over $1 trillion in tax giveaways to the very rich and their corporations. Note that the Senate’s tax cuts for business do not extend to most small businesses, which are the ones that are most likely create jobs and new economic spaces into which other people and companies can grow.

It will take a little while for the cuts in services and benefits that will flow from this plutocratic heist to make themselves generally felt among the electorate at large, but that will be coming. Republicans and corporate Democrats may be enhanced by even more money in their campaign coffers, but for the foreseeable future all other divisions in US society recede before a gaping chasm over economic class. More and more, variations on that theme will be the stuff over which Democratic primaries and general elections will be fought. Democratic unity on the Senate floor will do little to help the party establishment from a rank-and-file clamor for change in the face of this defeat.

So, was it a big Republican victory? Perhaps. They now have something that they will spend the next few years defending. But it was overall a horrible day for Republicans. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn copped a plea and turned state’s evidence against Donald Trump and members of Trump’s family. It will be an accelerating legal and public relations rout for the Republican administration from now until Donald Trump leaves office. The GOP will fight next year’s congressional elections wearing the taint of disloyalty and corruption.

Flynn was probably not a double agent in the sense of a spy for two sides. He was a multiple agent with a duty of loyalty to the United States both as an army general and as a member of an incoming administration. Despite that he served as an agent on behalf of a repressive Turkish government, illegal Israeli appropriations of Palestinian lands and Kremlin desires to get out from under US sanctions. A private US citizen might lobby for any of those causes, but Flynn had a legal and ethical duty to refrain from that.

So is some Republican going to bring up the infamous revolving door between government and corporate work and point out the foreign influences that were asserted or attempted to be asserted through the Clinton Foundation? And will some Democrat point to Republican foundations that have done more or less the same things? All those nasty things might be truthfully said.

December 1 was a turning point and there will be no going back. The Republican tax cuts will have to be repealed as an existential necessity for the republic, but there will not be and should not be a return to what was. That’s not to suggest a halfway compromise return to the old schedule, but rather something different that does not make much reference to what was. Perhaps it might mean keeping the corporate tax breaks and extending these to small businesses, but jacking up tax rates for those individuals in the highest brackets to far more than they were before this latest legislation. Perhaps it might mean an end to US taxation for Americans earning their livings abroad, but tighter restrictions on companies and individuals in the USA who would want to send their wealth offshore.

There will also be no return to the pretenses that were made before Flynn’s guilty plea. Perhaps the Republicans will want to cut their losses and promote the quick impeachment of Donald Trump, so that Democrats can complain about a President Pence, the right-wing religious fanatic, rather than this bizarre and corrupt piece of work that is President Trump. The tax bill shows Republicans riding high in the water, but make no mistake about it. Their ship is sinking.

 

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