Republicans ready to pluck middle-class feathers

The way our Republican Congress and Senate are handling the tax overhaul situation reminds me of an editorial printed in the Irish Independent by David Williams in September 2017. “Government taking easy route by overtaxing the squeezed middle.”

David reminds us of a brilliant finance minister to Louis XIV, Jean Baptiste Colbert (any relation to CBS host Stephen Colbert?) who radically overhauled the French economy of the early 17th century, generating the revenues that were subsequently squandered by Louis and his free-spending grandson. The French Revolution followed.

Colbert’s attitude to taxation is summed up by this cynical quotation: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest number of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.”

So, the goose that hisses most get taxed least. Those that hiss the most tend to be those either at the top, who are extremely powerful and have the most to lose, or those at the bottom, who are the neediest and thus have the least to give. Those of us in the middle are taxed most because we hiss the least.

Isn’t that how this massive tax overhaul bill appears? Helping out the wealthy?

Bill Loweth


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