Everyone should be paying attention to the tax "reform" bills making their way through Congress. Whether you are a concerned citizen, a volunteer activist, or a career advocate, chances are the tax legislation will do much more than increase or lower your tax bill.
Much of the mainstream media and financial press, along with some public finance scholars and think tanks, are doing a thorough job of explaining what the tax bills will mean for the rich and the middle class, for corporate taxes overall and some specific tax deductions and loopholes.
It is worthwhile to focus our attention on the overall economic impact of the proposed tax cut and how it will further increase social inequality in America. Certainly it is worth asking why we so desperately need a tax cut when the rich keep getting even richer, corporate profits are booming, the stock markets are at all-time highs, and inequality is at levels not seen since the Great Depression. However, not nearly enough attention is being paid to how we will pay for these tax cuts and what the ultimate impact of lower revenues will be.
Lawmakers who once called themselves deficit hawks and principled "fiscal conservatives" have swiftly changed their tune, kicking their previously stated principles to the curb in the face of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to give themselves and their benefactors a tax cut. But while tax cut proponents spin tales about how resulting economic growth ...