Democracy under Siege


You might believe Republicans in Congress would think twice before voting for their utterly cynical tax legislation. Polls show widespread disapproval of the bill.

Calling it the tax cuts and jobs act, or something similar, fools nobody. The bill stinks. It punishes the poor and middle class and provides lavish benefits for the rich and corporations.

It also ensures a crippling national debt for generations to come.

Nobody in their right mind would expect voters to reward them for such a monstrosity.

But the Republicans are convinced they must pass it if they hope to stay in power.

Or maybe not.

Maybe they don’t fear a backlash at the ballot box, after all.  There’s the protection provided by their rampant gerrymandering in 2010 for one thing. That virtually guarantees reelection for many Republicans.

What about those who can’t rely on gerrymandered districts to save their hides? Aren’t they shaking in their shoes?

I doubt it. They have their own safety net.

The bill is crafted in answer to demands from their wealthy donors – billionaires and global corporations. Politicians who obey donors’ orders can count on the donors’ gratitude. If the voters kick them out of Congress, there’s a place for them in the boardroom.

So we the people might not have the final say, after all.

As long as members of Congress can move freely into corporate jobs when they lose their seats, they will be beholden not to voters but to the benefactors who provide those jobs.

That’s hardly government of the people, by the people and for the people. I have to wonder whether America has crossed the line between democracy and plutocracy.

Next year’s midterm elections will answer that question. It’s still possible for the people to regain control of the nation’s destiny. But only if we have the will to do so.

Tax bill details