Every time I see Paul Ryan gleefully hold up that tiny postcard he claims we can use to file our taxes one day, I’m reminded of an old Jerry Seinfeld riff on those stores that promise your new prescription eyeglasses will be ready in under an hour.
“Shouldn’t some things take longer than an hour?” Seinfeld mused. It’s not a wad of dress shirts dropped off at the dry cleaners; it’s your EYESIGHT.
OK, it was funnier if you heard Seinfeld say it but, point is, I feel exactly the same way about the Republican tax “plan.” Best I can tell, that postcard is designed to appeal to the great new Simpleton Demographic. The GOP courts and flatters and grooms this demographic like they’re Roy Moore at JV cheerleader practice down at the middle school.
Simple is “red meat” tossed into the undiscriminating gullets of ardent Trump supporters. Complicated tax structures condensed to a tiny postcard? What could go wrong?
The answer to that is, just about everything but, for starters, the Simpleton Demographic may suffer more than most. Particularly if their kids benefit from the classroom teacher who can no longer deduct the supplies she buys for needy students. They’ll scratch their noggins when they discover that $1 trillion cut to Medicaid affects them right in the ol’ Meemaw. In other words, she’s lost her nursing home bed and now somebody’s gotta get in line for the scratch and dent Ensure at the senior center. Which, now that I think about it, will probably be closed so never mind.
It’s ironic but some of the people who benefit the most from some of the programs enacted to improve their life and health often vote in the exact opposite of their best interest and that of their families.
Look no further for evidence that the Simpleton Demographic is alive and well than the head-imploding interviews of Trumpers just a few weeks after they happily voted for their tough-talking predatory president. In the words of that great cartoon canine, Astro, Trump supporters who benefitted from the Affordable Care Act went all “Ruh-Roh!” when they realized it was the same thing as Obamacare. (“But I love the Affordable Care Act!”)
You would think this would cause a little soul-searching but no. Getting rid of the bureaucracy, draining the swamp? It’s all sunshine and unicorns until it turns out fam is going to pay the price for all this “simplicity” while billionaires toast.
Trump, who enjoys mugging playfully for the camera like any 7-year-old boy, even planted a kiss on the postcard he brags 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to use, proclaiming “It’s going to make life very simple.”
Cue dog whistle. Simple!
What’s not so simple is no longer being able to deduct state and local taxes, mortgage interest and other common-sense initiatives benefitting lower and middle income Americans for decades. I mean, sure, the little postcard’s cute but don’t we deserve a more thoughtful solution?
The answer is simply yes.