Let this serve as a reminder to all of us: the people who rule this country do not care about you. On Dec. 2, the Senate passed a tax bill which will have drastic effects on the state of the country. It includes a tax cut on the rich, the destruction of the already small inheritance tax, a meager tax cut to poor and working families and a decrease to the number of taxpayers who are eligible for donations.
For college students, it’s going to be even worse. The decrease of eligible taxpayers will affect smaller colleges which rely on gifts, rather than state funding. The proposed tax on endowment earnings would set a troubling precedent for future increases. The House version of the bill has a tax on tuition waivers that colleges provide to employees and graduate students. The bill will also limit state and local taxes that can be deducted, which means that public schools will have a harder time getting funding and teachers won’t be reimbursed for the school supplies they buy. Republicans are also looking at reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which could cut higher education programs even more. This would affect all public schools, including Keene State College.
All of this makes a point, which the left has been hammering home, so much more obvious: the rich do not care about the wellbeing of the poor. The Republicans, regardless of their previous opposition to Trump or not, voted for this bill; which showed exactly how much they actually care about the people of this country. So-called “principled conservatives,” or “moderate republicans,” such as Sens. McCain and Collins, voted in favor of the bill. Despite their opposition to Trump, they lack actual humane principles. The rich sponsors of the party, while not directly affecting the votes, have most certainly affected the content of the bill, along with Republican cooperation.
What should be even more frustrating is the lack of serious opposition in the streets to the bill. Democratic focus was instead on, “actually, this will increase the deficit”, rather than, “this will kill people, you monsters.” The Democratic Party, though staunch in refusing to vote for it, did not offer sufficient reasons why the people should care and how we will suffer the consequences of it.
The bill itself is a perfect representation of the contradiction of American politics. Defenders of the rich and powerful will scream and groan when someone makes fun of Barron Trump, or another rich kid, yet will endorse legislation that could be deadly to many Americans. Being mean online or using rude rhetoric is awful, but supporting legislation that can kill is politics. These contradictions are a poison on our discourse, and any emotion or care of another human being is deemed rude by the “sensible” minority. That is why any left-wing political coalition that wishes to win must be willing to be vulgar to the rich and their cronies. We shouldn’t be afraid of accusing those who support inhumane policies or committing atrocious personal acts of being monsters. We shouldn’t be worried about the feelings of the rich families who wish to create a world of entitlement for a few and misery for the rest. If a politician is a pedophile, we should call them a pedophile. If a politician is endorsing social murder through economic policies, we should call them a murderer.
In 1922, Italian liberal Piero Gobetti wrote an article titled “Eulogy to the Guillotine,” where he argued the success of Italian Fascism was due to the lack of a genuine revolution in his country. For Gobetti, fascism was the “autobiography of the nation,” and that, “a nation that believes in class collaboration; a nation that renounces political struggle, on account of its own sloth… is a catastrophe, and it is an indication of a decisive infantilism, for it marks the triumph of facility… of optimism.” While we are not dealing with fascism, we are dealing with an enemy which sees human life as meaningless, and promotes collaboration between the classes in order to hurt them more. This nation needs a revolution, and one that will correctly deliver justice against the enemies of humanity, at that. Only then will a genuinely humane society be seen here or anywhere.
Colin Meehan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org