The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, now signed into law by President Trump, follows a history of failed promises from our Congressional representatives. Looking back at our history shows these promises come at a dangerously high cost.
In 1932, the Bonus Army--Americans that fought in Europe during the First World War--marched on Washington, D.C. to beseech Congress to pay compensation promised them for lost wages during their enlistment.
Although the payment was originally due in 1945, these men and their families were bearing great hardships brought on by the greed of Wall Street and the entrenched oligarchy of the day. The disparity between the wealthy and the working-class has only increased over time. Now the top one percent of our present-day society control ninety percent of all new income generated.
As days of demonstrating turned to weeks, the Senate refused to pass the Bonus Bill and avoided meeting the veterans face to face with an answer for their vote. They even slipped out of the Capitol through obscure exits and tunnels beneath the city. The comparison is clear to Representative French Hill and our other representatives and senators from Arkansas refusing to hold town halls and hiding in their offices as constituents demand their voices be heard. (Rep. French Hill even held a Facebook Live, the day after his Tax Bill vote.)
Not long afterwards, troops with bayonets fixed and the tanks and cavalry of the U.S. Army under Douglas McArthur assaulted these veterans and burned the few possessions they had at their camp at Anacostia. Many saw this as the day then-president Herbert Hoover lost control of the presidency.
How is this dissimilar from Paul Ryan's promise to "reform" Social Security and Medicare? Make no mistake, our representatives--Rep. Hill included--voted for a bill that raises the deficit just to give unprecedented tax cuts to massive corporations and their campaign donors. They promised the middle class a much-need tax reform, just like the Congress of the 1930s promised the Bonus Army their fair share. But this was a lie and a scam.
Now, as we gather in protest, they are threatening to burn what we have left: our social guarantee of a dignified life. If given the chance, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Hill will cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid just to pay for these obscene tax cuts to their wealthily donors.
I thought of this sad chapter in our history after the callous vote by the House and Senate to "reform" the tax code. I wondered if they too exited through those same obscure exits and tunnels.
What will this Congress sink to for their coup de gras for this generation?
They should well remember that we will not forget their contempt for the American people. A reckoning is coming, and they would be wise to start paying attention.