In response to McClintock and ‘Who pays for the Woke?’ (Opinion)

Susan Chandler
Guest column

Edtior’s note: This guest column is responding to a guest column from Congressman Tom McClintock that ran on Oct. 22.

The national debt rose by $7.8 trillion during Donald Trump’s administration. This growth in the annual deficit under Trump ranks as the third largest increase relative to the size of the economy of any president. True, some of it is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but most of it is due to him signing into law the tax cuts and jobs acts law, which benefited corporations and wealthy Americans.

Susan Chandler

And yet, in McClintock’s opinion piece, he states “Government cannot put a dollar into the economy that it has not first taken out of the same economy.” Not true.

McClintock’s statement that the initiatives proposed by the Build Back Better plan will cost each family $60,000 is just wrong. Yes, new spending is necessary to repair infrastructure that is decaying and to keep the US competitive with the rest of the world. However, this cost will not be spread evenly over every family. It will be paid for by the corporations and billionaires that have profited due to Trump’s tax cuts and the profits they made during the pandemic.

McClintock also refers to a “new” Climate Civilian Corps, presumably filled with little “climate pioneers ever eager to report whose chimney is smoking.” Biden’s plan is to invest $10 billion to employ young people to address the threat of climate change and maintain ailing public lands. Certainly the forests of the west are ailing and need to be maintained. Workers would be paid minimum wage and jobs would be short term with the goal of launching corp employees into environmental careers.

On immigration, McClintock states that “amnesty, legal permanent residence and a fast track to citizenship for eight to 10 million foreign nationals who illegally entered our county and are demanding to stay.” “How are American workers helped by flooding the labor market with low wage workers?” The last time I looked around Tahoe, there are many businesses looking for low wage workers as they can’t seem to find local residents willing to do the low wage work.

The Biden administration aims to restore humanity to our immigration system. It will provide pathways to citizenship for undocumented individuals. It will allow these individuals to apply for temporary legal status with the ability to get a green card after five years if they pass security background checks and pay their taxes. Dreamers, TPS holders, and farmworkers who meet requirements are eligible for green cards immediately. Applicants must have been in the US prior to Jan. 1, 2021.

The proposed American Families Plan will not require your bank to report transactions over $600 (that number is now increased to $10,000). What it will do is to create millions of good paying jobs, rebuild infrastructure, relieve child poverty, extend tax cuts for families with children, provide for universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds, invest in teacher preparation to alleviate teacher shortages, address nutrition insecurity, reform unemployment insurance, extend expanded affordable care act tax credits, increase tax rates on the wealthy, end capitol income tax breaks and loopholes and yes, it would increase investment in the IRS to ensure that the highest income earners pay their fair share. This investment in the IRS alone would raise $700 billion over 10 years.

Biden’s tax proposals for 2022 would levy $2.3 trillion in new taxes for corporations and the highest earners (billionaires) and provide $998 billion in tax credits to low and middle income households, a net increase $1.3 trillion. In the first year of Biden’s proposed budget, nearly nine out of 10 households would see a tax cut according to the Tax Policy Center.

In conclusion McClintock asks “What make Democrats think that socialism will work better here than anywhere else it has been tried?” The answer to that is that democrats are not socialists. They believe in democracy. However, an uncontrolled capitalistic society lends itself to massive inequality, which is why government is necessary. Without government the wealthy buy political outcomes and have more influence than the ordinary working person. Government interventions help equalize the haves and the have nots.

Susan Chandler is chair of the South Lake Tahoe Democrat Club.

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