What's in the tax reform bill for Johnny Lunchbucket?
An analysis by the Tax Policy Center of an earlier version of the bill found that it would reduce taxes by $660 for the typical family, but the richest 1 percent would get an extra $129,000 a year, and the richest one-tenth of 1 percent would get an extra $723,000 -- or about $1,100 for every dollar Johnny Lunchbucket gets. The share of taxes paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans would shrink. The share rises for those in the middle.
If this works, we can surely expect these billionaires to try the same plutocrat-as-populist ruse on other matters. Let's consider how the Adelson and Ricketts "What's in it for you?" script could be adapted to try to trick working-class Americans into supporting other sops to the rich:
What's in it for you? The Republican health-care bill saves you from the inconvenience and wasted time of visiting doctors.
You hate medical visits -- all that poking and prodding, and hard-to-swallow pills. Health-care reform simplifies your life, because you know how to cure your illness. Not well-connected doctors. That's what's in it for you.
What's in it for you? The Republican Social Security bill saves middle-class families from the shame of retirement. You don't want to retire. You'll be bored. Retirement relief, by removing your retirement benefits, will help you work longer. That's what's in it for you.
What's in it for you? The Republican education bill saves middle-class families from more than 12 years of education. Education relief will put more workers into the workforce sooner. Less hifalutin stuff like "knowledge" and "skills." More workers.
That's what's in it for you.
What's in it for you? The Republican deregulation plan saves middle-class families from the humiliation of wearing hard hats and eye protection. Airplanes would arrive faster without air-traffic control, according to an independent analysis. If your coworker dies in a crane accident, there's more work for you, and smaller crowds in the lunchroom. That, Johnny Lunchbucket, is what's in it for you.
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
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