The GOP’s Version of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post has perhaps the best characterization of what E.J. Dionne Jr calls “unforgiveable recklessness”: the GOP tax bill.
Marcus recalls Fiddler on the Roof’s “Sunrise, Sunset,” and sees “sunrise” in the phasing-in of provisions such as the eventual total elimination of the estate tax, while at first just doubling the size of estates exempt from taxation, “only to display a lower price tag during the initial 10-year window and to mask the real long-term cost.”
Under “sunsets” are the GOP’s cruel hoaxes such as eventually ending “most of its individual tax goodies”: the $300-per-adult tax credit after 2022, lower rates, doubling the standard deduction and child tax credit after 2025, “one reason why many middle-income families whose tax bill would be lower at first would pay more by the end of the decade…”
The Atlantic calls this hoax “[slapping] an expiration data on middle-class tax cuts.”
There will even be an eclipse of the sun, says Marcus, “obscuring a whopping $462 billion in deficit-financed cuts.”
“That is the cost of assuming that the size of the tax cut should be measured by how it differs from current policy, not from current law, under which many tax breaks are set to expire. In the real world, they end up getting extended, year after year. They are supposed to sunset, but never do.”
“Sunrise, sunset, eclipse. These are music to tax-writers’ ears, because they allow them to cram a tax cut that will cost more than $2 trillion into a $1.5 trillion package and pretend it won’t really increase the debt. Lawmakers can fool themselves into believing this is fiscal responsibility. Don’t let them fool you, too.”
We have seen Fiddler on the Roof twice on stage and at least a couple of times as a movie. It is our all-time favorite.
Fiddler on the Roof is of course about tradition, about “a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune, without breaking his neck.” In my opinion, about a family trying to scratch a simple living in their little village of Anatevka.
We must not let the GOP shatter that time-honored American tradition of looking out for the “millions of our less fortunate brothers and sisters” living in America’s Anatevkas as well as in the cities of Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles…
Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and U.S. treasury secretary from 1995 to 1999, describes the “five worst dangers” of what is about to become a Republican-caused eclipse of the American sun, here.
Lead photo by author: Sunrise over the Yucatán Peninsula