Dr. Michael Forster

What about the Republican tax bill? And how about Mississippi’s “no apology” spiral down?

Just in case you’re wondering, social workers vehemently oppose the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” that Republicans are tying to ram though Congress.  An a NASW advocacy advisory succinctly puts it, the bill is nothing but a “windfall for the super-rich” which will set up “decimating safety-net programs that serve low-income elderly, children and families.”

The tax bill, with President Trump’s blessing, has already sailed through the House of Representatives, with the Senate currently mulling it over.  Cuts in taxes for the rich and cuts in services to ordinary folks go hand in hand.  It’s no accident, but deliberate strategy aimed at realizing the class dreams of an elite that never reconciled with New Deal and Great Society programs, and now see an opportunity to kill them off once and for all.

Mississippi’s leadership is clearly on board with this reactionary agenda.  In case you missed it, the most important news item of the day is that citizens can expect more reductions in public agency funding in 2018 based on leaders’ budget recommendations – cuts to education, cuts to health and mental health, cuts to other social services.  The “stagnant economy” gets the blame, but as Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said, “We don’t apologize…,” even though tax cuts for corporations are at least partly to blame for anemic state revenues.  Lt. Governor Tate Reeves was characteristically more belligerent than Gunn – “If you define the success of our state by how much money our government spends, then you ain’t gonna be happy with this budget recommendation.”

Well, Messrs. Gunn and Reeeves, social workers sure as hell aren’t happy – Not because they equate spending with success, but because they do equate it with the state taking care of its people – all its people, not just the well-heeled and the politically powerful.

Dr. Michael Forster
Dr. Michael Forster

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