What has happened to President Trump’s must-pass tax bill? It seems to be buried under a multitude of tweeted distractions. And more new executive orders continue to add to Congress’s case load.

What has happened to President Trump’s must-pass tax bill? It seems to be buried under a multitude of tweeted distractions. And more new executive orders continue to add to Congress’s case load.
Surely revoking DACA protections and healthcare subsidies could have been postponed long enough for Congress to deal with what the President claims are his first priorities – tax reform and infrastructure. He seems to have forgotten his many criticisms of President Obama’s executive orders.
In the event that tax reform resurfaces, there are a few things voters should know. It is no accident that over the last forty years wealth has been migrating to the top instead of trickling down as promised. Research has shown that more than 90% of all income gains since the recession ended have gone to the top few%—the wealthiest in our nation.  (economist.com/ Oct. 13, 2012).  Current tax cuts under discussion would continue this trend.
Legislators have bought into the lobbying efforts of Americans for Prosperity (funded by the very wealthy Koch Brothers—whose worth is $90 billion) and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. These two groups, and others, continue to expound the failed dogma of the 1980’s that insists that financial benefits will “trickle down” whenever the wealthy “job creators” receive tax cuts. But instead, these economic policies have eroded our once large and successful middle class, whose spending stimulates our economy. Businesses cannot expand and create jobs without customers, no matter how small their taxes; and customers come from people with discretionary income, which percolates up through the economy producing demand and jobs.  
Due to educational disparities in our technological world and the erosion of wages at the lower end, America’s inequality gap keeps growing. Since 1978 living costs have increased while the federal minimum wage has been reduced by 32% after adjusting for inflation. (1978’s minimum wage of $2.65 = $9.61 in today’s dollars). (memepoliceman.com) 
In deciding the benefit of yet more tax cuts, it would be helpful to examine the results of those enacted earlier this century. The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were enacted at a time we were engaged in two very expensive wars: Some of these cuts were extended by President Obama in 2012, while we were still at war.  I find these actions highly questionable, if not irresponsible. The Center on Budget and policy priorities studied the effects of these cuts and found “The tax cuts were financed by borrowing, which increased the national debt. . . . in 2013 we estimated that the Bush tax cuts — including the portion made permanent after 2012 — would add $4.2 trillion to deficits over 2009 to 2019, taking into account the associated debt service costs. This meant that the Bush tax cuts would be responsible for roughly 40 percent of federal debt owed by 2019.”
Tax cuts did not result in the promised revenue increase, The GOP’s stated desire to reduce our deficit cannot be taken seriously because the 2000 Clinton budget surplus was used to cut taxes instead of paying down the national debt. Deficit reduction has become an excuse to shrink government services and ignore infrastructure needs. When in power, Republicans find it more appealing to redistribute income upward with claims of tax cuts for all, but which, in reality, greatly favor the wealthy. 
Now we face an expensive opiod crisis, and President Trump complains that hurricane relief is breaking the budget. This certainly is NOT the time to cut taxes, revenue and add to our national debt as the Bush administration did. American voters would do well to remind their legislators that they work for average Americans, not just for their donors.  

Catherine Rhoades writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.