The cartoon on the opinion page Saturday did a great job of explaining the proposed tax reform currently working its way through Congress. Calling trickle down a hoax hit the nail on the head. With tax reform structured as tax cuts for the rich and corporations, the hope is that people will believe the myth about wealth trickling down. For the last 40 years however it has trickled up. Notice that the tax cuts proposed for corporations are permanent while the tax cuts for individuals will expire.
How have tax cuts in the past worked as far as trickling down? Reagan's tax cuts were followed a few years later with tax increases because of the deficit which the cuts had caused. President Bush was able to change the Clinton surpluses into deficits with his tax cuts and Iraq war. Our neighbor Kansas made major cuts to taxes a few years ago and saw funding drop so steeply that their bond rating was cut as severely as their funding for education.
When some people question trickle down, the rich suggest that tax cuts for corporations will lead to stepped up hiring and wage increases. Currently corporations are flush with cash. They have parked excess cash in foreign banks, and have done very little in increased hiring or provided wage increases.
A proven route that would lead to actual improvements for the poor and middle class would be an increase in the minimum wage to a living wage. It would be a reversal of the past four decades where the increases have gone to the 1 percent. Wouldn't it be nice if Congress acted as if they really represented the people, not just those who have funded their election?