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Fred Allebach
Connecting the Dots
Fred Allebach

A bitter harvest of greed

Cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations is supposed to result in a trickle down of economic benefits for all. A hoped-for rising tide is supposed to then lift all boats, all the boats of working people who merely want enough in life to be secure. Current trends show the US has the greatest economic inequality in all its history. To date, giving more to those that already have enough has not resulted in any greater sharing of benefits, only to greater and greater inequality. No trickle was true for the Democratic Obama years and is also true for the nominally liberal Bay Area; this is proven by a nationwide gentrification epidemic. Anywhere that has strong growth is only at the top, while the bottom is worse off. Where’s the beef in this Republican tax plan? Trickle down has never worked. When money gets concentrated, greed has shown itself to be the greatest motivating force. There is no greater good in the new plan if greater means for the most people. Greed needs regulation, not more leash. Against all evidence, the Republicans have sold their souls to greed and Wall Street, and somehow through blind faith, hope that an even higher concentration of wealth will trickle down to the little guys. Little guys who just want an affordable roof, food, healthcare, and some free time to enjoy life. Benefits are supposed to trickle down from actors who are already professional at ripping us off at every opportunity for everything? I don’t think so. Eliminating taxes will make our cost outlays go down? No, it just makes necessary systemic costs pop up later as fees, like whack-a-mole. Destroy government and we will be subject to unregulated private enterprise: already professional at ripping us off. Don’t hold your breath on the Republican tax plan. This is ideological maneuvering, not sound, well-vetted and transparent policy. In this faith-based ideological effort to cripple government, the country will spend more on the military (for a value-less foreign policy), and the deficit is going to go way up, by the trillions, and then the social security and Medicare we have come to expect in our old age will be gutted too. The Republican’s plan sanctions rip off for-profit colleges while making students unable to write off their educational debt. Where is the greater good in any of this? For who? Why sack your own people? What kind of cruel, selfish people are doing this? How will the now even greater concentrated wealth trickle down in Sonoma Valley? By all measure, the valley wealthy are the cream of the national crop. When the trickle starts trickling, somebody please let me know! I’ll put in my order for the valley: a living wage immediately tied to the cost of living, $25 an hour or $70,000 a year ought to about cover the baseline for an individual. And by what magic forces will this trickle be caused by? Well, like Santa and Jesus, if we haven’t seen them yet, we’re probably not going to, and we’re probably not going to see any trickle down either. Oh well. Non-corporate farmers and grape growers will go along for this Trumpian trickle-down ride, as the election maps show all valley rural areas as politically red,  at least until the 1% have them for lunch too. Note to local ag: When you see how the last cohort (working people) got done, that’s how you’re going to get done too. The populism is FAKE, wake up! Look at Trump’s cabinet, it’s all Wall Street. This tax policy, and climate policy, immigration policy, education, foreign pooicy, the whole nine yards, it’s no longer a discussion; this is a power struggle wherein the Wall Street aristocracy has succeeded in imposing its will on the 99%. Main Street, for everybody red and blue, is being left in the dust. In a mean, vindictive move, there is no money in this tax bill for California fire disaster relief. One Republican Senator said the North Korea nuclear threat is no problem until they can hit the central US. The Republican tax plan is war on the poor, eliminate tax credits for affordable housing; it’s a vengeful gutting of blue state resources, and for plans and programs for climate protection and clean energy. No wonder this all went down in closed committees and had no time for public hearings. This is policy by and for the aristocracy. If it was actual populism, where are the economic benefits for conservative Californians? This is what we are all up against, an enemy within that wants to destroy Main Street USA and then say the people are not working hard enough. The whole premise is outlandish: social and economic policy through greed and every dog for himself as the primary values and motivating forces. That there are even Republican values at stake is now revealed as a lie. With Trump and Roy Moore, what values? The US under Trump has alienated the whole world, not just its own thoughtful and compassionate citizens. We’re rapidly heading for the bottom, and a magical trickle down formula is now serving as a placebo to Main Street, as Wall Street concentrates wealth even further. Through all of history, it is shown that an allegiance to enrichment of the few above all has few socially redeeming qualities. Societies that don’t care about their environments and that have extreme inequality collapse. Just look around at your wages, your rent, your new insurance premiums, and the cost of living. These indicators are already terrible, even in a nominally benign Democratic region. Under the proposed tax plan, things will be worse. Hopefully three Senate votes can flip and deny this terrible tax plan. If not, get ready to reap a bitter harvest of greed.    
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Letter: Thanking our young heroes Letter: Thanking our young heroes

In October we witnessed and experienced the worst fire and calamity in California to date. The community... Continue

Richard Dale honored with regional public service award Richard Dale honored with regional public service award

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