Mitcham: The tax bill, the Stock Market and the big swindle – Barrow Journal

I don’t trust the Stock Market and I never will again, not after 2008, not after the bailouts, not after all that infuriating mess that has only deepened, despite the massive bubble we’ve seen for several years.
The Stock Market is not an accurate reflection of the economic conditions for most Americans. We frequently look at the Dow Jones Industrial average as a primary measure of the health of the economy. It’s not really that. The Stock Market more accurately shows how much disposable cash is available in the economy. That cash could come from many sources or just a few. It could come from inside the country or outside.
If you have money beyond what you need to survive, then you want to park it somewhere and watch the pile grow without working for it. This is a type of luxury that fewer and fewer people have, even in retirement accounts. And therefore, the DOW Jones index going up doesn’t reflect good times for a large portion of society, who aren’t participating in the Stock Market. However, when stocks crash, everyone is hurt, because jobs are lost and society suffers in general.
After the economic collapse of 2008, the government pumped loads of cash into the hands of banks, who had recklessly gambled with real people’s money and done so in absolutely fraudulent fashion, creating financial instruments rooted in deception. This bailout was necessary for a time since the possibility of everyone running to the banks at once to pull out their money was a real possibility, which would have been a Great Depression meltdown and potentially real starvation for many.
But this artificial inflation from the government hasn’t ever popped. It’s a false swelling of sorts. Wall Street and Washington are inseparably linked. What’s good for Wall Street is inevitably good for Washington, because those with excess cash want the game to give them even more cash, hence, legislation that provides that. On the flip side, politicians want more money, too. So, they get massive donations from those who want the game rigged for them.
By the way, have you noticed how people who get elected in Washington so often see their personal wealth explode? Why is that?
I like the idea of elected officials assessing policy and enacting strategies to deliver the greatest good to the most people, not the greatest benefit to the few people who give them the most money, which is today’s game, which is the actual “swamp.”
The tax reform bill is a doubling down on this type of corruption. It is nothing but a massive back-patting deal between Washington and Wall Street. It will cut revenues and put more on our huge U.S. credit card bill while not providing much relief at all for wage earners, who are watching the cost of living skyrocket while wages remain stagnant.
The U.S. national debt stands at $20.5 trillion. That’s a $208,000 debt per citizen, according to the current U.S. Debt Clock. Let me ask you this: Is it fiscally conservative to take an ax to revenues right now by providing breaks to the least stressed people in the nation financially? I guess so — if those folks are going to kick that money right back to you. Fraud. Call it what it is, a kickback.
The tax bill will provide some small middle-class breaks early in the plan, but then those breaks will turn into increases down the road in order to reduce the deficit, but those later increases aren’t really being made clear. And if Congress doesn’t jack those rates back up on wage earners later, then what about the deficit?
So don’t try to sell me on the notion that this is the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It certainly isn’t. If you want to give huge tax breaks to America, here’s a thought: Consider actual supply and demand. Give massive breaks to the middle class on the backs of the more well-to-do, not the other way around. The money will actually “trickle up.” We’ve tried “trickle down” economics. It didn’t work. Why not try “trickle up?” We are fraudulently sold the idea that putting more money in the hands of “job creators” will create more jobs. That’s utter nonsense. Jobs aren’t created unless there is actual demand for those jobs, which comes from more “supply” in consumers’ hands. “Job creators” will create jobs if they see money to be made from establishing new positions. Otherwise, they will park their money where it will grow on its own — Wall Street. So, why not give huge breaks to wage earners, not those who make most of their money off of Wall Street investments? Oh yeah, that donation thing. Congress can’t count on the middle class to give them big kickbacks. And thus, democracy erodes into a sham while we squabble over countless other things.
Meanwhile, the $20 trillion debt grows and the people who are stressed by an increasingly harsh economy find themselves in more precarious financial positions, realizing that a social safety net is more needed than ever, particularly as insurance costs continue to swell like a blood-filled tick.
Then, here’s the kicker: this lying bubble of a Stock Market (and it is a bubble) will eventually blow up like it did in 2008 or worse. It will rain economic horror on us. Those who are swept up in the forces bigger than themselves will want some form of safety net. But no, those people — the victims of a harsh economy — will be considered the leeches on society. It’s the banks and the wealthiest on Wall Street who will, once again, get the bailout, which will once again be funded by taxpayers, who seem not to understand the massive fraud of socialized loss and private gain, which we see time and again and which is so fundamentally transparent in this huge fraud of a tax bill.
If this tax bill is enacted, watch that stock bubble inflate even bigger and watch certain people crow about the beautiful economy, and skyrocketing DOW Jones average, which is fool’s gold, which will yet again burst, which will yet again hurt the many, who will yet again blame the wrong forces and seek to focus their rage on whoever feels most satisfying to hate in the moment, as politicians yet again encourage scapegoating to deflect blame they know they deserve but won’t ever accept.
We’re on a really bad loop. It’s maddening. And I am seething inside every day, trying to find ways to deal with this horrific rage, which goes far beyond anything having to do with our president, which goes to the sincere belief that we’re in the middle of a country that is in an absolute death spiral.
But I know I’m not alone. And at least there’s that. I want to see and participate in a real positive force from this anger, something focused on defeating the economic crookedness that has shanghaied middle-class America for far too long and threatens to pull us deeper and deeper into an abyss we all see right now with our own two eyes, but which we call different names — and thus unfortunately hate each other.
But hate won’t pull us out of this. And neither will that tax bill. It will take forces other than hate or greed to be truly great.

Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal, a sister newspaper of the Barrow News-Journal. He can be reached at

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