By Bill Maher
One of the haunting things about Russia under Stalin was it was the dawn of Photoshop, and the Kremlin was constantly retouching official photographs to make people disappear. In the original picture Stalin has his arm around your shoulder, but then he kills you, and when it’s reissued he’s cuddling up to a dull patch of Leningrad sky.
And here’s the really cool thing: Historians think those thousands of pictures with badly erased people were bad on purpose. Like that last Taylor Swift song. They were meant as a warning: “You know the bad shit we do? Here’s how untouchable we are. We don’t care whether you know.”
Which brings me to the coming tax cut for the super-rich and this photo that DJT retweeted from Ivanka:
That’s Ivanka on Trump’s left and Steve Mnuchin on his right. What do they have in common? They’re all rich. They all worked for their dads, who were rich. And they all inherited (or will inherit) vast family fortunes. One of them is the first President in 40 years who won’t show the voters his taxes, but we know, for a fact, some years his federal tax payments totaled zero point zero fuck all. The Trump/Mnuchin plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, even though most Americans – six out of ten – think corporations already pay too little. (As a percentage of GDP, corporate taxes are less than half of what they were in the 60’s.) And of course, the plan eliminates the estate tax.
At his rally in Phoenix a few weeks ago, President Trump looked out over the sea of white faces, stretch pants, and plastic shoes and told them that the economy was rigged. This drew a fair amount of cheers for their mentally-addled, ill-informed champion of the working man. Except, the only prescription Trump has for unrigging the economy is tax cuts. And not just tax cuts. Tax cuts that almost exclusively benefit the people who are doing the rigging. And most of the people in Trump’s audience don’t make enough to pay income tax at all, don’t own corporations, and the closest they’ve ever been to an estate was when they visited Graceland.
I know telling a Trump voter they’re being conned by a con man will only make their belief in the con man stronger, so I hesitate to even ask the question. But seriously, Trump supporters: you know you’re being conned, right?