LB 939: Screwing us all to feed the rich

What’s a just use of our money? Give it away to rich people or use it to improve our community?

The state legislature is preparing to debate and vote on LB 939, the latest bill designed to steal from the poor to feed the rich.  How many times will we fall for this scam?  The Nebraska GOP is pulling out one of its most classic plays in LB939, because it just keeps working.  The same income tax cut for every individual making $29,000 or more, across the board. It just seems so fair, doesn’t it?  We all get treated equally.  Which would be true if financially we all started out in the same ballpark, hell, in the same state.

But we don’t.  So, to give a simple version of how the numbers work on this bill, if I make $30,000 and a rich guy who inherited a business from his daddy makes $300,000,000, and we both get a 1% tax cut, I have an extra $300 in my bank account rather than after the tax man comes.  Hooray! That’s part of one month’s rent and an extra happy meal for me and the kids to celebrate.  After Richie Rich gets his tax cut, he has an extra $3,000,000 to play around with.  And where I’m immediately going to go spend my money on rent or a local grocery store or other business, Richie is more likely to gamble it on the stock market, or buy his eighth luxury car or private plane built in some other country.

If this were just free money, then hey, how do I care where Richie spends his money? But this is the money our community pooled together to do things together that we just can’t do individually.  So when the legislature votes to give me $300 bucks and Richie three million, that’s $3,000,300 less for us to do helpful things for those of us trying to live a decent life here in Nebraska.  Like, oh, I don’t know, have our state set up permanent, reliable, free covid testing sites, or continue to provide free lunches at school, or even continue to provide teachers at school, now that they’re all out with covid for the fourth time and retiring and leaving.  That million could be used for snow plowing, road repair, rural broadband, improved irrigation, you name it.  Pretty much anything you could imagine would be a better use of my tax money and yours than giving a huge amount of it to a few rich people, who don’t need it.  That’s what LB939 does, and it’s what all these across the board tax cuts do.  We know that, because it’s been done over and over again, and that’s what happens.  The rich get richer, the poor get a pittance and the community gets a little more desperate and decrepit. 

And then there’s the even stupider version of this move, epitomized by LB938.  This is the one where we take all of our community’s money and give it to rich people living in other states.  Those rich people had their stockbrokers use a bunch of their money to buy shares in corporations that give big dividends (profits) to their shareholders.  When the taxes those corporations have to pay to communities where they are based go down, they have more money to give to their shareholders. According to Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) analysis, at least 83% of LB 938’s corporate income tax cut would flow out of the state.  So we’ll have $53 million dollars less to help our community, and we gave $44 million of that to rich people who don’t live here.  The rich people who do live here will likely use their extra $9 mil to buy another plane, or more stock.  Still not seeing how this helps people who work for a living here in Nebraska. . .

The line we get from the GOP is always about how giving our shared money to rich people results in good jobs. So hey, raise your hand if you’ve ever noticed the owner of the company you work for spreading the wealth around by giving every single worker a raise because a tax cut passed! Or were able to get a better paying job because the tax cut passed! Anyone?

What’s even worse is that these bills are being floated because the state is finally doing okay financially, but only because we’re getting a bunch of money from the federal government to help us all survive covid and do some infrastructure repair. That’s gonna end, and soon. Once it does, those tax cuts are gonna bite, and hard. Not only won’t we get anything to improve our communities, we’ll have to start cutting things to keep giving those rich assholes “their” money because it got locked in by LB938 and 939.

If you think these bills are as dumb and destructive as we do, call your Senator’s offices and tell them to vote a big, emphatic NO on screwing all of us to feed the rich.