The raging age of technology has spawned new acronyms galore. Twitter has taken abbreviations like OMG, meaning “Oh My God,” to new levels of code speak. Emojis, a Japanese invention that adds a multitude of images that portray human emotions, have expanded today’s new-age lexicon to levels unrecognizable by the great writers over the centuries who relied on Daniel Webster or the Oxford English Dictionary for their word pools.
Two acronyms dating back to World War II military slang are little used today, but they are as relevant, maybe more so now than when first coined.
SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up) and FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition) explain in their condensed way the state of America and its mindset in the upside-down, inside-out age of Donald Trump, America’s 45th president. OMG!
BTW, as if Trump isn’t a full-blown disaster in his own right, given what comes out of his lying eyes and mouth on any given day, Republican majorities in the House and early Saturday in the Senate squeaked through a truly terrible nearly 500-page tax cut bill few had seen before it reached the floor, passing in the wee hours of the morning by a scant two vote margin.
ICYMI, without a single committee hearing, the GOP majority muscled it through in order to give Trump a very bad bill to sign so he can crow that he finally accomplished something big before the year ends.
Republicans have claimed that they can govern if given the power to do so. Their governance, based on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, shows they don’t have a clue about tax policy other than to say it will deliver more and better paying jobs, when history shows the opposite is true.
SNAFU accurately explains what Americans have come to expect from money hungry Republicans who worship corporations and the market over common people treated as so many sheep to be fleeced by Wall Street bandits, in spite of a solid history of those bandits robbing the poor to give to the rich for more than a century.
For one historian who specializes in the “Great Depression” of the 1930s, what Washington Republicans in 2017 are doing with taxes is not new at all. It’s just another big bite at the apple of long-held malarkey mouthed by stalwart Republicans like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and his bosom buddy U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who Ohioans foolishly gave a second term to last year.
Robert S. McElvaine, a history teacher at Millsaps College who wrote “The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941,” offers words from Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in 1896 that rings as rue today as when Bryan uttered them 121 years ago.
In his famous “Cross of Gold” speech, wherein he makes a case against using gold as a monetary standard, the great Democrat from Nebraska offered these prescient words about the miracle of tax cuts and how they will trickle down to the masses:
“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”
With Trump sequestered in the White House as commander-in-chief, and with the smash-and-grab tax cut bill Republicans just passed, that will do all the wrong things to all the wrong people, GMAFB, but FUBAR maybe the appropriate acronym for today’s tumultuous, twisted times.
The “BAR” part of the acronym is what should really worry anyone with half a brain who isn’t and won’t become a millionaire or billionaire many times over. In Ohio, where the median income of $46,000 is far below the national median income of $51,000, in spite of tax cuts of more than $5 billion by Kasich and his cohort of like-minded conservative, austerity-leaning Republicans, including Portman, the bill that passed with just two votes shoves a shiv into the backs of every worker who works by the hour or whose salary lags his contemporaries in other states.
Ohio’s senior senator, Sherrod Brown, who runs for a third term next year, offered some quick facts on what the bill passed by the Senate will do, if the House should approve it as passed.
According to information on the bill and its effects provided by Brown’s office, the FUBAR hurtling forward will do this:
· It raises taxes on nearly 13 million middle class families in 2019 and 87 million middle class families in 2027.
· It raises taxes on Ohio seniors.
· It causes 13 million people to lose their health insurance.
· It raises healthcare premiums by about 10 percent each year.
· It would cause Ohioans to pay more in premium hikes than they’ll get in a tax cut under the bill.
· It would take away $338 billion that currently helps working families afford healthcare to pay for corporate tax cuts.
· It would force a $25 billion cut to Medicare next year, and a $16.4 billion Medicare cut for Ohio over ten years.
· It provides a permanent tax cut to corporations, but only temporary cuts to working families.
When Trump signs whatever hurtful and harmful tax cut bill Republicans send him, FUBAR, IMHO, will remain the word du jour that explains the fine mess Republicans have again put America in.
McElvaine the Great Depression historian, writing in the Washington Post, reminds us that if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Republicans not only don’t learn from history, they pride themselves on repeating it.
“In the 1920s, Republicans were in full control of the federal government and used that power to pursue their objective to “make the well-to-do prosperous.” It didn’t “leak through on those below.” In that decade, the mass-production American economy became dependent on mass consumption. For it to work, the masses need a sufficient share of the national income to be able to consume what is being produced.
“Republican policies in the ’20s instead pushed to concentrate more of the income at the top. Nine decades later, Republicans are rushing to do it again — and they are sprinting toward an economic cliff. Another round of Government of the People, by the Republicans, for the super-rich will be catastrophic. The American people must call a halt before it’s too late.”