I swore off the Trump hole yesterday and fell down the tax hole today. Why?
The more I read about the new tax bill, the more I worried. I worried about the speed with which the bill was created and way it wasn't shared with transparency or crafted with bipartisan efforts. There was clearly an agenda to pass this bill to show strength and increase wealth for the Americans who were creating and forwarding the bill.
In many ways the bill seemed to be similar to taking out a giant personal loan to give your boss a four-star trip around the world, while using a few dollars of the loan to bring your family out for pizza. Your short term gain is that your boss is very happy and your family pleased to have a meal out. The long term problem is that your boss just invested and reaped the benefits of the $50,000 that you spent on his trip. He's happy, but now you have a big, big debt, more bills, and no ability to take your family out to eat again. The boss could return the favor and give you a big raise, but we know that bosses typically take better care of themselves than they do their workers so this is unlikely. He'll probably look for another worker to give him another free trip.
So what's an average American like me to do?
First, I need to look for ways to speak up for and support voter's rights--we need more average Americans to stand up, speak up, and vote. It was alarming to notice that representatives and senators from the country's poorest states and states that underfund education were strong supporters of this tax bill. Instead of fighting for the rights and needs of their citizens, they threw them tax scraps and heavily supported the wealthy and big corporations.
Next, I need to continue to teach well. One reason this tax bill passed is that I believe Americans can't see the numbers well--it's very difficult to see beneath these complex schemes that make it look like many politicians are working in your best interest, but when you look deeply, it shows that they are not working for you, but instead working for those with the most economic and political power. That's why average Americans need more political power. So if I teach well, my students will be more savvy when it comes to looking at the numbers and society's needs/potential, and making good decisions for themselves and others.
After that I need to continue to read and study the words and actions of American leaders I value, leaders who I believe can help me to better understand how I can support a wonderful America--the kind of country I am proud to live in and a country where opportunity belongs to all people, not just a few.
As Americans, we have to be aware of what's happening. We have to listen carefully and watch closely. We have a great country, but the current President and Congress, in my opinion, are dangerous leaders--the kinds of leaders who put respect, decorum, education, health care, inclusion, and support for all Americans aside --they are not the kind of leaders that support the America I believe in, an America that values diversity, protects the rights and needs of children, takes care of the environment, and promotes promising innovation and growth from all walks of life not just big business.
There's so much to learn here, and so much to do that it seems overwhelming, but as with anything in life, the best we can do is a step-by-step direction that begins with good work and advocacy close to home and living the lifestyle you support. Onwards.