Republicans Just Snuck A Huge Taxpayer Giveaway For Betsy DeVos Into Their Tax Bill

With Republican leaders ramming a rapidly changing tax bill down the throats of the Senate, the only copy of the bill available for Senators to actually read before they get the chance to vote for or against it is covered with semi-legible, hand-written last-minute amendments, all designed to win the votes of one or another recalcitrant legislator.

As the day goes on, however, details of the pork-laden enticements are beginning to leak out, and what they reveal is a bill that’s even more inequitable and corrupt than anyone could have imagined, even in light of the daily wheelbarrow full of bull-sh*t-laden propaganda that Trump administration officials have been shoveling towards the public and the media.

Sahil Kapur, the national political reporter for Bloomberg News, found one provision in the bill that is both shockingly narrow in its target and amazingly corrupt in its intent.

Senator Toomey (R-PA) says that the bill would apply to any university that forgoes Title IV funding, referring to the program that offers federal financial aid to students. The acceptance of Title IV funds requires the universities to follow a set of government regulations that include things like banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and rules for how to respond to allegations of sexual assault.

While the applicability of the provision to any school that rejects Title IV funds may be technically true, Toomey was unable to name any other schools that would be affected.

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos has been attacking the foundations of public education since she took office, undermining public schools by diverting funding to privately owned charter schools that many educational experts see as an insidious scheme to use public money to pay for religious schools in violation of the principles of separation of church and state.

Devos has been also taking actions which many believe are intended to weaken non-profit public education in favor of corporately owned educational institutions which, like Trump University, often fail to deliver on the educational promises that they make to students.

The narrowness of the tax loophole that Senator Toomey has added to the tax bill shows the lengths to which Republicans will stop to get their “wealth transfer to billionaires” bill passed. By adding pet provisions as bribes for any Senator expressing qualms about a bill that raises taxes for the middle class after the first few years and lets corporations continue to avoid paying their fair share of the tax burden, a burden which would be shifted to individual families of more limited means, Republican leadership demonstrates their utter moral bankruptcy. Their only allegiance is to their corporate masters who, if this bill is passed, will be offering them lucrative contracts after they are voted out of office by angry voters once they realize how badly they’ve been shafted by this tax bill.


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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a writer, producer, and international media executive formerly with MTV/Viacom, G4/Comcast, and Warner Bros., among others. He is a winner of the International Documentary Association Award for "Artists United Against Apartheid: The Making Of Sun City". Growing up in the Bronx, he was a high school classmate of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He attended Cornell University, SUNY Binghamton, and NY Institute of Technology.

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