Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
And the "tax bill" (it was changed at the last minute with lots of parts not even typed, instead scribbled in the margins so hard to know exactly what it was) was passed 51-49 during the night.

It is, of course, an atrocity. Done in a complete rush by a regime that knows its main actors are about to be indicted (see Flynn).

So far the usual view was that US institutions were successful in their power checks. This shows how wrong this is on what truly matters. This will be a huge transfer of wealth to the super rich, coupled with a de facto destruction of Obamacare (the mandates are needed for it to work), that will be extremely hard to reverse.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 11:08:21 AM EST
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It's mind boggling. Possibly an onset of a prolonged oligarchic period.

The Dems opposition was hardly noticeable, wasn't it? The count of sexual accusations has been much more vocal. Did it have to happen exactly now?

And this issue is completely overlooked:

The Republican War on College

The House bill would reduce benefits for higher education by more than $60 billion in the coming decade. It would shock graduate students with sudden tax increases, punish student debtors, and force schools to raise tuition at a time when higher education already feels unaffordable for many students [...]

The most dramatic attack on higher education in the GOP House bill is its tax on tuition waivers. This may sound arcane to non-graduate students, but it's a huge deal. Nearly 150,000 graduate students, many of whom represent the future of scientific and academic research, don't pay tuition in exchange for teaching classes or doing other work at university. The GOP tax plan would treat their unpaid tuition as income. So imagine you are a graduate student earning $30,000 from your school for teaching, while attending a $50,000 program. Under current law, your taxable income is $30,000. Under the GOP tax plan, your taxable income is $80,000. Your tax bill could quadruple.

The destruction of graduate education in the United States

PhD students, who are effectively low-wage employees, already pay taxes on their actual stipends.  The new proposal is that they'll also have to pay taxes on a whopping, make-believe "X" on their payroll sheet that's always exactly balanced out by "-X."

[...] the proposal would raise taxes by a few thousand dollars per year, or in some cases as much as $10,000 per year (!), on PhD students who already live hand-to-mouth-to-ramen-bowl, with the largest impact falling on students in STEM fields.  For many students who aren't independently wealthy, this could push a PhD beyond the realm of affordability, and cause them to leave academia or to do their graduate work in other countries.

by das monde on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 11:39:10 AM EST
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Oligarchy was already there, but this could crystallise it.
It's just horrific. Yes, what they are doing to student is obvious class warfare. But so are pretty much every other clauses...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 11:56:52 AM EST
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One may even think that the academic world, the middle class (and perhaps prominent males) are attacked so to implement an epic class divide sooner... This is not a new talk:

Human species 'may split in two' -- BBC (2006)

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

by das monde on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 12:25:24 PM EST
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Really? The experience of the english class system over the last 500 years suggests that the in-bred upper classes decay genetically pretty rapidly, only sustained by their vast wealth and the intelligent middle classes who parasitize them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 12:36:23 PM EST
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That's why it was vital to create a cross-border upper class, with Davos as its capital!

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 12:44:02 PM EST
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Immigration politics may help us well. White gods and darker dimwits...
by das monde on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 12:47:43 PM EST
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... may help as well ...
by das monde on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 12:48:48 PM EST
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memorable morality play, Angels and Insects (1995)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 03:08:42 PM EST
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Apparently being an "evolutionary theorist" precludes knowing anything about genetics.  Interbreeding the upper classes would see them being drooling imbeciles after 100,000 years.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 at 05:38:52 PM EST
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