When your ‘must have’ is someone else’s special interest

Last week, while preparing to join a conference call with Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, I asked around for some questions Iowans might have about the proposed tax reform bill, which was to be the subject of the call.

A college friend of mine, whose personal politics are quite conservative, morally, and libertarian, fiscally, posed a question about the impact of the bill on small businesses. (For the record, she’s not an Iowan.)

“The tax plan seems to disproportionately benefit big corporations. Small business really is the engine of our economy, and many of those small businesses are run by people who would be harmed by this tax plan (it gives big business and ultra wealthy individuals tax breaks at the expense of the upper middle class). Small business owners also often file taxes personally rather than as a corporation. Can you explain how this tax plan is but a transfer of wealth from small business to big business, from middle class to the wealthy?”

Then she added this addendum: “Note: I HATE class warfare politics, but I also HATE crony capitalism, which this bill reeks of. I'm very conflicted.”

She recognized that her question, which I think was a pretty solid one, was also based on pitting one class (small business owners) against another (large corporations). And she struggled with even posing that type of question. 

Read more in the Nov. 22 edition.