Editorial cartoonist

(Tom Toles)

So here’s an idea: How about passing a health-care bill with no Congressional Budget Office score, no public hearings, opposition from major health organizations and patient advocacy groups, and that will result in the loss of insurance for tens of millions of Americans? Sound good so far?

The bill is gruesomely unpopular. Voting for it is bad politics if it ultimately fails, and even worse if it ultimately passes and its effects hit home. Sound better yet?

And yet onward it grinds. Inexplicable. Except perfectly explicable.

No it’s not just that President Trump needs a “win.” A politician needs this win like a person with a headache needs a hole drilled in his head to let the headache out.

So why are the lemmings proceeding to amble off this cliff then? Because of the last feature of the GOP health-care bill that gets the least coverage, but what it is in fact all about. If this latest bill passes, it will share the one feature that all the GOP health-care bills share. I’ll pause for a three-count while you guess. That’s right! A huge tax cut for the rich!

Yes, for the slow learners in the class, it’s about huge tax cuts for the rich, again. It is always about huge tax cuts for the rich. All that the GOP needs to do is the ritual hand-waving about how it’s really about health care, or that dying uncovered and broke is really what freedom is all about, or whatever. It no longer matters. The rich are running the GOP before, during and after the Trump “populist” revolt, and they are fully prepared to run it right into the ground, and you right into an early grave — if that’s what it takes to get their blessed tax cuts.

It’s a one-way ratchet now. The path is set. It’s tax cuts for the rich at any cost, to anybody. This may be their eventual undoing, or ours, but here are the results so far. Since President Ronald Reagan set the game in motion, the rich have become steadily, and vastly, richer. And with those riches have come — surprise — increasing political power. And now it’s Trump, a classless act for sure, but he’ll do. And what he’ll do is destroy health care for tens of millions of Americans for the sake of more tax cuts for the rich. Wealth = power. Power = more wealth. This is all the math needed in the new core curriculum.

It is plain enough to anyone who cares to see that the American agenda now is simply the agenda of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.

And who is left now to stop them?