Opinion: Sen. McConnell Is Wrong, Banks Won’t ‘Snoop’ On Purchases
Gleaner, The (Henderson, KY)
By Ruthanne Wolfe
Senator McConnell must have been trolling Facebook and picked up a fake headline posted from Alex Jones' Info Wars when he wrote his recent op-ed. President Joe Biden and the Treasury Department proposed to increase the capability of the IRS to detect tax cheaters and collect many billions per year in taxes owed but not paid.
If approved by Congress as written – a long shot – the IRS would not require banks to "snoop" into details of individual transactions; only report an annual aggregate amount. They wouldn't be looking to see if you bought a hunting rifle (the senator's dog whistle, gun references).
It's more of Mitch McConnell's usual fearmongering. He and his Republican Party have nothing to offer to lift up the American people. So, senator "tax cuts for the rich," (prior obligations he refuses to pay with his debt ceiling Kabuki), typically resort to stoking fear of the Democrats – those "radical liberal socialists" – and of government itself. It's the favorite bogeyman the right has dragged out for decades to scare people.
They tried it with Social Security and Medicare, and they're still trying. They handicap the government with their big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy so they can pronounce those safety nets "unsustainable." After all, working stiffs and pensioners can't make up for that lost revenue.
The United States is falling alarmingly behind other developed nations. Sen. McConnell's record is one of the reasons why. The self-described Grim Reaper's history of obstruction of hundreds of bills sponsored by Democrats, many directed to improving life for ordinary Americans; his hypocritical refusal to bring Obama's judicial nominees to the Senate floor for hearings; and worse, his devotion to the "money is speech" excuse for all the dark money corrupting our politics, have increased our societal inequities and undermined the public trust.
Despite his Party's "success" in crippling "Obamacare" to the point that several insurance companies bailed out of the program, all those 60-plus attempts to entirely repeal it failed.
McConnell ignores the fact that if people are sick, they can't work; if there's no affordable child care, a single parent can't go to work. Paid family leave to care for a sick parent or child without fear of losing their job? Other countries have this and more and still have private enterprises. Their people live longer because they value human lives over huge corporate profits. Mitch calls it socialism. I call it morality.
If the senator would step outside his insularity of privilege for a reality check, he would see what decades of disinvestment look like. Take a close look at his constituents in poor rural counties, many of them Republicans, and see how much his demonization of Democrats has actually improved the quality of their lives.
Could there ever be a people-focused government program Sen. McConnell likes? How many tax cuts are enough? Finally, can we be an advanced society without investment in our people?
Ruthanne Wolfe is retired from an advertising career. A grandmother of four, she has lived long enough to see the American Dream fraying at the edges.