GOP congressional leaders are almost as tone deaf as our president who continues to tweet misspelled nonsense and outrageous comments almost every day, calling Democrats “treasonous” because they didn’t clap enough for him during his State of the Union address, notwithstanding his propensity to clap enthusiastically for himself at every perceived applause line.

Nevadans were stunned recently to read about Trump’s order to the military to get ready to test a nuclear weapon at the Nevada Test Site, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, for “political purposes,” as a way to intimidate our enemies. But the GOP wasn’t a bit sidetracked by this frightening pronouncement. They continue to merrily support Trump despite all of his scandals and ridiculous, embarrassing and dangerous behavior, because he’s enriching their personal fortunes and keeping the wealthy donor class happy enough to open their checkbooks. They don’t really care how the rest of us are faring. In fact, Speaker Paul Ryan is ready to move on to the urgent task of cutting Medicare, Medicaid and welfare benefits, suddenly concerned about the nation’s growing deficit.

One recent tweet by Ryan revealed the mindset of the GOP so clearly, he was forced to quickly delete it after a national backlash due to its condescending and insulting nature. In reaction to an Associated Press story that some workers were starting to see wage increases or bonuses from their employers who were delighted by December’s tax cuts for the wealthy, Ryan tweeted: “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pa., said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”

They think we’re too stupid to realize the inequity involved when the self-proclaimed “job creators” are rewarded with millions of dollars they don’t really need while workers get a tax cut the size of a Costco membership. But we know a scam when we see one.

According to a new report from Oxfam, “Reward Work, Not Wealth,” 82 percent of the wealth that was created in 2017 was claimed by the top one percent of the income bracket, producing a new billionaire every other day. An executive from Oxfam America, Paul O’Brien, says the new wealth isn’t trickling down to the working class, telling reporters, “It’s not a good time to be a worker on the wrong end of the economic chain. What we essentially have are market economies where the markets aren’t being regulated and the rules are essentially being rigged by those who can afford to do so, and that’s where you see extreme wealth emerging and people getting stuck.”

Oxfam says governments need to find ways to “incentivize business structures that are more beneficial to workers” such as cooperatives, and also find a way to address the inequality faced by women caretakers, who last year provided $10 trillion in unpaid work by caring for someone else.

But these types of concerns don’t matter to the GOP, led by a man with no conscience and no sense of what it means to balance a checkbook or find a way to work for enough wages to cover child care and the rent. As they relax regulations on banks and payday loan thieves while they look for more ways to monetize our public lands and raise the price of admission to our national parks to unaffordable amounts, you can rest assured that Sen. Heller and Rep. Amodei think they’ve worked a miracle for you on the tax cuts. They think you’ll be satisfied with $1.50 a week crumbs while the rich steal millions from our treasury that must be replaced by cutting public programs.

Maybe it’s time you let them know you’re not a fool.

Sheila Leslie

Sheila Leslie is a semi-retired human services professional who has lived in Reno for 45-plus years. A native Californian, she graduated from Sonoma State University and holds a master’s degree in Spanish...

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