Opinion

By Bill McEwen

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Rep. Devin Nunes heartily endorse President Trump’s tax reform plans.

They’ve said nary a word about the looming cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Not a whisper about the proposal to stop allowing Californians and residents of other states to deduct local and state taxes from their federal returns.

Not even a raised eyebrow about the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimate that the Senate tax bill would add $1 trillion to the budget over the next decade.

I guess McCarthy and Nunes aren’t the deficit hawks they claimed to be during the Barack Obama presidency.

Huge Blow to State’s $5 Billion Almond Industry

But now that the word is out about how the Senate’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would crush California’s $5 billion almond industry, expect McCarthy, Nunes and the other members of the Valley’s GOP caucus to ring the alarm.

The whistleblower on the possible elimination of a tax code provision that encourages U.S. exports is none other than Bill Lyons, a Modesto-area almond grower and former secretary of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture.

Wrote Lyons in an op-ed posted Thursday on sacramentobee.com:

“If the (export tax tool) is eliminated, 21,000 direct almond industry jobs would be dramatically reduced, hitting the labor force hard in an already hard-hit region, and there would be gut-wrenching cuts to the 104,000 industry-related jobs, including growers, shellers and processors.

“Preserving this export tax tool is make-or-break for small family farms and the California almond industry, which exports 70 percent of its crop.”

I don’t have to tell you what almonds mean to the Valley and to California. They provide jobs and nutrition. And they have proven to be virtually recession proof.

GOP Members Don’t Know What’s in Tax Cuts Bill

The rub is, Trump and many congressional Republicans are in a hurry to get some kind of tax cuts package approved ASAP. They don’t much care about hurting tens of millions of poor and middle-class Americans. They do care about taking care of their mega-wealthy donors.

Furthermore, Trump and others don’t have a clue about what’s in the tax cuts bill. They are just like the Democrats on Obamacare: Pass it and then we’ll figure out what’s in there.

Democrats are up in arms about the Trump tax cuts. Slowly, some responsible Republicans are asking hard questions.

“This is a plan that helps Wall Street, hedge funds, private equity managers, real estate and oil and gas partnerships and individuals who disguise income as profits or distributions,” Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees and a hardcore Republican, wrote in an op-ed for Newsmax.

“Mr. President, this is not what you campaigned for on or intended.

“This, Mr. President, is a swamp deal.”

A swamp deal that drowns the almond industry.

Meanwhile, Trump remains Capt. Oblivious, sailing the USS America into the rocks.

 

 

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