It’s time for Corporate Greed to stop jeopardizing the future of NY’s minority and Immigrant students

Holly Lynch New Yorker Logo
Holly Lynch New Yorker Logo
Holly Lynch New Yorker

It’s time for Corporate Greed to stop jeopardizing the future of NY’s minority and Immigrant students

Holly Lynch: Citizen Advocate
March 5, 2019

I want to share a secret with you. Something you’ll never hear on cable news or in the halls of Congress: Tax cuts are government spending.

I know, I was shocked when I read it too. For decades the Republican Party has told us tax cuts to corporations and the top tax brackets pay for themselves. The idea is if a giant corporation has more money on hand they will hire more people and give raises to their workers. Rich people, we’re told, will create jobs if they give less of their fortune to the government. It’ll “trickle down” to the rest of us.

But we already know what actually happens when the Republicans cut taxes. The wealthy have more money, corporations buy back stock, repatriate cash from tax havens, outsource jobs, and give massive payouts to shareholders. Meanwhile, our infrastructure, healthcare, and public schools are left to rot. And we have teachers buying school supplies with their own wages because all our money goes to support corporations and the investment class. We should all be horrified and embarrassed by this.

Thankfully the Republican Party isn’t in control of the House anymore. If trickledown propagator, former Speaker Paul Ryan had his way, we’d be back in a medieval feudal system where the poor toil daily to support the monarchs and “landed gentry”.

The truth is that a series of detailed studies by the organization, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), show that the biggest and most profitable corporations have, as a group, been able to shelter nearly half of their profits from taxation. Not only were these latest tax cuts a lie, (many middle class and working people got a tax hike for example), what was cut was money for schools. Remember, tax cuts are another term for government spending, the Republicans chose corporate welfare over child welfare. The money they gleefully handed over to billionaires is money we’re not spending on public education; not spending on minority or immigrant children or those with special needs; not spending on training for the jobs of today—let alone the jobs of tomorrow.

Right now we underfund our schools and then chastise teachers for not doing more with less. We’re setting our teachers, schools and future for failure. Equal rights and equal opportunity start with equal education. “The excellence gap, the disparity in achievement levels between low-income and higher-income children with equal abilities, appears in elementary school and continues as students move through middle school, high school, college and beyond,” said Crystal Bonds president of CLASS Coalition, an organization dedicated to closing that gap in opportunity for all students.

What I learned in school is the vital importance of sharing, especially with those less fortunate than I. I learned about a country that valued upward mobility and hard work and not solely people whose money works for them. I learned about generosity. Leadership in its best form is generosity, as the saying goes.

Holly Lynch New Yorker
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