From hurricanes to tax cuts: The ruling class gets down to business
13 September 2017
Even as the horrific destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is still being tallied, the US political establishment is moving rapidly to its main order of business: A massive handout for the corporate and financial elite.
On Tuesday, the official death toll from Hurricane Irma rose to 12 in Florida, in addition to the 37 killed in the Caribbean by Irma and at least 71 killed in Texas by Hurricane Harvey. As of Tuesday, two-thirds of Florida, or some seven million homes, were without power, and many will not see power restored for weeks—one product of the neglect of social infrastructure spanning decades.
In the Florida Keys, which was hit with the full force of a Category 4 Hurricane, 25 percent of homes are completely destroyed and another 65 percent severely damaged. Florida cities from Miami to Jacksonville have experienced record flooding. The majority of workers in both Florida and Texas do not have flood insurance and will have to try to rebuild on meager government assistance, mainly in the form of loans.
AccuWeather predicts that the combined cost of the two storms could rise to $290 billion, or 1.5 percent of the total value of goods produced and services provided in the United States in an entire year. The hurricanes will have a significant impact on the US economy, wiping out all anticipated economic growth between August and the end of the year.
Amidst this destruction, however, the US stock markets are on the rise—increasing significantly on both Monday and Tuesday. The reason is evident: the ruling elite is licking its collective chops at the prospect of a major cut in corporate and individual taxes for the wealthy.
Over the weekend, even as Irma was making…