Bill Becker is an internationally recognized expert on climate change and the environment.

In this article, he demonstrates how Republicans are pullling the wool over the eyes of the public.

Start with the graphic at the top of the article:

Of the 30 richest nations in the world, the U.S. ranks:

*29th in net income inequality
*29th in wealth inequality
*28th in poverty rate
*29th in life expectancy

Correlate those data with test scores on PISA and TIMSS. Amazing.

Becker writes:

“Question: As Republican leaders have described it, the central promise of tax reform is to put more money in the pockets of middle-class Americans and to provide more money for corporations to create jobs. Can we be confident of that result?

“Background: The answer is no. Earlier this month, CNN broadcast a meeting in which Donald Trump’s economic advisor, Bary Cohn, met with a group of CEOs. The meeting’s moderator asked for a show of hands on how many of the companies in the room would use their savings for capital investment in the economy if Congress reduced their taxes. Only two CEOs raised their hands. “Why aren’t the other hands up?” Cohn asked.

“Past experience provides the answer. Our bigger corporations have demonstrated that when they have extra cash, they don’t use it to create jobs; they use it to increase the value of their stock by raising dividends and buying back shares. CEOs and shareholders benefit, but not most middle- and lower-class households. They usually don’t own stocks. Eighty percent of stocks today are owned by the top 20% of income earners.

“Question: Republicans want to lure trillions of dollars back into the United States by giving a tax break to companies that repatriate the profits they have stashed overseas. By one estimate, the tax break would amount to a half-trillion dollars. Is it realistic to expect that these funds would be used to create jobs and to benefit middle-America?

“Background: Again, experience provides an answer. Congress gave a similar “tax holiday” in 2004 to companies that repatriated their overseas money. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that CEOs again used their money to repurchase and raise the value of their stock and to pay dividends to shareholders. “Moreover, many firms laid off large numbers of U.S. workers even as they reaped multi-billion-dollar benefits from the tax holiday and passed them on to shareholders,” the Center found.

“What about today? Our big corporations are flush with cash and their earnings are healthy. They already could be investing their profits to create more jobs, if they wanted to. But when more than 300 business executives were polled over the summer, they said they would use repatriated money to pay down their debt, buy back their own stock to drive up its price, and engage in mergers, in that order.”

Oh, and by the way, Senator McCain announced that he would vote for the tax bill. The last possible independent has fallen in line with the party.