Meet the “Tax Cuts Work” bus.
By Teddy Rube
Here’s the latest tactic by the conservative dark-money establishment to convince you should re-elect the corrupt, vulnerable GOP congresspeople who passed the tax scam: A bus.
No, we’re serious!
Yes, the Job Creators Network, self-proclaimed “voice of Main Street” and small businesses everywhere, has reintroduced it’s perennial – and, let us add, sad! – “Tax Cuts Work” bus tour.
Here’s the concept: a bunch of “small business owners” drive around the country in a bus garishly decorated with dollar bills and logos. They stop in the districts of GOP representatives to thank them for creating jobs by passing tax cuts, endorse them for re-election, give ‘em a friendly pat on the back, and keep on driving. Charming.
Nothing makes you want to re-elect your corrupt Member of Congress like this branded bus, right? Right?? (Photo: TaxCutsWork.com)
We’ve got a lot of problems with this. First of all: Tax cuts don’t create jobs. If you don’t believe us, ask a bunch of millionaires about it. The GOP’s tax scam went to big corporations, who are using that money for stock buybacks, executive bonuses, and huge layoffs.
Second of all: Job Creators Network pretends it’s representing local mom-and-pop business. That’s false. It’s a dark-money front group for the conservative billionaires who benefited from the tax scam.
The group’s founder is Bernard Marcus, billionaire owner of Home Depot and megadonor to President Trump; Fast-food megalomaniac and king of labor violations Andy Puzder is a major advisor. The campaign is run by Rick Berman, the Trump flak responsible for the astroturfed campaign to keep restaurant workers in poverty. Finally, JCN has organizational and personnel ties to Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ political monstrosity.
This bus is just another astroturfed PR stunt to convince you that the GOP tax scam, a brazen corrupt bargain between donors and politicians (and not you), was in fact in your interest.
Third, and most importantly: Their tour is depressingly lame. A bunch of rich CEOs driving around on a bus literally covered in money should at least be fun, right?
Prepare to be disappointed.
Each stop goes like this. The procession of plutocrats pulls into an embattled congressional district where a GOP tax scammer is in danger of being ousted. The bus stops at some focus-group-chosen spot, allegedly a site where tax cuts have spurred “job creation,” often an industrial park, or business park – and even once a water park.
The bus disgorges its cargo, pasty CEOs in collared shirts, polos, and suits, onto a patch of pavement on the side of the road.
This is literally what happens at almost every stop. Thrilling.
(Photo: YouTube, HowMoneyWalks livestream)
Framed by only a backdrop of bus and pavement (seriously, they could have at least gone inside the water park), a few indistinguishable “job creators” make remarks. Then a GOP Member of Congress, visibly haggard and in the fight of his/her career, shows up for about five minutes and gives a brief paean to tax cuts. The local media takes about 5 minutes of footage. After 45 minutes, the wheels are rolling again.
We were so hopeful for a spectacle that we went to check the tour out for ourselves! We sent Cleanup Carl to one of their most recent events, with Rep. Mike Kelly of Erie, PA. Disappointingly, but true to form, the event (attendance: 10) was held in a steaming parking lot outside of a water park.
Just dudes in suits, chatting about trading tax cuts for campaign donations. pic.twitter.com/Ot7c1gYpox
— Cleanup Carl (@CleanupCarl) August 20, 2018
But don’t worry – we brought the party! Carl joined a crowd of fired up protesters, determined to shame Rep. Kelly for selling out their futures in exchange for campaign cash.
For re-election, looks like @MikeKellyforPA is betting on the schlubs with the suits.
Me, I'd take the energized and pissed-off voters any day.
See you in retirement, Mike. pic.twitter.com/E7L3G2uwAb
— Cleanup Carl (@CleanupCarl) August 20, 2018
It may seem surprising that these billionaires found a way to make the biggest political payoff in American history dreadfully boring. But it’s undoubtably part of the plan. Their low-key, corporate-homespun tour plasters an intentionally forgettable facade over the ongoing contamination of our political system by big donors.
The “Tax Cuts Work” tour sure seems friendly enough, but it’s being followed every step of the way by toxic dark money. Groups like Americans For Prosperity and Congressional Leadership Fund, fueled by corporations’ newfound money from the tax cuts, are spending millions in each and every district this bus is going to. The bus is conveniently stopping in almost every district where the Koch network has endorsed candidates.
Between now and election day, the convoy o’ capitalists is spewing its toxic lies in dozens of Congressional districts. But we’re not going to let them get away with it.
Cleanup Carl is hitting the road. This fall we’ll be exposing the “Tax Cuts Work” tour – along with the entire House GOP – for the craven payoff that’s contaminating our political system. If you see the Bus o’ Billionaires coming into your town – we won’t be far behind.