Last week, Congress cleared another hurdle in their effort to pass a disastrous set of tax cuts for the wealthy. The GOP giveaway isn't just a political or an economic catastrophe. It also speaks to the moral questions Americans must ask of their government. What — and who — do they prioritize? People, or profits?

That question is at the heart of the Poor People's Campaign. Two faith leaders, the Rev. Liz Theoharis and the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, announced their plans today to revive the multi-issue movement announced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shortly before his death. It's time to take on the evils of economic exploitation, militarism, systemic racism, and environmental degradation, they say. For more, read my colleague Sarah Anderson in The Nation today outlining why we need this movement now more than ever. 

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
Maintaining Momentum Against the Tax Bill
Members of Congress have been speeding to pass their historically unpopular tax cuts, voting in the dead of night on a bill covered in handwritten notes with the hope that their haste will prevent their plans from being derailed. But across the country, people have been telling their elected officials: the bill comes with a disastrous price tag for the constituents they’re supposed to represent. co-editor Negin Owliaei has more on the protesters keeping the pressure on Congress amid the rush to pass the Trump tax cuts.
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An Eli Lilly Exec as Drug Policy Czar? How Silly!
The “revolving door” between government service and high-priced perches in the private sector has spun quite nicely for Alex Azar, the Big Pharma exec Donald Trump has picked to be the next U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar served in the Bush administration, then left in 2007 to join the drugmaker Eli Lilly. Last week, at a Senate hearing, lawmakers grilled the Trump nominee on America’s sky-high prices for prescription drugs. Azar said he opposed them. What about the most promising proposals for reining in record-high drug prices, allowing the importing of lower-cost drugs and letting Medicare bargain with drug companies on prices? Azar said he opposed those, too. One senator asked Azar who deserves the blame for the tripling of insulin prices during his tenure at Eli Lilly. His response: “The system.” Added Azar, who left Eli Lilly with a $1.6-million severance check: “Everyone shares blame here.”
With the GOP Tax Plan, a New Economic Epoch
Just how will the lives that Americans lead change if the Republican tax plan that made it through the Senate last week gets to shape our national future? The answer may well rest in new research just out from three of the world’s most prolific inequality analysts, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman. Since 1980, their new stats help us see, government programs and policies have been failing America’s poor. The Republican tax legislation now re-engineers government to fail America’s middle class as well. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has the details.
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This week on

Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie, High Flyers 2017. The Trump tax cuts preserve massive advantages for private jets while the industry lobby threatens our security, fuels a warming planet, and shifts the costs to the rest of us.

Sarah Anderson, My No Good Very Bad Tax Vote Day. Congress should be funding infrastructure improvements, not handing a tax break to the wealthy.

Bob Lord, Inside the Pity-Our-Farmers Tax ‘Reform’ Scam. No farm families — repeat, no farm families — are losing their family farms to the federal estate tax.

Carter Dougherty, Showdown at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Protesters let a controversial Trump pick know that he’s not welcome at the watchdog agency. 

Elsewhere on the web:

Karen Seal Stewart,  Tax plan will hurt the country, even if it benefits meArizona Republic. The last time America's rich didn't have to pay the estate tax, this millionaire warns, charitable contributions fell by 37 percent.

Brittany De Lea, How tax reform bill could damage the value of your homeReuters. That is, if you can afford to buy a home in the first place.

Marian Wright Edelman, Tax Cuts For Rich: GOP’s Abominable Massacre of Poor Children’s FuturesBlack Star News. With the Trump tax cuts, Congress seems bent on hurting poor kids as much as possible.

Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, The GOP tax plan is a ‘catastrophe’ that'll make inequality ‘materially worse,’ Business Insider. So says a former CEO of American Airlines.

Toluse Olorunnipa, Trump’s Tax Promises Undercut by CEO Plans to Help InvestorsBloomberg. So much for corporate trickle-down.

Sarah Jaffe, How to Defeat the GOP Tax Bill: Applying Lessons from the Trumpcare FightTruthout. We need to think about what $1.5 trillion spent on helping people, not corporations, could do.

Charles Ellison, 5 Ways the Republican Tax-Reform Plan Hits Black Folks the HardestThe Root. This tax cut will limit the federal government’s ability to protect our most marginalized communities.

Jeff Stein, What Republicans say when asked why their tax bill benefits the rich most of allWashington Post. Cheerleaders for plutocracy reveal the emptiness of their analysis. 

More Than Half the Members of Washington’s Lobbying Corps Have Plunged Into the Tax DebateCitizenVox. To be exact: 57 percent.

Dave Zirin, Sports Tax Scams Laid the Groundwork for Amazon Bidding MadnessThe Nation. Over the past 15 years, over $12 billion in public money has subsidized the privately owned stadiums of America’s billionaire pro sports moguls.