The coming Republican assault on the safety net

The GOP has a plan to remake American society, and phase II is on its way

Safety net.
(Image credit: Andy Bridge / Alamy Stock Photo)

With Republicans looking like they're about to pass their tax bill into law, it's tempting to see it as a lone and perhaps pyrrhic victory amidst a year of bumbling failure. If you look purely at their legislative record, that may be true. But if we pull back our gaze, it begins to look like they're having more success than we realize. They have an extraordinarily ambitious agenda, one that involves not just a bunch of discrete policy changes, but a fundamental remaking of American life. They're on their way to seeing it fulfilled, and they're about to get started on the most important piece of the puzzle.

The vision is one of an America that's more unequal and more cruel, where the wealthy and powerful accrue more wealth and power, and the rest of us find more obstacles in our way. In other words, "freedom."

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