While we're concentrating on the presidential elections here in Ireland, the world of US politics is focused on one thing – midterms. The United States mid-term elections are held in November every four years, at the midpoint of the President's term. In mid-terms, voters choose their candidates for the United States Congress, and about a third of the seats in the Senate.
The Republicans currently hold a majority in both chambers of Congress, but that might all change come the 6th of November. Obviously, the Trump presidency has had a large influence on voters' opinions, and Democrats are primed to reclaim many seats in the upcoming elections. One issue that has voters particularly concerned is the large tax cuts Republicans have granted the wealthiest in society – the 1%. And now, one of the most prominent 1%-ers has had her say on the matter.
Heiress to the Walt Disney Company (and grand-niece of Walt Disney) Abigail Disney appeared in a video to address the wealth inequality in the US; an inequality that's being made worse by Republican policies. In the video made by NowThis, she begins by talking about the large tax breaks she has received in recent years; tax breaks that she "didn't need, but the Republicans gave to me anyway".
She goes on to describe how the rest of the wealthiest 1% of the population in the US received so much money from their tax breaks that they didn't know what to do with it – many of them used it to buy superyachts, with sales of the luxury liners rising rapidly in recent years.
With taxpayers lining the pockets of the 1%, Disney describes how this vast amount of money granted in tax cuts could be put towards much better things – namely pay rises for teachers, and sustainable salary increases for taxpayers. "It's true that the economy is booming," she says. "It's just not booming for you".
Disney finishes her powerful speech with a direct address to the audience for the upcoming election: "If you don't get out and vote on Tuesday, November 6th... they are going to do it again. We can turn this around, but only if you get out and vote".
You can watch Abigail Disney's full speech below:
This Disney heiress is here to tell you exactly what the 1% did with Trump’s tax cuts
Spoiler: They didn’t create more jobs and increase salaries pic.twitter.com/8Ou21x1GMG
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 12, 2018
While Disney's speech is especially pertinent to U.S voters, the messages of taking civil responsibility and voting in the best interest of workers is something we should all be listening to. Disney, as part of the wealthiest 1% of the population, addressing her own privilege is very refreshing to hear.