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Opinion: Democrats, don’t become the party of ‘no.’ Come up with your own tax plan

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at a rally against the GOP tax plan in Washington on Nov. 15.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at a rally against the GOP tax plan in Washington on Nov. 15.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein is correct that the current Republican tax plan is terrible for the middle class and instead benefits the rich and corporate elites. So, my question to her is what are the Democrats going to do about it? (“The fight against the GOP’s unfair tax plans isn’t over yet,” Opinion, Dec. 4)

During Barack Obama’s two terms as president, the Republicans were the party of “no,” simply obstructing everything his administration proposed without credibly offering ideas or policies of their own. That became evident when, after complaining for all those years about the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans failed to enact a replacement when they finally came to power.

Now the Democrats are the party out of power. Are they going to simply mimic the Republicans under Obama?

Instead, the Democrats should propose their own tax plan. Can you imagine if Feinstein and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) stepped forward with a plan that provided real tax relief to the middle class? The Republicans would look ridiculous and be put on the ropes for 2018.

Drew Pomerance, Tarzana

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To the editor: I oppose the Senate tax reform act. But I find Feinstein’s (and most other Democrats’, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s) protest of the reductions of state and local tax deductions, or SALT, to be hypocritical and inconsistent with their professed concern for the less wealthy.

The vast majority of tax filers who claim SALT deductions make more than $100,000 annually. This portion of the reform act is aggressively “tax the rich,” yet Feinstein claims eliminating most of these federal deductions that benefit primarily wealthy filers “hurts all Californians.”

She also claims that the elimination is “double taxation.” If so, by the same logic, California should eliminate its own double taxation and allow taxpayers to deduct their federal income taxes from their state taxable income.

The elephant in the room is that curtailing the SALT deductions threatens to undermine an already tottering state fiscal system that relies too much on high earners and provides incentives for the more affluent to flee to states that have lower income tax rates.

Norm King, Palm Springs

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