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Opinion

Opinion: Republicans ram through their tax plan at the country’s — and their own — risk

TOPSHOT-US-POLITICS-TAX-REFORM-CONGRESS-PROTEST
Demonstrators protest the Republican tax bill outside the U.S. Capitol building on Dec. 13.
(Alex Edleman / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: The truly accurate way to describe the Republicans’ tax bill based on its trickle-down philosophy is that the cuts, which the country neither needs nor can afford, are to be bestowed upon the most wealthy and privileged. Meanwhile, a few relatively small crumbs will then “trickle down” to the middle class and the poor. (“GOP leaders reach tax deal, cutting corporate rate to 21% and top individual rate to 37%” Dec. 13)

This is simply a way to provide the GOP with political cover, for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to say, “See? Our tax plan benefits everyone.”

Still, the dangers of this plan are evident. Cutting the individual mandate will destabilize health insurance markets, causing prices and premiums to skyrocket and to offset the relatively small benefits this tax plan provides the non-wealthy. More ominously, the addition of at least $1 trillion to the debt over 10 years gives Republicans an excuse to start dismantling Medicare and other vital social programs, justifying their actions by saying we can no longer afford to take care of seniors or sick people.

There are two primary motivations for ramming through such an unfair, unwise and fiscally dangerous plan. First, President Trump desperately wants a legislative victory before the end of the year, and second, the largest GOP donors have told lawmakers they want this tax bill to pass. Republicans underestimate the public’s ability to see through this charade. If Alabama has shown us anything, it’s that even the most conservative voters can become disaffected by their party’s choices.

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Matthew Singerman, Newbury Park

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To the editor: I would bet that most Americans would forgive the Republican Party for not passing any major legislation this year rather than enacting a hastily written and partially unknown tax bill.

A more thought-out and carefully planned bill would be better appreciated by all Americans, and thus would not harm the Republican Party as much as passing this fast-track bill.

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Tax legislation is a big deal; it should not be pushed through for political expediency. Key details of the bill have not been discussed in public, no hearings have been held, and this bill is being shoved down our throats because the president and Congress want a win.

How about the American people getting a win?

Marlene Bronson, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It is abundantly clear that our elected representatives, especially the Republicans in power, do not care about the “American people” as much as they say. The effect of their tax plan on us is not on their minds as much as political expediency.

At election time, we are told that we must vote for someone regardless of his or her moral flaws because the candidate is a Democrat or a Republican. To our shame, we put up with this pandering.

We should drive anyone out of office who preaches party or politics over decency and the real needs of the electorate. These tactics insult our intelligence. The ballot box is still our most potent tool, and we need the courage to use it wisely.

Alvin S. Tobias, Torrance

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