Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3
The most unpopular tax bill ever
"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. history. This bill was soundly rejected and criticized not only by every Democrat and two-thirds of the voting public, but also by numerous economists and agencies aware of the impact of this legislation. These included Larry Summers, former president of the World Bank and treasury secretary, who said that the plan is "dishonest, incompetent and absurd" and, because it would kill what remains of the Affordable Care Act, would result in thousands of deaths.
It would actually raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the top 1 percent and large corporations, and add least a trillion dollars to the national debt. But it will assuage the Republican donor class who haven’t had much to show for their investment in Donald Trump and the Republicans.
How will it be paid for? Trickle-down economics: The more corporations accrue, the more they will give to workers and the poor. That did not work for Ronald Reagan. Even George H.W. Bush referred to it as "voodoo economics."
President Donald Trump himself will benefit to the projected tune of approximately $1 billion. Sad.
Joseph Ferrandino, Land O’ Lakes
Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3
I support comprehensive tax reform, but I do not support the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."
This irresponsible bill adds at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill completely left out rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats. The proposal relies on magical thinking about economic growth in order to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt, and uses gimmicks to make it look like the changes in law cost less down the road.
In 1986, the last time Congress did comprehensive tax reform, it was an inclusive, bipartisan process, and the Senate finally passed it by a vote of 97-3.
Congress is taking us in the wrong direction and is playing tricks in order to get it done. They need to go back to the drawing board.
Michael Morinico, Sebring
Low incomes bear the brunt
Sen. Marco Rubio said the Senate tax bill should do more for low-income families but voted for it anyway. Low-income families will barely see enough of a tax break to make up for what they are losing, such as the ability to deduct interest on student loans, state and local taxes, and itemized medical expenses.
And that minuscule tax break for individuals disappears by 2025. Rubio said the child tax credit should be increased dramatically, and when it wasn’t increased to the level he wanted, he voted for the bill anyway. Rubio wanted the corporate rate to be higher than 20 percent, and when that didn’t happen he voted for the bill anyway.
Clearly, he cares more about his wealthy donors than average Floridians and should be hanging his head in shame.
It is up to "we the people" to insist that Congress work for us rather than the 1 percent and corporations. We need to call and demand our representatives oppose this bill. Then they can get back to work creating one that truly helps the average American.
Jenni Casale, Palmetto
A farewell plea: Be the Tampa Bay you deserve | Dec. 3
Columnist will be missed
I was saddened to read that Robert Trigaux is retiring. Though a rest is well deserved, I will surely miss his insightful, straightforward column. I hope Trigaux will honor his followers with his written wisdom intermittently in the future. Great luck in retirement and God bless, Robert.
James Gregor, Tampa
Voter ID’s unintended elder effect | Dec. 3, Perspective
Vote by mail is the solution
Paula Span, a New York Times writer, expresses concern for the disenfranchisement of older voters resulting from physical barriers at polling places such as steep ramps, inadequate parking and voting machines that do not accommodate wheelchairs or the visually impaired.
Span makes one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen for voting by mail. Fortunately, Florida is one of 22 states that offer voting by mail. When voting by mail, one never misses an opportunity to vote; you receive the ballot three to four weeks before the election, which gives you ample time to become familiar with issues and candidates; and there is never a line.
Using polling place access as an excuse for not participating in states where voting by mail is available is just that, an excuse. Those states that do not offer it should support the democratic process by initiating a mail-in option.
Dave Loeffert, Dunedin
And now create your own public apology Dec. 3, Perspective
Moral rot in high places
The burgeoning number of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct is not surprising given the pervasive climate of corruption fostered by the corruptor in chief, Donald Trump. The president sets the moral tone for the country. He has the highest number of accusers of impropriety, 16 (or more?), has 600 provable lies spoken publicly, has an unknown number of fraud suits against him, and has stacked his administration with the worst foxes in the henhouse ever.
Once we elected leaders based on good character, and we have had some admirable presidents, honorable and trustworthy. I hope for our country that we may find our way to that again.
Lorraine Madison, St. Petersburg