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Letter: Tax bill not good, for many reasons

To the editor,

I strongly disapprove of the current Senate tax reform bill for the following reasons.

■ It will immediately, and again after 2025, raise taxes on groups of lower and middle class citizens while giving huge permanent tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy. Specifically, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reports that taxes would rise for every group with incomes under $75,000 a year and for many families in higher-income groups with the only significant winners being those making more than $1 million a year.

■ It includes double taxation on North Dakotans' income by eliminating deductions for state, local, and property taxes.

■ It creates a deficit of $1.7 trillion (Congressional Budget Office), which Paul Ryan and others propose partly paying for with massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (i.e., Congress raiding our public savings accounts of funds we paid as payroll taxes to build our retirement income, cover part of our health care expenses during our senior years, and care for the disabled).

■ It will repeal the Affordable Care Act individual mandate requirement, a) adding around 13 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured and b) raising havoc with rates for supplemental insurance plans of the elderly and individual plans of part- time employees, farmers, ranchers, and others with alternative income who do not have employer-supported plans.

■ It will eliminate deductions for higher education, eroding the affordability and increasing debt for students.

Further, only five of a roomful of corporation executives indicated last week that lower taxes would lead them to raise capital expenditures. The claim that cutting taxes on corporate profits would lead to investment, faster economic growth, and trickle down to higher wages that would generate taxes to pay for all this was not true of "Reganomics" or "Bushonomics"—and will not be true again, say nonpartisan economists.

While the middle class is shrinking, our infrastructure is falling apart, young people can't afford college or college debts and 28 million people have no health insurance. Do we really need to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very richest people and big corporations in this country for them to pocket?

Carla Hess

Grand Forks

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