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Heitkamp, Cramer spar on issues in first debate after Democratic incumbent apologizes for newspaper ad

Letter: A Democrat's approach to tax reform

To the editor,

A piece by syndicated columnist Marc Thiessen — "Make vulnerable Democrats pay in '18" — appeared on the Herald's editorial page on Dec. 27.

Thiessen faulted Democrats for voting against the tax reform bill. He cited a Tax Policy Center conclusion that "91.3 percent of Americans making between $48,000 and $86,100 will get an average tax cut of $1,090 next year." He wondered, "Are Democrats really going to take that money away?"

We might wonder in turn why nine out of 10 Americans get an average tax cut of only $1,090? Why do those Americans earning $35,000 per year get a tax cut of about 1 percent of income while those earning $500,000 get a tax cut of 4 percent?

In 2027, when middle-class tax cuts are due to expire, those earning over $1 million will receive about 82 percent of the benefits from this tax reform bill. If Congress renews middle-class tax cuts after 2027, high budget deficits will dog us until doomsday. Republican leaders may battle such deficits with calls for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Republicans passed this vile tax bill to pacify wealthy campaign donors. A better approach would be to eliminate tax cuts for the rich and increase tax cuts for the middle class. This would spark an enormous increase in demand for goods, services and workers. Our economy would boom.

If Republicans had backed such a tax reform bill, probably every congressional Democrat would have voted for it.

Richard Hanson