BUTTERFIELD & FRYE: Opposition is growing for tax overhaul; call your legislator

TO THE EDITOR:

As citizens consider the ramifications of the impending GOP tax overhaul, opposition is growing.

Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate bills, which are hastily being merged into a final bill, overwhelmingly benefit corporations and the wealthy. These bills also seriously undermine Medicare.

The final tax legislation is on track to add an estimated $1.5 trillion to the deficit. This could trigger cuts to Medicare as early as next year because of the Paygo (Pay as you go) rule. This rule requires an automatic, immediate, cut to mandatory programs such as Medicare when tax reductions are not offset by increased revenues. If this harmful bill passes, $25 billion could be cut from Medicare next year and as much as $400 billion could be slashed over the next 10 years.

To make matters worse, this reckless increase in the deficit will undoubtedly be used to justify even further cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The AARP sounded the alarm stating that this addition to the deficit “will inevitably lead to calls for greater spending cuts, which are likely to include dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other important programs serving older Americans.”

No wonder concerned citizens are gathering outside of their representative’s offices with signs reading: “Kill the bill. Don’t kill us.” and “Stop Pampering Billionaires.”

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump defied traditional GOP doctrine and repeatedly promised not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, yet he is now promoting legislation that will clearly break that promise.

It’s no secret that Republicans have historically wanted to gamble with Social Security by privatizing it, and destroy guaranteed Medicare by handing seniors a fixed, inadequate, voucher. Republicans control all branches of the federal government. They are barreling ahead to please their rich campaign contributors. They are determined to fulfill their long held ideology and unravel middle class, earned benefit, programs.

Citizens who have been paying into these programs for decades will lose their investment if they don’t speak out in large numbers. Call Rep. Jack Bergman and tell him you oppose this unfair tax overhaul.

Jeanne Butterfield and Al Frye

Manistee

 

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