Media missteps in casting vote as a big Republican win
Your front-page headline Sunday, “Tax bill a huge win for GOP, but cost unclear,” has the story exactly backward.
To win a bill with a Senate vote of 51 to 49 when your party controls both houses of Congress and the White House cannot, by any stretch, be called a “huge” win. It is a squeaker of a win that the Senate Republicans squeezed out in the middle of the night by twisting arms and making empty promises on a tax measure that polls very badly among the American people. And the enormous cost of the legislation has been explained quite well by several different measures.
We need journalism that explains the perfidy and corruptness of this Congress and White House with clarity and honesty, not with misleading shorthand phrases that fail to tell the truth.
Legislation would push higher education out of reach for many
Northeastern University president Joseph E. Aoun and Boston University president Robert A. Brown (“The wrong debate on taxes” and “Amazon needs higher education; so does everyone else,” Opinion, Nov. 30) are right to sound the alarm about the Republican tax reform plan. The only way to ensure that our nation thrives in the global economy is to encourage pursuit of education beyond high school, be it certificate programs, two-year degrees, or traditional four-year degrees.
Yet the House version of the bill pushes higher education further out of reach for many Americans. From taxing tuition waivers to eliminating the Lifetime Learning tax credit, among others, the House has prioritized corporate tax interests at the expense of students. Ironically, they may be hurting corporate interests significantly in the process, as employers throughout the country struggle to find qualified employees to meet their workforce needs.
The bill would repeal federal tax benefits for employer tuition reimbursement (a vital resource for people trying to gain needed skills), destroying any chance of expanding those tax incentives to the workplace benefit of student loan assistance. The bill would also kill the student loan interest deduction that has helped millions of borrowers manage their debt.
Let’s hope the final legislation reflects our nation’s conviction that an educated citizenry is the lifeblood of our economy.
He’d rather not see his kids financing Trump heirs’ windfall
As a middle-class retiree observing the machinations of the tax legislation now advancing through Congress, I am willing to tolerate a modest increase in my income taxes and suffer some devaluation of the worth of my home; however, what really upsets me is the fact that, if nothing changes, President Trump’s children and grandchildren would receive an estimated windfall of more than $1 billion while my children and grandchildren will be forced to pay for it.
Demonizing the Koch brothers
Jeffrey D. Sachs made some outlandish statement in his Nov. 28 op-ed “The tax bill shouts, ‘Greed!’ ” He calls Ayn Rand’s ideology “noxious” and attacks the Koch brothers for supporting the tax bill. The Koch brothers, who are libertarians, support Republicans on occasion and sometimes Democrats. They support personal liberty, free markets, peace, and limited government, as did Rand in her book “Atlas Shrugged.” I guess Sachs does not support those “noxious” positions.
Citizens United ruling has hastened this divide
The Republican tax plan is the predictable outcome of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. Opening campaign spending floodgates gave billionaires and corporations the right to buy the politicians and the government.
How else does one explain that, even though more Americans were against the plan than for it, the Republicans in Congress approved it anyway? They are placating the 1 percent donor class at the expense of the 99 percent of citizens who will eventually wind up paying for this monstrosity.
If the passage of their tax plan doesn’t scream out for campaign reform and repeal of Citizens United, there will be no bottom limit to where Trump and “the Trumpeteers” will take our country.