Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017: Sen. Collins Right to Support Tax Bill, Pollution Control Saves Lives, Tax Plan a Bonus for America

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), December 11, 2017 | Go to article overview

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017: Sen. Collins Right to Support Tax Bill, Pollution Control Saves Lives, Tax Plan a Bonus for America


Tax plan a bonus for America

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the biggest change to the U.S. tax code in 30 years. The most influential changes are lowering corporate tax from 35 percent to 20 percent and the tax on U.S. companies' foreign earnings from 35 percent to 10 percent.

The wealthy across the globe will celebrate, as this tax cut plan would force other countries to impose tax cuts as well. The reason is fairly simple: The ultimate goal for companies is to seek profits. If America imposes a tax cut, corporations and the rich are going to invest or start businesses in America, which lead to capital outflow. Plus, America has fully developed technology relative to shale gas, which means America is able to support re-industrialization for companies across the world.

This tax plan also has some central flaws. If everyone pays less in taxes, where can government get the money to function properly? The answer is simple: borrow money. There is going to be an estimated $1 trillion increase for the national debt over the next 10 years.

President Donald Trump is making a bet here. He bets the reflux of the wealthy and businesses can "make America great again." In this way, even though there is not enough tax collected from the general public, there is no negative impact overall to America.

And if the growth of America's wealth can exceed borrowing money from other countries, this tax plan can serve as a bonus for the nation.

Kandy Wan

Bangor

Collins' tax dilemma

After her capitulation to the GOP leadership on the Senate version of so-called tax reform bill, it is now clear that Sen. Susan Collins faces a dilemma.

Since 1980, Republicans have been governed by the belief -- rejected by most economists and a good proportion of the business community -- that prosperity is guaranteed by feathering the nests of those whose nests are already well-feathered. But as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis has put it, this bill aggravates inequality by transferring wealth from the middle class to the donor class. "It is as if the captain of the Titanic, upon setting sail, ordered the crew to take on ice."

To offset some of the more toxic aspects of the bill, Collins was able to elicit some vague promises from the GOP leadership that her concerns will somehow be addressed in the final version. But it is clear that many of her Republican colleagues intend to use the deficit created by their bill as an excuse to whittle away at Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and other measures deemed wasteful or unneeded by the well-feathered nesters.

It's also a classic example of bait-and-switch. Taxpayers are being lured by the promise of a few dollars now, but are not being told that in the long run their taxes will go up and the benefits decline.

How Collins responds to this travesty will go a long way toward fixing her position in Maine's history.

Lynn Parsons

Castine

Pollution control saves lives

In response to the Dec. 1 BDN editorial, "Easing pollution regulations won't save coal. …

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