Republicans say they need a win

GARY GILL

Lewistown

In both the U.S. Senate and the House, Republicans are working feverishly on a tax cut that I believe primarily benefits millionaires and billionaires.

The Senate approved its version; the House is next.

One provision makes the cuts for corporations permanent, but for individuals the benefits expire after 10 years.

They could have done the opposite and made it permanent for the individuals but they didn’t.

That alone should tell you who they are working for.

Another provision calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) individual mandate.

I say this is completely reckless and it could rock the health insurance markets and make insurance for those with pre-existing conditions unaffordable. It may be done for two reasons: One is ideological – they simply want to undermine Obamacare. Also, repealing the mandate will save them $338 billion, money which they need because of arcane Senate rules to avoid a democratic filibuster.

But this action has repercussions.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 13 million people will lose their health insurance and premiums for Obamacare policies will increase by 10 percent.

The Republicans in the Senate and House know their only chance for this tax give-away to the rich to become law is to rush it through before anyone has a chance to shine some light on its one-sided provisions.

This is a shameful process. I don’t believe there are any public hearings by experts and economists that could help us understand its short-term and long-term impact on our economy.

What is even more disturbing is that Republicans say they need “a win,” putting politics ahead of our national interest. Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Collins from New York — in a moment of honesty — said, “My donors told me to pass the tax bill or don’t ever call me again.”

There are pressing national problems that we need our elected representatives to focus on, and tax cuts for their rich friends are not one of them. Please call your representative to the U.S. House and to the U.S. Senate and tell them not to vote for this shameful raid on the United States treasury.

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