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Appeal to U.S. Rep. Greg Walden to put voters over donors and dismiss the so-called tax reform bill

"This is not the art of the deal, it's the art of the steal," noted U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.

As a historian and resident of the Chapman area of Scappoose, I see dire precedents in the proposed tax "reform" bill. Now in reconciliation, the bill, if passed, will cause great suffering to regular U.S. citizens.

Adding $1.5 trillion-plus to the federal deficit, it will automatically trigger cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, harming the disabled, veterans, children and the elderly. Removing the mandate for the Affordable Care Act will result in 13 million Americans losing health coverage.

The bill's benefits to the middle- and lower-income classes are temporary and illusory. By 2019, households earning $30,000 or less will pay higher taxes. People will be double-taxed, federally taxed for state and local taxes already paid. Homeowners will lose mortgage deductions (and perhaps their houses). Graduate education will become out of reach for many of our kids, blighting their chance of later professional success.

These are just a few of the losses we will suffer. Gains for corporations and the wealthy, however, will be massive and permanent. By eliminating the estate tax and alternative minimum tax, accelerated income inequality will destabilize society, and possibly bring on another depression, according to one analyst.

I'm not against lower corporate rates, but there will be no "trickle down" effect (that never works); instead, corporations will plow surplus funds into dividends, executive bonuses and automation, hastening job losses.

Appeal to U.S. Rep. Greg Walden to put voters over donors.

Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith

Columbia County Coalition for Human Dignity

Scappoose

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