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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


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


Pollution control saves lives

In response to the Dec. 1 BDN editorial, “Easing pollution regulations won’t save coal. Nothing will,” it is critical to underscore the public health consequences of the proposed repeal of the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifesaving air pollution safeguard, the Clean Power Plan.

The EPA is holding a public comment period as it considers repealing the Clean Power Plan, which would provide lifesaving air pollution reductions, including the first federal limit on carbon pollution from power plants.

Power plants are one of the largest sources of carbon pollution in the nation. The pollution from these facilities causes climate change, increases the chance of wildfires, and increases particle pollution, which can cause asthma attacks and early death.

The EPA’s analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan will prevent 400,000 asthma attacks and up to 34,000 premature deaths every year by 2030. It will also reduce the number of days lost from work because of asthma and lung diseases.

Revoking the Clean Power Plan would give power plants a license to pollute, putting millions of Americans in harm’s way. For children, the elderly, those suffering from respiratory illness and society’s most vulnerable, it may even cause life-threatening danger. Simply put, repealing the Clean Power Plan is a serious threat to the health of every person in Maine and throughout the nation.

I urge all Americans to join me during the public comment period and demand that the EPA prioritize the health of Americans and protect the lifesaving Clean Power Plan.

Bonnie Irwin


Collins right to support tax bill

As a Maine manufacturer, I’m grateful to our senator, Susan Collins. Earlier this month, she voted for tax reform, which was the right thing to do for manufacturing workers and families in Maine and across America.

Working families deserve tax relief, and this bill provided it. But to create even more jobs for Mainers and Americans, small businesses need relief, too — and this bill provided that as well. That includes the business where I work, Windham Millwork, an architectural woodworking company that manufactures furniture for homes and offices.

This tax reform bill will first make us more competitive. Companies overseas tend to face much lower tax rates in their countries than we do in the United States. That gives them an edge. The tax bill will help American companies get some of our competitive edge back.

Most importantly, it means Windham Millwork will have more money to spend on what matters — our workers and community. With the money we’ll save, we can create new jobs or offer better pay to our workforce. Over time, it will be easier to grow our business, which helps everyone in our community and contributes to a growing Maine economy.

I know the tax bill has sparked intense debate among some people. But for small businesses and manufacturers like ours, there really is no debate. It means jobs. It means better paychecks. It means more manufacturing in Maine and in America. That is something we should all be able to support, and I’m glad Collins agreed.

Bruce Pulkkinen


Windham Millwork



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