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December 6, 2017

Tax bill must die

Regarding the Tax Reform House Bill that Jamie Herrera Beutler voted for: I always thought Republicans stood for smaller government and lowering the deficit. I guess that has changed. The Republicans want to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit by giving all of the millionaires a tax cut. Do not be fooled-yes, some tax breaks are for the middle class, but not all, and they expire in 10 years. But the tax breaks for the millionaires are permanent. When is enough money enough?

Jamie claims it'll make for more jobs and higher wages. We'll see. Corporations plan on using their tax breaks for buy-backs of stocks for their stockholders, not increasing wages, and Trump will get his Christmas wish of millions of dollars in tax breaks for him. This amount is an estimate since he refuses to release his tax return.

In the House bill, it would for the first time require graduate students to pay tax on the value of their tuition that universities do not require them to pay. At the same time, the House tax bill would eliminate the deduction for interest paid on student loans. This would disproportionately affect young doctors.

Teachers will no longer be able to deduct school supplies that they purchase for their students.

You can forget about writing off your doctor bills, medicine, and mileage. Those deductions are gone too.

The tax bill includes no specific Medicare changes, but budget analysts point out that passing it in its current form would trigger another law to kick in. That law requires cuts to federal programs if the federal budget deficit is increased-Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, and CHIP. CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program provides health insurance for nine million children from low and moderate-income families nationwide. CHIP funding expired on September 30th, and Congress has yet to renew it.

Both the House (Jamie) and the GOP Senate are proposing an eventual elimination of the estate tax, which currently applies only to individual estates worth more than $11 million. Trump, according to Forbes, is worth $3.1 billion, although the president claims to be worth much more.

Get involved-call Jamie today at (202) 224-3121.

Nancy McLeod


Why is it that when otherwise responsible and educated people are seated in a position to spend other people's money, all sanity and credibility disappear? Yes, I am speaking of our overlords at the KPUD and the county commissioners' office.

KPUD isn't sure if it wants to pay down debt or invest $35 million in a facility to sell gas to BP. The County Commissioners want to buy a 100-square mile tract of land and go into the logging business.

May I make a few suggestions? Let BP build their own facility and pipeline and then lease them the property and sell them the gas. (They have experience in this field.) Use all that money to pay down debt. Don't do a land grab at the expense of us taxpayers (tens of millions of dollars) to go into the logging field. If it is worth what they are asking (who knows?), then a real logging company would step in and buy it. And before you waste millions more of our dollars on studies of investments that make no sense and make investments subsidized by our tax dollars, please ask our opinion. We will steer you right. Finish projects you have started, be frugal with our money, and maybe our electric and tax rates will go down and not up.

Merry Christmas!

Matt Miller


Tax Bill Not What It Appears

Rep. Herrera Beutler should think long and hard before voting on the GOP tax bill this week. The "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will deal a devastating blow to Washington State middle-income citizens, negatively impacting the poor and working class families while giving the wealthiest Americans big breaks. The tax cuts promised to working Americans are temporary and "crumbs" at best.

The promised economic benefit is dependent on corporate America's investment in higher wages and increased employment opportunities. Most economists have a low level of confidence that this will happen. Rather, it is believed that stock buy backs and dividend increases will be the benefits of the lower tax rates. As the effects of this additional $1.4 trillion deficit play out, GOP leaders will justify dramatic slashes in programs like Medicare, and other programs that millions of Americans depend on.

Washington State's tax code is already upside-down, the most regressive in the country. The poorest citizens pay 20 percent of their income in taxes (sales and property) while the very rich pay less than 3 percent. Our citizens cannot afford an additional regressive tax.

Call Rep. Herrera Beutler today at (202) 225-3536 and urge her to vote no on the GOP tax bill.

Linda Roland

Trout Lake

Return Highly Capable forms

School districts have been charged with developing and implementing a plan to first identify, then serve highly capable students each year. Starting Dec. 1, nomination forms for the Highly Capable Program will be made available at any of the school offices or the district website. If you know a student who you feel could benefit from this program, please fill out a form and return it to one of the school offices by Jan. 15. For more information, call me at 773-4323.

Theresa Babler



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