Letter to the editor, by: Marianne P. Clemente, Chair, Barnegat, NJ, Democratic Municipal Committee
NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS… I had the DIS-pleasure of attending another “FARCE” of a meeting yesterday (November 13) when Rep. Tom MacArthur held a supposed “tax forum” with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Presidential Advisor, Ivanka Trump and, of all people, Chris Christie doing the introductions (UGH). This was an “invite only” event held at the Bayville Fire Hall and the invitees were only Republicans (no Democrats need attend).
I managed to get in and listened intently to the “dog and pony” show MacArthur was trying to moderate. I can’t tell you how disingenuous all they had to say suited their purposes of misleading the public. They each gave brief opening statements and then MacArthur said he himself had a few questions and then he had some written questions from the audience. When he said that, I proceed to raise my hand.
Needless to say, these questions had predetermined and canned answers indicating that this tax bill would have most people getting tax cuts, when in fact these supposed tax cuts will result in tax increases for almost half of the middleclass families in New Jersey. I also want to point out that the written questions from the audience were one (1) from someone in North Beach (a town not even in MacArthur’s district). MacArthur then proceeded to ask Mnuchin and Trump to make a closing statement. A “tax forum” would presume to have some discourse, of which there was none. What a scam!
I then raised my hand and began to say (in a voice in which they could hear me), “I have a question. I have a question…” and I repeated that several times with no attempt on their part to call on me. I then indicated that this meeting was a disgrace and a scam – having a secret meeting and not meeting the needs of MacArthur’s constituents.
They then closed down the meeting. The press then wanted some comments from me, and there were a number of people at the meeting surrounding me asking “…How did you get in? How did you get in?…” Doesn’t that disgust you? All they cared about was how a “Democrat” got into a meeting with OUR congressman. This is a sad commentary on free speech and transparency.
This letter is just documenting what happened to me at the meeting. I really would like to continue with another letter dealing with all the inadequacies of this tax bill and how it represents a boon to the wealthiest among us (the 1%). We do need tax reform, but it really needs to serve we the people – the 99% as well. Stay tuned!
Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.
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