OPINION: MacArthur Claims That Fear of GOP Tax Plan Is Product of Misinformation

Letter to the editor, by Heather Larson, Mt. Holly

This editorial is in response to Tom MacArthur’s December 27th editorial in the Observer

I am replying to Tom MacArthur’s letter in which he asked if we “knew” a bunch of things, in a plea to convince us that the tax bill was a great idea that will benefit all.

Well, did you know, Congressman MacArthur, that the tax cuts you speak of will barely be felt by most Americans? Just by you repeating that we will get a tax cut doesn’t cut it, pun intended. In other words, yes, 80% might get a cut, but the cut is like 2%. The average person might get an extra $30 dollars a paycheck. That’s nice, but not something to call great, or be proud of, since the consequences are so grave (later on that). As for the New Jersey residents worried about a tax increase due to property taxes, well, that’s really not disputed in most reputable media outlets. Maybe check out the worry here. (Shows the confusion and panic in coastal high tax states to pay property taxes early to get some relief from the bill’s actions). Did you know, Congressman MacArthur, that New Jersey only gets back 74 cents per dollar in federal taxes? Florida gets $1.22! So we’re paying for Florida and hurting our regular and upper middle class now too? Great!

As for the wealthy, well, they can take advantage of things most others cannot. (One being move out of state).

You say that Washington agrees about making the tax cuts permanent. That is not consoling when we know we just added almost ]$2 trillion to the deficit. You couldn’t pass the bill without making the cuts temporary in the first place due to the deficit! Do you think we are stupid? Who will be paying for this? Did you know Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families are targets to be cut? Did you know that we will be fighting against this hard and rather for your tax bracket ($65 million income) to pay for this later, not the poor, lower and upper middle class?

Did you know, Congressman MacArthur that the tax bill will influence taking the standard deduction now and replace charitable giving for most? So, in addition to the bill causing automatic major cuts to Medicaid services needed by the disabled and poor and discussions underway to start cutting Social Security and Medicare—programs that are the backbone of our aging parents and grandparents—there will be a drop in giving to charities. (On top of this, since 2008, Republican controlled congress has already cut billions to Meals-On-Wheels (a program that saved $billions in Medicare due to preventing injuries and sickness due to in-person help). What is it about poor, elderly and disabled people that you want to hurt them so badly?!)

So, Congressman MacArthur, when people end up in dire circumstances, due to inevitable layoffs, medical situations (choosing not to have healthcare) or other life situations like low/fixed income, where will they turn to for help?

The five-thousand-pound gorilla in the room is that the Republican Party wants to still run on so called “personal responsibility”.  That is, that you are given more money in your pocket, free choice, free market, less taxes and business will pass on the goodness–the so called trickle-down theory of economics (or Reaganomics). The problem is, no matter what you say about how simple and great this theory is, it is not. The disabled, elderly, poor, and middle-class get screwed. You are trying to dismantle the very programs that were put in due to failure of this thinking. The depression taught us that we need safety nets. Personal responsibility can fail. Markets fail. We need back up plans for when people and investments fail.

And so, did you know, Tom MacArthur, that welfare programs, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, and OBAMAcare have helped people significantly when they individually and/or businesses fail? I don’t know of any program from Reaganomics that does this.

You have said over and over again, to numbing conclusion, that most of us that object to Republican policies has more to do with a personal dislike of Trump rather than the actual bills submitted.

I say back, “oh, it can be both”. Let me tell you, there are many of us that disagreed previously. We just weren’t organized into grass roots movements, but were against failed trickle-down economic policies. Some weren’t educated or involved, but wanted to be. Now we are all here. And we won’t be absent or silent again.

This bill is bad. You have been bad, Congressman MacArthur. But 2018 will be good. See you at the polls.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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