Cost of Trump tax cuts

Surprisingly, we are not hearing a tsunami of support for the recently passed Trump tax cuts. Certainly tax cuts should result in positive reactions, right? After all we were promised that after the tax cuts employers will be paying higher wages and manufacturers will be returning to America in droves. Does anyone really believe this? Or maybe it is because most people do not know how this Trump tax cut will affect them.

Here is one example of what the Trump tax cut does. It creates permanent tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy and a temporary one for the middle class. A middle-class wage earner may see a temporary savings of under $1,000 per year. While a wealthy person may see tax cut of $50,000 each year. Factoring this out over 10 years, the life of the middle class tax cut, a middle class family’s tax cut could result in a savings of $10,000, while the other would see a $500,000 cut.

The tax cuts will increase our national debt by more than $1.4 trillion. With permanent tax cuts for companies and the wealthy (like Trump), most of us and our children and grandchildren will be weighted down with covering that increased trillion dollar-plus debt for decades to come.

Many in Congress who voted for this are the same ones who have a long history of working toward reducing entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. The increased national debt will need to be paid and entitlements, as they see it, are ripe for the picking.

Paul Gilbert

Jay

Tax bill not fair

Regarding Bob Mercer’s Jan. 2 BDN letter to the editor on tax cut fairness, I agree that the people who pay more taxes should get a bigger tax cut. That’s fair enough, but I don’t feel they should get a greater percentage of tax cuts.

Mercer and his wife, who are probably both over 65 and worked long enough educating the younger generations to qualify for a teacher retirement, will probably only see a small annual tax cut with under the recently passed tax bill. If they’ve been itemizing deductions, and their deductions have been less than $24,000, they’re out of luck.

As for the reduced Social Security he and his wife receive, it’s not fair, but it isn’t new to Maine nor the many other states that have been doing the same thing. The federal government started that in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan for public employees as a measure to save Social Security.

As for simple math and common sense, tax law is anything but. Mercer and his wife would be getting 100 percent of their Social Security entitlement if it were. Chances are, many of the people in his hometown of Bucksport, who retired from the mill on a company pension and Social Security, don’t even have to file. They’re receiving the maximum Social Security benefits, which aren’t taxable, and a company pension, which falls a little short of the requirement for filing.

When the “fair tax” ship sailed, neither he nor I were on it, and it’s anyone’s guess what happened to it.

Ray Tardif

Grand Isle

Immigration creates instability

Academics often tout the benefits of diversity, as the author of a Jan. 3 BDN OpEd did. In a university, where everyone speaks English, is educated, and has a good job, intellectual and cultural diversity is certainly a benefit. But should a nation deliberately import diverse communities through immigration?

Even before the migrant crisis, Europe generously absorbed large populations of migrants: Algerians, Tunisians, Eritreans, Somalis, and more recently, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and Kurds, as well as Indians and Pakistanis. Some have assimilated, but others have not.

The result: high levels of unemployment, welfare dependency, crime and riots in Paris and Malmo, Sweden. Polls report that a majority of British Muslims believe homosexuality should be outlawed, and more than 20,000 girls in the United Kingdom are vulnerable to female genital mutilation. Not surprisingly, nationalist populism is growing.

And which nations have stable societies, and low crime rates? Homogeneous nations like Japan, Switzerland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Scandinavia. Obviously, some diversity is beneficial, but more isn’t necessarily better. Nations and universities are not comparable.

Julie Tosswill

Hope