Summit Daily letters: Republican tax plan is a scam, not reform
November 27, 2017
Tax 'scam,' not tax reform
The Republicans in Congress have admitted, off the record, that their tax "reform" is actually payback to their donors, such as the Koch brothers and Robert Mercer. It will also benefit highly paid hedge fund managers and consultants, even though Trump promised to stop the hedge fund managers from "getting away with murder" by closing the "carried interest" loophole. He got elected by acting like a populist , someone promising to represent the interests of common people, but actions speak louder than words. The stock market is going up because he has promised to lower corporate taxes and let them ruin our environment by eliminating regulations, but he hasn't brought in more high paying jobs to close the gap between the lower/middle classes and upper classes.
Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowed economist at Columbia University, has been described by the NY Times as the most important exonomist in the world. Besides being an author of many best-selling books, his monthly news columns appear in more than 100 countries. Twice he has been chosen by Time magazine to be part of their list of the world's 100 most influential leaders. When asked his opinion of the Republicans tax "reform" bill, he said it was the biggest rip-off of the working class in the entire history of our nation. It won't stimulate our economy, because the unemployment rate is below 5 percent, but it will increase our federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Experts at the IMF agree with his opinion.
Under our present tax law, individuals can use the following to reduce their taxes: (1) teachers can claim their expenses for school supplies; (2) employees forced to move by their employer can claim moving expenses; (3) individuals can claim state and local taxes. Well, under Republicans tax "reform," individuals will not be able to claim these expenses any more, but businesses will be able to. Also, high earning small businesses, like hedge fund managers, won't have to pay the full tax rate on all their income. If passed, the top 0.5 percent will pay about $1 million less per year. The bottom 35 percent will get very little in tax relief. Don't be fooled. This type of tax "reform" is being done to help the rich get become richer. Call and/or write your congressman today.
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Support the CAIC
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is an essential resource for the people of Colorado. Every winter, the CAIC works diligently to issue daily avalanche forecasts that are used by transportation professionals, by outdoor recreationists and by industries that operate in and around avalanche terrain. It is a program that touches people every day, often without them knowing it. It is a program that is near and dear to many people, and a program that I am proud to fundraise for.
Ten years ago I read about a chain of events that was going to cost the CAIC $25,000 in funding. I was upset, disappointed and frustrated that a program so vital had such volatile funding. That year, a friend and I decided to help. We created the CAIC Benefit Bash, which came to life on November 8, 2008. As we watched the people pour in the doors of the Riverwalk Center, we realized many people shared our passion for the CAIC and the backcountry forecasts it provides. The community rallied together, 700 people showed up and $26,000 was donated to keep the CAIC running. Since that day in 2008, the CAIC Benefit Bash has raised $668,000, all of which has been invested into avalanche forecasting and education throughout Colorado. Additionally, the Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (FoCAIC) has become an impactful nonprofit that works throughout Colorado to support the CAIC in achieving its mission.
The partnership between the Friends of CAIC and the CAIC is an important public-private partnership. It provides backcountry avalanche forecasts for everyone in Colorado. It provides avalanche education for as many people as we can reach. FoCAIC staff go to events, write grants and build partnerships on behalf of the mission. Our work keeps the CAIC staff in the snow so they can provide the best avalanche forecasts possible for you, the user.
A well-designed public-private partnership brings economies of scale, efficiencies in programs and, in turn, cost savings. The FoCAIC and the CAIC continually refine their programs and relationship to make the most of this partnership. This partnership has also created a venue for you, the users of CAIC's products, to have a voice in the development of the program. Through the Friends of the CAIC you can support and help your avalanche center evolve and grow.
Over the past 10 years, I have worked with many different people from all over Colorado. One theme is consistent across all of these interactions. Our users love the CAIC, and you are willing to rally behind it. Your support over the years has been amazing. Thank you. It is my hope you will once again rally behind us at this year's 10th annual CAIC Benefit Bash and continue to support us for the years to come. This is your avalanche center. Let's continue to work together to make it the best it can be.