Summit Daily letters: Tax bill is no Christmas gift
December 22, 2017
Tax bill is no Christmas gift
On Dec. 21, the Summit Daily printed an editorial from the Colorado Springs Gazette ("Tax bill could help us all") extolling the virtues of the recently passed tax overhaul legislation. That Gazette editorial was absurd on its face.
Take, for instance, the comment that the bill "… slashes the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 21." Most corporations, of course, pay nothing close to 35 percent, a fact that the Gazette both implies (corporations "game the 35 percent rate") and outright admits a few paragraphs later when they state, "Boeing, General Electric, Verizon and 23 other Fortune 500s paid almost no federal income taxes for the past decade." Wait … so major corporations have been paying next to nothing in federal taxes for over a decade, and reducing the tax rate to 21 percent is going to help them and the country? What logic class did that come from? Oh, and just for good measure, the bill makes certain that there is little if any Alternative Minimum Tax for multi-billion dollar corporations.
But it gets better. "GE was paying an astonishingly low portion of cash flow in taxation, and that's because it so successfully navigated the 80,000-page tax code." But just where in the recently passed legislation is anything done to simplify the tax code? It's nowhere to be seen. And the Republicans ran on "simplifying the tax code." Here was their chance to make a meaningful change and it was never even addressed.
Or take the comment, "There will be a lot of churning, and most of that will result, net, in tremendous levels of new employment and prosperity." Really? Coca Cola, Pfizer and Cisco (to name only a few of many companies) said that they would put most of the funds into stock buy backs and increased dividends. Hiring new employees? Not on the table.
The Gazette (and for that matter, the Republican Party) has done an abysmal job of informing the public why this was such a stellar piece of legislation. Oh, but it does add $1.5 trillion to the debt. And any tax relief (however minimal) the public might receive will sunset in 10 years. And corporations? Well, they get their tax relief in perpetuity. Merry Christmas!
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With spectacular landscapes, abundant wildlife and places for families to explore the outdoors, our public lands are part of what makes Colorado and all of the country so great.
Unfortunately, President Trump recently decided to take away needed protections from some of our beloved public lands. When he cut the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the president opened millions of areas of currently protected lands to mining, drilling and development.
It is short-sighted for the president to elevate the fleeting value derived from extracting a little more oil or coal from these lands over the timeless value gained by preserving America's most precious places for wildlife and our families for generations to come.
We need to keep all of our national monuments, including Brown's Canyon protected.
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