Republicans are again pushing their tired, discredited trickle-down-economics tax scam. As with health care, they're trying to quickly ram through an unpopular bill on a complicated subject to please their wealthy donors at the expense of the rest of us. They're eliminating state and local tax deductions. They'd cut the corporate rate by 15 percent (down from 35 percent), when loopholes already make the actual rate about 22 percent. Many deductions would now apply to corporations, but not families. They'd cut or eliminate the estate tax, which only affects the rich. (All this would drive up national debt by $1.5 trillion.)

Only 30 percent of the public approve, and senators like Lindsey Graham admit that it's super-rich donors who are demanding this tax bill; they'll stop being donors if their paid political minions don't cut their taxes. Meanwhile, the middle class gets shafted. Handouts for the already prosperous won't help the rest of us; it's been tried and failed before.

If Trump (when can we see his tax returns, by the way?) and Republicans were serious about helping ordinary people, then this bill would focus on ordinary people — but 80 percent of its benefits flow to the wealthy, while some middle-class families would actually see tax increases.

We all hate taxes, but they're the price of civilization. Given this destructive, dishonest tax plan — along with a destructive, dishonest climate in the ruling party overall — the question nowadays is: do enough of us still care about remaining civilized?

Callan Sullivan

Corvallis (Nov. 13)

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