Regarding “House passes its tax reform plan as Senate version comes under new attack” (Nov. 16): Paul Ryan went on TV gloating like the cat that ate the canary over the House passing the flawed “Tax Cuts And Jobs Act.” It is a scam that will ultimately result in higher taxes and health care costs for low- and middle-income Americans while giving the wealthiest 1 percent a tax break. It is a shameful, cruel burden to place on the backs of millions who are already struggling to make ends meet.
The House and Senate tax bills would increase deficits by $1.5 trillion and give the largest tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals and corporations. Republican strategy is to use higher deficits to “justify” (in their own minds) slashing funding for crucial programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, job training, college aid and food assistance. Paul Ryan has had these social programs and others – such as Social Security – targeted for years now, and he finally has his chance to ransack and destroy them once and for all. Ryan, McConnell and Trump will celebrate Christmas by robbing the poor. Move over, Ebenezer Scrooge.
‘Food for thought’
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I appreciated “Don’t push girls to hug, Scouts advise” (Nov. 21) about Girl Scout recommendations regarding hugging on the front page above the fold. It’s essential food for thought for families of young children, especially girls, at the holidays and always.
Fill State Department positions
Regarding “Congressional critics slam State Department as rudderless” (Nov. 17): Our world appears to become more dangerous every day with tensions between the United States and China, North Korea, Russia, the Middle East and many places in Africa. I have heard that two-thirds of State Department positions remain unfilled and that Secretary Tillerson has stated that his priority is making it more efficient while President Trump wants to cut its budget by 30 percent. Nevertheless, the Senate Appropriations Committee has substantially increased the State Department budget.
For our own national security, we need those State Department positions to be filled. We need to draw on all the expertise we can to use diplomatic means to resolve international tensions before the point of no return is reached. I believe I am far from alone in saying we are weary of these continuing wars. Let us make war vulgar and diplomacy our priority. Sens. Burr and Tillis should urge Secretary Tillerson to fill the empty positions in the State Department and support diplomacy around the world.