Cimon: All of us benefit from government

To the Editor:

In response to Mike Burton’s take on the tax bill, he doesn’t seem to live in the same Union County that the rest of us do. The median income here isn’t even $43,000. That means that half of our fellow citizens are making less than that. They will see nothing close to the extra money in their paychecks. In the long run they will be losers if the likes of Senator Rand Paul have their way.

Mr. Paul voted for a tax bill that was designed to dump more money into the pockets of those who need it the least. Now he’s whining about balancing the budget, when that tax bill will create an estimated $1.5 trillion dollar hole in that same budget. That’s more than $4,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. That bill will come due even as the tax benefits disappear from most of us while growing even greater for the wealthy.

All of us benefit from government and it’s long past time we acknowledge that, including Mr. Burton. Programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have provided all citizens with a floor they can stand on. Clean water, clean air and well-managed resources including our forests and wildlife are near the top of my agenda, and they have been since I worked for the EPA and the US. Forest Service. That and much more — roads, airports, sewer systems, snow plows — all of it is what taxes are for, and if the job is well done I’m more than happy to pay up.

The ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor is, for me, the greatest danger we face. The tax bill will do nothing but make that worse. As for budget deficits, there was never a problem when the country was most prosperous. That’s when we taxed the wealthy instead of the poor. There’s real data to back that up, not some think-tank theory. Congressional leadership has decided they don’t care about that hole anymore. Why should the rest of us?

Norm Cimon

La Grande