The Public Needs To See The Tax Reform Bill - And Response

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Whoa, all you hellions besmirching Senator Corker for his vote yesterday for the tax reform package.  His vote had no effect whatsoever on the outcome.  I am okay with that, although I was disappointed that other senators who were "no" votes apparently resolved their objections over the last three days so there would not have been any advantage in Senator Corker's being a lone holdout. 

I am not okay with the beat-down Wolf Blitzer, CNN, laid on Senator Corker very publicly yesterday afternoon with no intention of letting up until Senator Corker reluctantly began to create some space for himself in his usual professional and gentlemanly way.  He did the right thing by taking the weekend to read the bill that was available at the time and after doing so, made the decision that we, the people and the country, would be better off with it than continue to labor under the weight of what we have had for so long. 

I was not in favor of the bill based upon what I had heard on the news during the past several weeks. I still do not know what is in the bill.  I have not seen it.  That is my greatest objection:  the people have not seen the bill anytime during the process except the first markup draft provided to the Democrats in the Senate.  The copy approved by the House and forwarded to the Senate yesterday was found to have errors, although the Senate approved it before returning it to the House for corrections.  Presumably the House will forward the bill to the President for a phony signing ceremony before Christmas before it is put in final form.  That is what was reported yesterday.  The purpose for the ceremony reportedly is to provide evidence that this President had a major accomplishment during his first year in office. 

Congress should have learned during the Obamacare fiasco that any major legislative actions such as tax reform and all that now is made a significant part of the bill should be provided to the people for information and review to avoid legal proceedings, including final decision by the Supreme Court as we suffered through during the process for weeks concerning our health care.  Heretofore, significant far-reaching legislation has been made public and made available in libraries for public viewing and comment.  This bill definitely should have followed that procedure. 

I have yet to hear how the elderly or retirees who no longer have jobs will be affected.  It is all about who gets, or loses, all of the newly created groundswell of taxpayer's money. 

Charlotte Parton

* * * 

Ms. Partin, 

The Republicans released their tax bill at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 15, 2017. Of course, before it was actually voted on, many corrections and changes were made. It was a 1,097 page document and I understand it was not light reading. I guess they could have electronically published final versions after work in the house and senate was complete and before the final vote was taken?

I don't see that publishing everything before the vote would have avoided problems that will undoubtedly occur from the point of the signing. There will be arguments and lawsuits, etc. going forward. We have our voice through the politicians we elect and the laws we trust them to make for our benefit. No law is immune from problems as we have seen throughout our history. The supreme court is judiciary, not legislative in nature. I see your meaning but there is no practical way for the entire nation and courts to decide a matter such as the tax bill in a timely manner. 

What disturbs me more is other pieces of legislature that are attached to bills. That is where some votes are secured through concessions to specific politicians, states, etc.?  With that said, this is another aspect of how our "system" works. We can vote each and every time an election is held and still see legislation passed that we do not care for. Negotiation and concession is part of cooperation and moving forward. We have decided to let a relatively small group of politicians and judges make our decisions for us. We are a republic [ruled by law] and not the truest form of democracy where each person would vote on each piece of legislature. 

Until we find a better system, all we can really do is vote, voice our concerns, and pray that our legislators and judiciary do that which is truly in the best interest of our nation as a whole. Our other option? Get directly involved in politics and get voted into a position to be a more direct part of the process. 

Ted Ladd

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