Consequences of the tax overhaul
I’m a widow on a fixed income in her own home. I have medical expenses. There is no “child tax credit” for me [“Final GOP tax bill released,” News, Dec. 16]. Surely I am not alone in worrying about what this tax bill will do to me.
Will I have to leave Long Island, if not the whole state of New York?
Ann Kemler, Long Beach
With congressional Republicans having passed a tax bill, I support a new source of tax revenue: meat. Yes, a tax on meat, to beat the health and climate crises.
We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol and other consumables that afflict the public health and come with social costs.
The revenue from taxing meat could reimburse Medicare, Medicaid and other government health care programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked with the consumption of animal products. The money could help pay to restore air and water quality and wildlife habitats devastated by production of meat for consumption.
Norman Dellman, Melville
This tax bill will destroy our nation. How can Congress write a bill that would explode the nation’s debt?
Many Republicans say we cannot increase government spending. However, they do not consider giving away billions of dollars to wealthy citizens, corporations and the other pet projects as an unreasonable cost of running government? This is snake talk.
There is no way that this will be compensated by increasing economic growth. With our budget running up spending, how will the government reduce costs? Well, entitlements are most certainly going to be considered.
Be careful what you wish for. The 115th Congress’ tax bill is a Trojan horse that will deny money for entitlement programs, which will be sacrificed in the name of fiscal integrity.
Josephine Tsatsakos, Levittown
I’m a Long Islander who scrapes by each month with zero left over. This is because every living expense — oil, electricity, sales taxes, school taxes, gas, commuting charges, food, water, etc. — seems to cost three times that of most other areas.
I thought, how could a Republican-led tax plan be bad? Well, I was abysmally wrong. What angers me most is that these politicians — from President Donald Trump to House Speaker Paul Ryan to every other non-Long Island Republican — explain this as if we are idiots.
The two items they say will help me are raising the standard deduction and lowering the top tax bracket. Are they kidding? I have not used the standard deduction since I was 18, single and working at Waldbaum’s, and have never hit that top tax bracket.
Give me a break.
Bill Morello, Kings Park
So once again our representatives fail us, the great mass of middle- and lower-class Americans. We voted them into office, yet we don’t learn, and we have no say in the decisions they make for us. They listen to the wealthy and the large corporations.
Enormous and permanent tax reductions are about to be given to the wealthy and the corporations. Meanwhile, parsimonious temporary reductions are to be doled out to everyday Americans.
All of this is surrounded and wrapped in platitudes of the marvelous benefits to come. We should tell Washington to stop lying to us.
Brendan O’Grady, Port Jefferson
Montauketts’ history is well documented
Regarding “Guv once again vetoes the Montaukett bill” [News, Dec. 1], I sent Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a copy of my 700-page book, “The History & Archaeology of the Montauk,” weeks ago, before his veto.
I included a short list of some of the egregious behavior of the Colonial East Hampton people toward the Montaukett: burning their homes as they slept, shooting their dogs to hamper hunting for food, stealing their firewood so people froze to death, and enabling developers to push them off their land.
Does Cuomo want to waste taxpayer funds to conduct an investigation he feels is necessary before recognizing the Montaukett? It’s all there in the volume I sent, which includes hundreds of historic Montaukett photographs. We urge him to read it, open his eyes and do the honest thing.
Gaynell Stone, Stony Brook
Editor’s note: The writer is an archaeologist and director of the Suffolk County Archaeological Association.
Essay captured the spirit of the holidays
My thanks to reader Howard Lev for his excellent op-ed that demonstrates the true spirit of the holidays [“Hey Santa, we wouldn’t mind a visit,” Opinion, Dec. 15]. I’m a Catholic who is disgusted with this country’s drive for political correctness. Lev’s article was a wonderful story about family, the holidays, tradition and joy.
Thank you and shalom!
Brian Reilly, Lindenhurst