Letter: Forget tax plan, we need infrastructure improvements
In this normally cheerful, joyous season, a pall of gloom has settled in on those of us who take heed of daily events nationally and around the world. For others who choose to rely on predetermined views based on their life's history or their favorite news outlet and don't even bother to vote, the destruction of our democracy and associated values is something far removed from their immediate daily concerns.
It will remain so until their job is replaced by automation and cheaper labor elsewhere, their health care is taken away, the environment becomes toxic again, foreign countries replace us as world leaders, criminal justice means more punitive measures for minor crimes, public education is gutted in favor of private-charter schools,...all things now going on with the conservative Republican presidency and cabinet, Congress, and Supreme Court.
These foolish, irresponsible actions will fail to meet the promises made in making their sale. For all of Trump-Republican posturing, they have no concrete plans to advance the common good except to lower taxes, cut regulations and hope. Make America Great Again is an empty slogan until there is some definition of what great would look like. The saying "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there" is appropriate.
Trump is taking credit for the eight years Obama spent recovering from Bush's recession, while his cabinet seems bent on undoing progress made on social issues affecting women, minorities, the LGBT community, education, voting rights, the environment, and health care.
Even worse is the damage being done in foreign relations. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry restored confidence with our foreign friends after the tragic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now we're backing out of agreements on nuclear weapon control, climate change, and trade, placing unnecessary bans on immigration, aligning with Russia despite their relentless attacks on our democracy, pushing for an unnecessary wall that can't be built .... the sum total of their first year in office. No significant legislation has been planned or passed. All destructive, nothing progressive.
The price will inevitably be a deep recession. The tax plan now being pushed doesn't even address the reason for taxes—paying the nation's bills. It actually adds a trillion dollars to the deficit.
The plan lowers taxes on the rich and corporations, hoping it will spur investment in the economy. Been tried before, never worked. Private industry cannot and will not invest in infrastructure, our most critical need and the real source of good paying jobs for millions. Does anyone really believe that corporations, with their tax savings, are going to build or repair roads, bridges, levees, dams, electric grids, internet expansion ... or train a workforce for the future? Only the government can plan and fund grand projects we need to maintain what we have and push forward.
The hope is that extraordinary progress going on within our scientific, engineering, academic, and business communities will overtake the destructive forces of conservative thought and actions.
Clean power is exciting and is the most important element in combating climate change. Wind, sun, and running water never run out and they are clean. Tesla has rolled out an electric semi-truck with a range of 300-500 miles, NASA and Germany have prototype electric driven airplanes with ranges up to 300 miles, electric cars in all categories are gaining in popularity, biofuel scientists are experimenting with fast-growing, energy-rich plants like algae as an economic source of clean liquid fuel replacing the dirty, toxic fossil fuels relentlessly pushed by climate change deniers.
Political prisoners of fossil fuel oligarchs poo-poo the notion of electric cars making much of an inroad due to limited range and convenience. Truth is, the average car driver over 16 drives an average of 30 miles per day—easily within range of electric vehicles. Delivery trucks, school buses, public transportation fall into the same category.
Market forces will dictate when fossil fuels are relegated to a minor fuel source role. Governments around the world are teaming with their industrial-academic partners to accelerate this movement. All 174 states in the Paris Accord on climate change are on board. Only one nation, the United States, has withdrawn, simply because it was a major Obama achievement. The clean energy movement is the core activity in saving our planet. This is the Progressive/Democrat approach. It integrates perfectly with government investments in infrastructure repair and replace.
Think about it during the upcoming election year.