Letters to the Editor

True Colors of Congress

Dear Editor: As the Republican Congress moves toward a massive redistribution of wealth to the extremely rich, I think we should be grateful to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for telling us what they really think of struggling American working people.

The estate tax is imposed on money that is inherited rather than earned by work, but Senator Grassley defended eliminating this tax because it “recognizes people that are investing, as opposed to those who are spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

The Children’s Health Care Program, which was created by Senator Hatch and the late Senator Ted Kennedy in 1997, insures nine million children and 320,000 pregnant women. It has been unfunded for two months. After voting for massive tax cuts, Senator Hatch said that CHIP would be fixed, but added, “the reason CHIP is having trouble is that we don’t have money any more…. But I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, who won’t lift a finger and who expect the federal government to do everything.”

Rep. Chris Collins recently gave the game away when he told why he and other Republicans are supporting this deeply unpopular bill – his donors told him to pass the bill or not to call them again.

Many Republicans have already indicated that they will deal with the massive increase in the deficit by cutting social programs and the safety net.

As Catholics, we should be deeply concerned about the common good. Under the headline, “US Bishops Think Senate Tax Proposal Would Hurt Families,” (Dec. 2), Bishop Frank Dewane expresses the Catholic position that taxation is an issue of justice and equity and points out that any positive elements of the bill are “dwarfed by items that run afoul of Catholic teaching.”

The entire letter that the Bishops sent to Congress can be found on the USCCB website, and I encourage all readers to refer to it. It points out that “this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax legislation in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy.”