The party of the rich doubles down

Now Republicans say they’re drawing a “red line” against corporate and upper-income tax hikes, though this is how President Joe Biden has proposed paying for a massive investment in infrastructure.

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President Joe Biden has proposed spending $2.3 trillion to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed spending $600 billion to $800 billion.

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Is there ever any doubt that Republicans are the party of corporations and the wealthy?

The main legislative accomplishment of Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans was to push through huge tax cuts that largely favored corporations and the wealthy while leaving the middle class to struggle and shrink.

Now, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will draw a “red line” against corporate and upper-income tax hikes, though this is how President Joe Biden has proposed paying for a massive federal investment in infrastructure.

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Republicans, at times with Democratic help, have manipulated the tax code so that some big corporations pay little or no taxes. The GOP has made it difficult for workers to form unions, opposed raising the paltry $7.25 per hour minimum wage, passed trade deals that hurt workers and opposed limits on the influence of big campaign contributions, which mostly go to Republicans.

In working for corporations and the wealthy, Republicans are just tending to their biggest donors and most important constituents.

Richard Barsanti, Western Springs

Drawback to new masks rule

As a fully vaccinated person, it’s nice to know I’m no longer required to wear a mask in stores, bars and restaurants. At the same time, it bothers me that the people who refuse to be vaccinated and safeguard the public at large now have a perfect excuse to display their naked faces.

How many places of business, especially those that are hurting because of the pandemic, are likely to require proof of vaccination to enter their establishment?

Bob Ory, Elgin 

An excellent bill to fight climate change

The Clean Energy Jobs Act, now pending in the state Legislature, would move Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050. It would help fight climate change and safeguard the health of communities. It’s the boldest clean energy bill in Illinois history, and one of the most ambitious such bills in the country.

CEJA would create thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs for the people who need them most, like low-income communities and communities of color, and workers displaced by the ongoing decline of fossil fuels.

The bill would expand wind and solar energy across the state, keep utilities accountable, make buildings more energy efficient and reduce pollution from the transportation sector (Illinois’ single largest source of carbon emissions) by investing in electric vehicles.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act also would save Illinoisans money by protecting them from energy companies that want us to pay more to support their outdated, expensive fossil fuel power plants. It would support an equitable transition for communities and workers affected by the ongoing move away from coal, which we saw in Illinois with the recent closure of four Vistra coal plants.

The people of Illinois already know what worsening climate change feels like: poor air quality, more severe tornadoes, more destructive flooding, a surge in insect-borne diseases and more deadly hot days in urban heat islands such as Chicago.

Gabriella Brown, Bucktown

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