Sen. Bernie Sanders has referred to the Senate tax bill as one of the great robberies in U.S. history, as it allows the Republicans to loot the Treasury. The Republicans chose to take from veterans, the disabled, seniors, students, teachers, and public education to give to their real constituents, the wealthy and corporations. Both groups are sitting on massive amounts of cash, which they use to buy congressmen and fund so-called think tanks. These congressmen and think tanks then propose, support, and vote for legislation that enriches their paymasters.

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Buying government like this subverts democracy for the many and turns it into an oligarchy for the few. The Republicans purposely designed this bill to explode the deficit. Then, when the deficit skyrockets, they will demand cuts to Medicare, Medicaid other safety net programs, and even Social Security. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has already said that the U.S. cannot afford to fund CHIP, the children’s health insurance program, because it spends too much — he considers the children served by this program freeloaders who expect the federal government to provide for them instead of making their own way.

Illinois citizens have seen firsthand the effects of starving social service agencies and higher education under our current governor. His stubborn refusal to sign a budget has triggered penalties that have tripled the state’s debt in order to gut state government. Our children and grandchildren will be on the hook for his increase to the state’s debt and will be burdened with even more federal debt generated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs act.

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs act the Republicans are having their cake and eating it, too. They will reward their donors with the lion’s share of the tax cuts. Then, when the deficit balloons, they will gleefully become deficit hawks and champion cuts to social programs that the people in their district count on. Voters should keep calling and emailing their senators and representatives, especially the Republican representatives who voted for the House version, until they enact true tax reform that benefits those who need it before those who want it.

Nancy Turner, Naperville

Disillusioned

In light of recent news regarding Judge Roy Moore’s possible election to become a U.S. senator, I have become disillusioned with the voters of Alabama. I would suggest the population of other states might take action if Moore is elected. I suggest a boycott of Alabama tourist industries or a comparable Alabama industry.

Gary Doherty, Berwyn

Roskam works for his donors

After being named to the tax bill conference committee, Peter Roskam, R-Ill, is working with lobbyists and billionaires right now to finalize a tax bill that’s bad for his constituents and Illinois. More than half of taxpayers in my district deduct state and local taxes.

If it wasn’t already clear from his refusal to hold a town hall this decade, this tax bill is Exhibit A that Roskam works for his donors. Corporate profits are at all-time highs. The congressman has recently visited several local corporations and then touted how they would hire workers and invest in more capital if only their taxes were lowered. One such company is Bohler-Uddeholm in Elgin, which Roskam visited in November. Their European parent company, Voestalpine, has annual profit of $621 million is sitting on $593 million in cash. I’d like to ask my congressman, how much more money do they need before they’d have enough for additional workers or capital?

Reid McCollum, Hinsdale