Letter: Tax deal no lunch buffet
There is no such thing as a free lunch. How many times have you heard this? Yet, our Congressman Scott Tipton seems to think that we believe that there is. He has recently voted for a massive tax cut bill that will go mostly to people who do not need it.
So, what do the rest of us get with this wonderful tax break? For one thing, Medicare will automatically be cut by $487 billion. The Republicans are proposing to make this up by ending traditional Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system. There is no guarantee that Medicare recipients will be able to buy comparable insurance with the voucher, nor are there guarantees that the vouchers will keep pace with medical costs which have been increasing faster than the overall inflation rate.
As one of the 21 percent of Garfield County that are retirees, these cuts to our Medicare will be a significant dent in our monthly income (particularly if your primary income is Social Security which will also be under attack, because of the 1.5 trillion deficit caused by the tax cut).
This tax cut will also reduce funding for Medicaid by $179 billion. There is a misconception that Medicaid goes mostly to poor people who do not work, when, in fact, 42 percent of Medicaid goes to supporting the elderly who have exhausted their life savings and to the disabled in nursing homes.
How many of you can quit your jobs to take care of an elderly parent or disabled family member when Medicaid is not there for them? Only about 13 percent of adult Medicaid recipients are not working, mostly because they are caring for a disabled person, are caring for children, or cannot find work. Most working Medicaid recipients are working full time but do not make enough to buy insurance, particularly for those that work in the low paying Garfield and Pitkin county tourism industries.
Cutting taxes and then saying that the government cannot afford basic services is the same as quitting your job and then saying that you cannot afford to pay for rent or food.