Who has benefitted from the GOP tax cuts bill?

Editor,

A recent analysis by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) revealed that in 2018, 60 of America’s largest corporations avoided paying any federal income tax. The main reason these companies were able to dodge paying any tax was the Republican tax cuts bill that passed in December 2017.

The Republican bill reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but a large number of corporations actually paid much less than that, if they paid any tax at all. In 2018, the average actual tax rate that corporations paid was 7 percent.

Prior to passing their tax cut bill, Trump and his congressional Republican allies promised that they would eliminate the loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes. In fact, the bill they passed not only did not eliminate most of those loopholes, it added more. As a result, many more companies were able to use tax loopholes to avoid paying federal income tax altogether, and those that did pay taxes paid the lowest percentage since 1947.

What have these companies done with all the money that they saved by not paying their fair share of federal taxes? The Republicans promised that this money would go toward helping workers. In reality, the vast majority of the money went to increasing the incomes of corporate managers and stock holders. As has so often been the case, Trump and congressional Republicans lied to the American people. Their tax cut bill has been a boon for the wealthiest individuals.

As a result of the Republican tax cuts, the federal deficit and debt have skyrocketed. In fiscal year 2018, the deficit was $779 billion, a 17 percent increase from the fiscal 2017 deficit. For fiscal year 2019 the deficit is estimated to be $1 trillion.

In response to the skyrocketing deficit that they created, Trump and many congressional Republicans have proposed cutting funds for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, essential programs for middle and lower income individuals and families.

It is clear that Trump and his congressional Republican allies care only about their wealthy donors, not about the average American. If we want a government that truly cares about the people, we need to elect a president, senators and representatives who will put the people first.

Please remember this when you consider whom to vote for in 2020.

Gretta Van Bree

Lincoln Township

Spitting isn’t the only use for cherry pits

Editor,

In the Sunday, July 7, paper, there was an article regarding the Cherry Pit Spit with a quote from the late Mr. Teichman stating, “what else can be done with a cherry pit?”

Having been employed by Michigan Fruit Canners and their successors for 42 years, and now retired after 25 years, I want to inform you what else can be done with cherry pits.

We always processed a large volume of cherry products in the Fennville plant. I remember during the cherry season in the ’50s and early ’60s, the plant boiler was converted from coal to burn cherry pits to save energy.

So, there you have it, another use was found for the cherry pits other than spitting.

Fred Foster

St. Joseph

Sunday Sports section was a day-brightener

Editor,

Sunday’s Sports section of The HP – what fun. The young lady proudly holding her small bass brought back childhood memories of family vacations in northern Wisconsin included fishing time with my father, catching a variety of fish including bass. Too bad he never got his muskie! Good for her putting her bass back in to let it grow. A bass isn’t a bass unless it’s about a 3- to 5-pounder!

Next, what a contrast with the doctor who caught her jumbo catfish! She put it back. I wonder if she knows how delicious a catfish fillet tastes. Maybe she’s just decidedly kind to animals!

The Redbud photos are spectacular, full of energy and daring. You know the motorcross sport has gained in popularity when you can see the large numbers of viewers sprawled on the lawn and the number of flag wavers by the fence.

Who is not a fan of Serena Williams? The photo of her playing in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray is perfect, showing her speed and determination, along with her muscular frame. 

I have been noticing the VOLUNTEER-TO-DRIVE ads and wish I could be of help driving veterans to medical appointments. Uncle Sam in the ad looks too serious and would be more pleasant to view if he were made to look less stern.

Newspapers educate! Even about turtles! Now I know about blanding turtles. Thanks for the photo (in color) of the blanding turtle with the yellow throat.

All the recent photos of the women’s soccer players are much appreciated. It is a pleasure to know these women are getting recognized, not just because they’re winners, but, too, for their athleticism. Hopefully their financial issue of not receiving fair pay will be resolved and pay for them will be equal to their skills.

Action-packed golf photos catch my eye, too. It is amazing how good pro players are with the under-par scores almost hard to imagine. I have tried golfing. It’s fun and an interesting challenge. A golf partner and I got to calling it military golf when hitting the ball to the left, then hitting the ball to the right. The pros hit it straight down the fairway.

My favorite photo this week was the one of hatching house wrens inside a bluebird nesting box in Coloma Township. How special! I might add that because it was in color, it really caught my eye.

Congratulations on having such a fine selection of photos, and the ones in color are the best.

June Rollinger

St. Joseph