Letters to the Editor

Erskine letter: Tax bill

Sequestration. The sneaky little secret that Congress and the White House are not telling you until after the fact is that if the tax bill passes and creates a new deficit, currently projected to be in the range of $1.5 trillion over 10 years, the Congress will have to reduce spending for FY2018 by the current portion of the increased debt, which would be $150 million.

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/hr1hoyerletter.pdf.

If the Congress makes no effort to offset this increase in debt, then sequestration, sometimes called PAYGO, kicks in automatically, stripping 25 million out of Medicare. President Trump promised the American people he would not touch Medicare. The additional deficit of $111 million remaining would be taken proportionally out of other discretionary spending. But, as the link above points out, there is not enough sequestration money available, meaning Congress will have to decrease discretionary spending specifically or raise the sequestration rates, thus reducing safety net programs. Surprise.

The tax bill is only one shoe, the other shoe must drop and will drop on you.

In the meantime, the media is chasing tweets, salacious sexual subjects and other shinny things.

Scott Erskine, Boise

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