Sour grapes

Democrats and progressive activists have not been magnanimous in their tax-cut defeat. They continue to parrot the misleading talking point that 83 percent of tax-cut savings will go to the top 1 percent and that 86 million Americans will see their taxes increased as a result.

These numbers are based on the faulty assumption that the significant individual tax cuts in the legislation will expire. In reality, no Congress would eliminate the legislation’s provisions that bring long-overdue relief to ordinary taxpayers. These include the doubling of the zero tax bracket, doubling of the child tax credit and elimination of the 15 percent tax rate in favor of a vastly expanded 12 percent rate. Even socialist Bernie Sanders was forced to recently admit these tax-cut provisions are good.

The tax-cut reality is much different than the Democrat rhetoric. According to the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, over 80 percent of Americans will receive tax relief in 2018 and only 4.8 percent — the vast majority of whom are wealthy — will see a tax increase. The wealthiest 1 percent will actually see their share of federal taxes paid increase as a result of this legislation.

Fortunately this is one of the rare policy debates that will be settled objectively as tax cuts begin to show up in paychecks as soon as February. If Democrats keep up their 83 percent and 86 million arguments then, they will not only sound like sour grapes but also completely out of touch with reality.

Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO, Job Creators Network

Toxic chemicals

Thanks to the 2016 update of U.S. chemical policy, the Environmental Protection Agency now has the authority to protect us from toxic chemicals. The EPA proposed rules to restrict three dangerous chemicals many months ago, but the Trump administration has yet to act.

The case for action is strong: More than 300,000 workers and consumers are exposed to tricloroethylene (TCE) through both industrial processes and dry cleaning. It has been shown to cause cancer and has been linked to fetal heart malformations. Methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) can be found on the shelves of our local hardware stores in paint strippers. Acute exposure to methylene chloride is responsible for at least 50 reported deaths since the 1980s. Exposure to NMP is associated with developmental harm, including increased fetal and infant mortality.

By finalizing bans on these high-exposure industrial and consumer uses — in dry cleaning, vapor degreasing and paint stripping — the EPA can protect thousands of workers and millions of consumers.

What are they waiting for? How many need to be hospitalized or die from these dangerous chemicals? I say not one! The EPA should take action immediately — and lawmakers should see they follow through out of concern for their constituents.

Sue Sayne, Aquilla