Recently, more than 40 taxpayers from three local organizations — Step Up Louisiana, Democratic Socialists of New Orleans, and Metairie Indivisible — gathered outside U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s office to protest the GOP tax bill. The Senate passed the bill at 2 a.m. last Friday, and although it is not quite law yet, it is very, very close. The bill, if passed, would cut taxes for the very wealthy and raise taxes on the poor and middle class. Louisiana families would see higher insurance premiums, higher taxes, and fewer social services, as funding to Medicare would automatically be cut.

This is the many-times-debunked "trickle-down economics" at its absolute worst. Kennedy professes to care about fiscal responsibility on the part of the individual citizen. What part of increasing the deficit by a trillion dollars is fiscally responsible? U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy claims to care about providing health care to the working poor. But the repeal of the individual mandate will raise premiums and increase uninsured rates drastically. This tax scam cuts almost $400 million in Medicare in Louisiana next year alone.

This will cost lives. Any appeal they invoke to ideology is a sham: this is a giveaway to the rich and corporations. Our senators are appeasing their donors off the backs of the poor. Not only that, but the bill was passed in the middle of night with illegible handwritten notes scribbled in the margins. Those are not the signs of a healthy democracy. That is a sign of extreme disregard for the voices of the people. Stand up for your constituents, senators, and use your seats in the Senate to stop the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Frances Gill


New Orleans