Five Sullivans

JIM CHAPMAN

WATERLOO -- I was real happy to see the recent articles in The Courier about the 75th anniversary of the five Sullivan brothers. As a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I, like many other vets, have felt a special relationship with the Sullivan brothers and their family, and have always been very proud of their unique and extraordinary place in our American history.

I was very unhappy when the mayor and some of the Waterloo City Council allowed an out-of-town developer to remove their name from our convention center. I know they attempted to say they were adding the Sullivan name to the plaza, but what does that mean? What is the plaza? My guess is this out-of-town developer is not a veteran and has no idea of the historical importance of the five Sullivan brothers and the potential marketing aspect. Look at what New York city did.

It seems to me the good folks in New York City have a better appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice the five Sullivan brothers gave than do our local elected officials.

Farmland tax

REP. DEAN FISHER, R-House District 72

MONTOUR -- The recent letter to the editor from Rod Lorenz of Traer (Nov. 12), one of my constituents, regarding the Trump administration's proposed tax plan (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) was brought to my attention by another one of my constituents.

Mr. Lorenz was right to be alarmed by the proposal to tax farm land rental as part of the Social Security Self Employment Tax. While the federal tax plan is not directly under my purview as an Iowa State Representative, I and many of my constituents rent out our farm ground, so I too was concerned about this proposal. Upon hearing this news, I checked with Senator Grassley’s office for more information and alerted the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Fortunately, this provision was removed from the U.S. House version of the bill in the House Ways and Means committee late last week with the America Farm Bureau Federation leading the charge to eliminate it.

I am encouraged to know my constituents, our U.S. Congressional delegation and the Farm Bureau are keeping a close eye on proposed federal legislation, as a watchful eye makes for a better result.

Blum, tax cuts

KATE McELLIGATT

WATERLOO -- How stupid does Congressman Rod Blum think we are? He has been running ads purporting to fight for tax cuts that would help working families long before Trump’s tax plan was even made public. When it was, it was clear the plan was actually designed to take money from working families in order to give massive tax cuts to the rich and large corporations. More than half the benefits reaped would flow to the top 1 percent, increasing the already enormous wealth gap.

Republicans initially said middle income households would get a $4,000 reduction in their taxes. Now Republicans are saying some middle income households will get a $1,000 tax break while others will pay more. Many deductions helping the middle class (mortgage interest, student loans, medical expenses, charitable donations) are eliminated. Some of the new features Republicans say will benefit the middle class disappear after three years. The estate tax, which benefits millionaires and billionaires also will be eliminated.

The U.S. is essentially bankrupt, and this giveaway will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Rod Blum represents the interests of the wealthy, large corporations and the alt-right wing, not the people in his district.

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