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Lewisburg community protests proposed federal tax plan

By JORDAN NELSON

The Register-Herald

LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Paul Detch, chairman of Greenbrier County’s Democratic Executive Committee, called the Republican Party’s proposed tax plan a straight killer to the economy and the most dangerous thing the U.S. has seen in 50 years during a rally protesting the proposed tax plan Saturday in downtown Lewisburg.

Greg Zafros and Sally Cooper attend a Fair Taxation Rally in Lewisburg Saturday to protest the House Republican tax bill.
(Register-Herald photo by Jenny Harnish)

“With that being said, this is a very vital and important issue not only for the country but for West Virginia and our county,” he said.

It was a chilly and rainy day in Lewisburg Saturday, but that did not stop the small crowd of Democrats who gatherde in the Lewisburg Green Space to let their voices be heard.

The rally’s organizer, Cici McLay, said the proposed Republican tax bill will overtax the working and middle class people and give big tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations.

“This will cause a $1.5 trillion deficit,” she said. “Then they plan to institute reductions in Medicare, Medicaid, infrastructure and so on.”

McLay said to make up for the specified deficits, there will be a decrease in funding of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s an underhanded way to gut social programming for all of us in the United States.”

She said the purpose of the rally was to bring attention to the fact the proposed tax plan is a horrendous bill, and it is something everyone needs to stand up and take leadership in saying no to.

During the rally participants held signs expressing their own feelings toward the proposed tax plan.

One said, “I want you to give me your money for corporate welfare,” and another said, “Billions for Trump, and pennies for us.”

Judy Lucas, a private business owner in Lewisburg, said she does not foresee the proposed tax plan affecting her much in terms of tax breaks, because she is in a tax bracket that will not see much of a difference, but she does see it affecting the working class and low-income people in the country.

“I am now at the age where I am collecting Medicare,” Lucas said. “And they’re talking about cutting that, and that just really infuriates me.

“That’s my money, and I’ve been putting money toward that since I was 16 years old. So I’d really like for them to stop taking it.”

Lucas said although the crowd for the rally may have been small Saturday, she wanted her voice to be heard.

“We’re put on Earth to stick up for the little people,” she said. “I’m not a big politically religious person, but I do feel it’s my duty to look out for everybody.”

Detch said the proposed tax plan and the tax cuts he believes will come along with it will be a continuing process of the rich and wealthy trying to shift their obligations to the poor and middle class people.

“I’ve had lessons in economics and in history, and no time has the trickle-down theory of economics ever worked,” he said.

Detch compared the proposed plan to the surf system in Russia.

“They want the wealthy to get tax breaks, and the big corporations to get tax breaks, but then after they have given these breaks, they won’t tell us where they are going to take the cuts.”

He said he believes the cuts will come from teachers’ salaries, schools, highways and more.

“They’ll cut everything that affects the people including their health care, all so the wealthy can get a tax break.”

Detch believes the wealthy will simply take their tax break, put it away in a bank, and never spend it, meaning it will never go toward helping or fixing the economy.

He said the problem would be solved with a “trickle-up effect,” which would be taxing the wealthy, giving to the lower and working class and letting the process work its way up.

“That way we can have social services,” he said, “but all this is going to do is increase our national debt, which is what has happened every time there has been a Republican tax break.”

McLay said she thinks those who are loyal to the U.S., and are concerned the U.S. continue to be a great country that is compassionate and cares for all, need to provide social support for the people.

“It’s been almost one year since Trump was elected,” she said. “It’s been a devastating year, and I think people may be growing a little tired, but I’m trying to keep the fight going.”

Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH 

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