Letter to Ron Johnson on the Tax Bill

Dear Senator Johnson,

While the Republican party has long promised some kind of tax reform, the bill that is currently before the House and Senate changes tax law, but does nothing to improve the circumstances of the vast majority of American citizens. In addition to it being a giveaway to the wealthiest of our countrymen, it is an insult to middle class and poor Americans.

If anything the tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals should go up, not down. Those rates have been steadily decreasing over the last hundred years, while the burden of taxes has fallen more heavily on those who can least afford to pay more.

The bill also sabotages health care for all Americans while doing nothing to improve the lot of those who cannot afford insurance or staying healthy. This is a sneaky way to undermine the Affordable Care Act, a law that since its introduction has increased in popularity and use despite the constant Republican drumbeat against it.

Also, allowing drilling in the Arctic in this bill, something that has nothing at all to do with taxes, but has been a long-time unachievable goal of your party, is again a sneaky way to reward large corporations while ignoring the will of the American people. The majority of us want to see our environment–and especially those areas of it that have been designated for protection–left alone.

This tax bill has been rushed through without the possibility for thorough review by the members of either party, let alone the American public. Since it was unveiled, however, it has been shown to be incredibly unpopular in poll after poll. You and all of our elected officials have been elected to represent your constituents, not to enact legislation that benefits corporations and the wealthy over the needs of the many. Further, holding out your vote until other Senators agreed to an amendment that will further line your own pockets is a despicable act. It will be remembered come the next election.

Though I’m confident my plea will fall on deaf ears, I wanted to let you know how I feel and to add to the record another citizen whose vote you will not represent if you vote for this bill and whose vote you will not get once you do.

Tax the Rich

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About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Both are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he has been an actor, writer, and director since 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events.
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