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Andy Harris is no friend of the middle class

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which President Donald Trump says will be the largest tax cut in history for the middle class (“The House just passed its big tax bill. Here's what is in it and what deductions vanish,” Nov. 17).

Except in Maryland, that is, where nearly one third of residents will pay substantially more under the president’s tax overhaul plan. Only one person in Maryland voted for it — 1st District Rep. Andy Harris.

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Dr. Harris knows that the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has determined that 31 percent of middle class Marylanders will pay substantially higher taxes under this bill. The elimination of deductions for state and local taxes make this bill onerous for “blue states” like Maryland.

Dr. Harris also knows that elimination of personal exemptions make this primarily an anti-family bill that will have a punitive impact on large working families of all stripes across the state. He also knows the removal of the interest tax deduction for student loans is mean-spirited and anti-educational.

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And let’s not forget that, according to the Tax Policy Center, whatever tax benefit exists, 51 percent of the total tax cut will be going to the top 1 percent of earners by the end of the next decade. He also knows that the bill adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Is this by the same person who previously masqueraded as a fiscal conservative?

Since Rep Harris won by a 38-point margin in the last congressional election, maybe he feels immune to petty state and local politics and the concerns of the citizens around him.

Or maybe he imagines that since the tax reform package will ultimately pass by the slimmest of margins, he has the decisive vote in the state on the issue and maybe the whole country — a vote that could make him a name in the world of alt right politics.

In Maryland his name should be mud.

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Even though Dr. Harris may not be your representative, flood his office with calls and texts so he realizes the tremendous harm he is doing to middle class residents of Maryland and that he has no political future in this state if he continues to support the Republican tax plan.

Thomas J. Snyder, Baltimore

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