Don’t vote against your own interests

To the editor:

According an article in the New York Times, which was also recently aired on “60 Minutes,” there was a series of stories called the Paradise Papers, which revealed the offshore financial dealing of some of the world’s biggest corporations and wealthiest people, a majority of whom were American. I cite the Times since they were among 380 journalists from 90 media outlets and 67 countries to examine the latest set of documents that the leaks came through. There is not enough space to call out everyone, but here are a few examples. (By the way, this has been going on since the 1950s. There are no political parties who are held harmless.)

Behind one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors, Yuri Milner, was hundreds of millions of dollars in Kremlin funding. Not illegal, but there’s a trail. Milner is an investor in Cadre, a real estate tech company founded by Jared Kushner. Need I say how Kushner is a top White House adviser?

Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary, failed to disclose his holdings in a shipping company that is tied to Vladimir Putin’s sons-in-law — also hidden offshore. What’s the deal with powerful son-in laws? Might it have something to do with enriching daughters? Even Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, kept as much as $128 billion in profits abroad, free of taxation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t know how much President Trump is hiding because we weren’t permitted to see his tax returns, but we are able to see his tax reform budget proposal and it appears that these wealthy companies will glean a lot more profits than they currently do, at a time when the middle class has not seen an increase in wages for 20-plus years. Trickle down didn’t work then and will not now.

In a live discussion hosted by the Wall Street Journal, the host asked the audience, “How many of you will be reinvesting the profits from your tax decrease into the capital investments of your companies?” Only a few hands were raised. Gary Cohn, National Economic Council director and another Trump appointed cabinet official asked, “Why didn’t the others raise their hands?” The host was embarrassed and quickly moved on to the next question.

This is the same Gary Cohn who made the statement that middle income people will get as much as $1,200 back from their tax reform plan. He’s a former executive from Goldman Sachs. “You can remodel your kitchen or buy a car” he said. Boy is he disconnected. Just another example of the elite running the White House and our public policy.

So, pay very close attention to how your state and federal representatives vote on these issues (in District 6 it is U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson and Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.

Any gain we may see in tax reform may be offset by not being able to deduct from retirement savings, medical expenses or student loan payments. Don’t vote against your own interests.

Kathy Antinone