Is the real Susan Collins now standing up? Last week, she voted against her promises to Mainers, agreeing to support a toxic Senate budget resolution that puts Medicaid at risk, targets cuts at Medicare and Social Security, threatens programs Mainers rely on, like food stamps and support for children’s health, and would use all these cuts to “pay for” tax cuts for the rich.

 She frequently says she wants to hold down the federal deficit, but the budget resolution would add $1.5 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years.

She defends health care for Mainers and protects rural hospitals by opposing cuts to Medicaid, but the budget resolution opens the door to hundreds of millions of dollars of Medicaid cuts.

She wants tax reform to benefit working families, but the Tax Policy Center says the proposed tax framework provides massive benefits for the wealthy – lowers their tax rates, allows them to re-label personal income as “business income” to get a lower tax rate, eliminates the estate tax (a huge benefit for the rich) and eliminates the alternative minimum tax (which limits the deductions the rich can take from their tax bills).

She says doubling the standard deduction will help working families, but the tax framework would also eliminate the personal exemption, end the deduction for state and local taxes and raise the lowest tax bracket from 10 to 12 percent, wiping out any benefit from doubling the standard deduction.

The budget resolution she supported does not allow tax reform for working families; it opens the door to tax cuts for the rich, combined with a “bait and switch,” that would make deep cuts for the programs that affect most Mainers. Based on her past votes, Mainers expected better from her.

Gordon Adams

Brunswick