Count us among the many Mainers who were disappointed to hear that Sen. Susan Collins had found her way to a last-minute “yes” on her party’s tax reform bill, which had been teetering on the edge of viability without her support.

It’s not that we disagree with her statement that the tax code is too complicated and in need of revamping. And we don’t dispute that she made the bill better with the concessions that she exacted from Republican leadership, which will help some middle-class Mainers, especially those who deduct local property tax.

But the legislation to which Collins committed her support had more than a few problems. It was rotten at its core. It is a time bomb tossed into the federal budget that will lead to revenue shortfalls in future years and cuts to the programs upon which all but the very rich depend.

It will take some time before we know the exact details of the final bill, but if what has been debated this week were to become law, the gap between rich and everyone else is going to get worse.

Republicans in the House and Senate apparently agree with President Trump that what the economy needs is for the government to borrow somewhere around $1.5 trillion over the next decade and hand it over to wealthy individuals, families and corporations.

The party remains doggedly committed to the notion that tax cuts spur growth and as a result pay for themselves.

But the evidence doesn’t support that. A very thorough study by the Congressional Budget Office has shown that there is little relationship between tax rates and growth in gross domestic product. Some of the periods of our most explosive growth came while tax rates were highest, especially during the Eisenhower years, when the top marginal tax rates were at 90 percent.

And the Republican approach to tax reform ignores the real tax burden for most Mainers, which is not the federal income tax rate. Nearly three quarters of Americans pay more in payroll taxes – their contributions for Medicare and Social Security – than they pay in federal income tax. Along with sales tax, state income tax and local property tax, many working people pay a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes than the very rich.

And, down the road, when there’s not enough money in the U.S. Treasury to cover the commitments made for those bedrock social insurance programs, it will be the working people who have been contributing every pay day who will suffer most.

The Republicans control Congress and the White House, so they can do what they want. But they can do better than this.