I urge Sen. Susan Collins to say “no” to the Republican tax proposal. It cannot be justified unless gaining “a” political victory for the president and the Republican-led Congress is more important than any reasonable, rational, thoughtful debate. This tax plan process runs counter to her stated, principled philosophy as a senator: senatorial debate through regular order.

The need for reasoned, thoughtful, rational tax reform is acknowledged by just about everybody familiar with our byzantine tax code. The Republican tax proposal, however, is not tax reform.

Initially, congressional Republicans proposed tax reform and candidate Donald Trump campaigned for it to help the middle class and create jobs. It has morphed into major tax cuts benefiting big business and wealthy Americans, especially Republican benefactors. Sure, most of us receive morsels of cuts, but make no mistake: Corporations and the wealthy benefit most.

If Congress and President Trump really wanted to do something to benefit the middle class, they’d be promoting programs to deal with our crumbling infrastructure. This would lead to substantial, good-paying work for the middle class. And, unlike offering tax cuts to the wealthy and big business, funding a national infrastructure program actually would result in “trickle-down” job growth. Most importantly, it addresses a critical need, where these proposed tax cuts don’t.

The Republican tax proposal will add about $1.5 trillion to our national debt. Reportedly, our crumbling infrastructure requires nearly $5 trillion to meet its needs. Applying the $1.5 trillion as a down payment directed toward infrastructure upgrades will guarantee jobs where, based on history, the latest Republican tax plan won’t.

Therefore, instead of creating a huge debt to be paid by future generations and providing tax benefits that absolutely benefit wealthy individuals and corporations, Collins should reject any version of these proposals. Doing so will hopefully lead her colleagues to direct their efforts to meet the needs of all of our country.

Roger Beeley