Now that the deeply unpopular and corrupt Republican tax bill has been passed, it is time for the Democrats to put forward their own plan, a true reform that would benefit the whole country, not just wealthy Republican (or Democratic) donors. And, they should run on it in 2018 and 2020.

In a column reprinted in this newspaper on Dec. 8, George Will of The Washington Post cites the important fact that the wealthy provide a significantly larger contribution to income tax revenue than do lower-income groups. This, of course, reflects the large income inequality in our country. (Don’t feel sorry: Those who pay the most taxes still have the most left afterward.) Mr. Will concludes that only a tax cut for the wealthy, not for the middle class, can be significant to macroeconomic policy, thus justifying the Republican approach to taxes.

One can easily draw different conclusions. In percentage terms, we could more easily afford a significant tax cut for the middle class, who need it, than we can for the upper class; that is, it would require less borrowing to fund it. It also follows that a small percentage increase in taxes on the wealthy, whose material needs are amply met, could significantly reduce deficits.

Given our large and growing income and wealth inequality, which many thinkers, including the Founding Fathers, have feared will destabilize a republic, a good case can be made for doing both, that is, for increasing the progressivity of the tax code. The Republicans, of course, have done the opposite.

Numerous commentators have said that the Democrats must develop a positive message, a clear plan for governing to present to the voters. A just tax policy should be a major part of such a plan. Complaints about what the Republicans have done are valid but are not sufficient.

Michael P. Bacon