The old saw that “people who like sausages and law shouldn’t see how they are created” is surely reflected in the passage of the new tax statute: No hearings were held, no government agencies had an opportunity to discover the actual economic effects, and even debate was extremely minimal. Since alterations in the proposal’s language were made almost up until it was voted on, it is doubtful that few in the Republican majority even had the time to read the over-500-page, complicated document, let alone to understand its effects.

In addition to the lies the administration told us (e.g., that it was a “middle-class” tax cut, that it would pay for itself, that the Trump family would not gain from the cut in the highest tax bracket or the advantages included for those whose business is property development and investment), little was heard about the fact that an estimated 60 to 70 percent of the cuts go to the wealthy. The working and real middle class might gain a couple hundred dollars, which is nice, although some will, in fact, find their income taxes actually increase. Even these tax cuts will evaporate in just a few years, although corporate cuts will not.

Recently, Sen. Susan Collins attempted to deflect criticism about her support of the statute in both an op-ed in the Press Herald and a series of advertisements about her concern for ordinary Mainers, but these matters were not even mentioned.

But wait – the real bombshell will land this year, when the Republicans again find their temporarily removed anti-deficit and anti-government spending hats and go after what they really don’t like: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Now, they can attempt to use the $1.5 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”) addition they just made to the deficit to go after what they call “entitlements.” The tax act, then, was a twofer for the Republicans.

It’s a class war, and guess who is winning.

James Atleson

Cape Elizabeth