For many years the GOP has been wanting to reform the tax code in the very worst way and that's exactly the way they went about it. While the disastrous Reagan tax reform took two years to develop, the GOP has taken about four weeks to design a plan that has far reaching negative effects and unintended consequences. At least the Reagan plan, though also an attack on the middle class, showed a scintilla of mercy toward the non-rich.

When discussing tax policy we need to keep certain facts in mind:

• reducing the number of tax brackets simplifies nothing as the brackets are designed into computer programs and actual tax charts for people who still use charts.

• the rich are already grossly under-taxed. On an individual basis they pay some of the lowest taxes in our history. The fact that, when grouped together, they pay a large share of our taxes only means that we have very many rich people individually paying very little.

• tax cuts to the rich actually do little or nothing to help our economy as the rich shelter and save their income while the low earners and middle class spend virtually every dime of any tax cut. Trickle-down economics has been proven to be a fraud. If economic growth is desired the Trump tax plan has things backwards as it is a giveaway to corporations and high earners financed by cuts in Medicare, and a loss in deductions resulting in higher taxes on many in the middle class. The GOP plan attacks the most vulnerable in our society including our students.

• the estate tax only affects the richest of the rich.

• U.S. corporations currently do NOT pay high tax rates as the real "effective" rate is closer to 18 percent when deductions are considered. They are unlikely to decide to expand or hire more people as they are already experiencing record profits and the cost of borrowing is at a record low.

• cuts in deductibles of state and local taxes are unfair to blue states who take care of our own and, in addition, support red states through our federal income tax dollars.

The current tax "reform" plan is a huge wealth transfer from hard working Americans to the already under-taxed rich. It is a cruel charade perpetrated by the GOP ... the party of, by and for the rich.

Thomas Hanley