I believe changes in tax policies are used to reward some and hurt others.

I am a retired union construction worker. I spent a lot of time working out of state, coming home only on weekends. I was able to deduct my expenses — hotel, meals, mileage and tolls; also union dues, safety clothing, steel-toed boots, tools, etc. Those deductions helped defray the cost of working out of town.

Living in rural Maine I would take jobs where they were available. Union contractors don’t usually offer compensation for expenses out of town, so deductions were essential at tax time.

I am retired so I shouldn’t be affected by the Trump tax changes, but my brothers and sisters who are still working will. All of the deductions I listed have been eliminated, while the increased standard deduction won’t cover the differences in many cases.

I have heard from active members who are surprised that their taxes are actually increasing from the previous year. Trump promised tax fairness, but what we got was a system where the hedge funds, Wall Street and corporations pay a lower tax rate than workers, if they pay any tax at all.

I think President Trump would like to see the unions diminished and the tax change will help him.

I hope the bill that was proposed to restore the deductions will pass Congress to give a small measure of fairness to a hardworking group of Americans.

James McHugh, Mexico

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