Shelter Island Reporter editorial: Thank you, Mr. Zeldin

COURTESY PHOTO Congressman Lee Zeldin

COURTESY PHOTO Congressman Lee Zeldin

The editorial page of the Reporter has taken Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) to task on several issues.

When Mr. Zeldin, who represents Shelter Island in the House of Representatives, gets in lockstep with his Republican colleagues expressing horror that there should be reasonable restrictions on purchasing firearms, we let him have it.

And he didn’t get a pass from us by refusing to meet constituents who requested an interview in his Riverhead office.

Also, we pointed out how wrong Mr. Zeldin was when he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump’s fever dream idea to cut legal — yes, legal — immigration in half,

But that’s not surprising. Mr. Zeldin has been a Trump-ite from the beginning and seems to be staying true to the cause, holding a fundraiser with star power provided by Mr. Trump’s chief wingman, the reactionary Steve Bannon.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see Mr. Zeldin opposed to the atrocious tax bill that was just passed by the U.S. Senate and is now being reconciled with a House bill before being sent to Mr. Trump to sign — and show off his signature to press cameras.

There is so much wrong with the tax bill that didn’t have a single hearing on the issue and didn’t receive a single vote from the opposition party. In addition to presenting a bouquet to billionaires, Wall Street and large corporations, it also specifically hurts taxpayers in New York, who will be unable to deduct their state and local taxes (SALT) when they file their federal returns.

Mr. Zeldin, along with the three members of the Long Island Congressional delegation — two Democrats and a fellow Republican — blasted this double and triple taxation. As County Executive Steve Bellone said last week, there is the potential for a “catastrophe” for Long Island.

Mr. Zeldin was strong in his opposition to the con game going on in Washington leading up to voting on the redistribution of wealth from lower income Americans to those already doing extremely well.

“Eliminating the SALT deduction would be a geographic redistribution of wealth, picking winners and losers,” Mr. Zeldin said. “New York is a net contributor to the federal coffers with regards to both tax policy and spending policy and that is even with the SALT deduction.”

We salute Mr. Zeldin for speaking out and voting against this bill. The congressman, up for reelection less than a year from now, knows how devastating Trumpian and GOP economic polices will be for our communities, and made a stand against them.