Under the guise of a middle-class tax cut, the Senate passed a bill that adds a trillion dollars to the national debt, opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, will lead to increases in insurance premiums with a reduction in revenue to rural hospitals, and will result in future cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

But the heart of the bill is a massive transfer of wealth from average working people to the individuals at the very top of the income scale under the discredited theory of “trickle-down economics.”

This theory has had various names. In the late 1800s, before Republicans learned the need to wrap unpalatable ideas in deceptively appealing names, it was known as the “horse and sparrow theory.” This theory is based on the premise that a horse’s digestive system is not very efficient. If you feed a horse oats, some will pass through undigested and out the other end. The droppings then provide food for sparrows and other small animals. In other words the horse gets the oats and the sparrows get the excrement.

Of course a theory is only as good as the premises upon which it is based. In this economic theory the “horse” actually extracts every last bit of the “oats,” leaving precious little for the “sparrows.”

Both Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Sen. Susan Collins voted for this bill even though it is opposed by at least 60 percent of the people. It represents everything on the Christmas wish list of the wealthy and corporate Republican donors and coal in the stockings of the working men and women in this country.

It is not too late to stop this travesty. If you are outraged, let Poliquin and Collins know that you are a “sparrow” and you are not pleased.

Earl Coombs