Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The tax hike that...
. . . .

The tax hike that isn‘t

Stephen Tuttle - September 20th, 2010
The tax hike that isn’t
It seems we’re going to be whacked with a staggering $3.8 trillion tax
hike. At least that’s what the leaders of the Republican party keep
telling us. And what possible reason could they have for wanting to
deceive us less than seven weeks before the national mid-term
elections?
While the accusation makes for excellent headlines and campaign
fodder, it is provably untrue.
This all started back during the Bush Administration when a series of
income tax cuts were passed into law. They were not permanent cuts,
just temporary attempts at some stimulus for a moribund economy. They
expire in December.
The idea was the extra money in the pockets of Americans would
increase spending and investing, giving the economy a nice kick in the
pants. The very rich were expected to buy big-ticket items like new
homes, cars and, one supposes, yachts and planes. That’s why rich
folks received the biggest tax breaks. The consumer economy would
start humming right along and all would be right with the world.
At least this is the way “supply side” economics is supposed to work –
rich folks spend and the benefits of that spending trickle down on us
little people. The same impact is supposed to result from tax cuts
and tax breaks for large corporations; they will use the new money to
invest in new enterprises, expand their current operations, purchase
new equipment and hire new employees or, at the very least, re-hire
those who have been laid off.
Unfortunately, there’s never been anything that proved supply side
economics to be much more than the cocktail napkin fantasy of creator
Arthur Laffer and his acolytes in the Reagan and Bush administrations.
What actually happened after the Bush tax cuts was almost nothing; an
orgy of non-spending by everyone, including wealthy individuals and
big corporations. People of all income levels pulled spending back by
necessity and choice.
It’s regrettable the very wealthy did not go on spending sprees
because they were certainly capable of doing so. The top 1% – the
financial elite – saw their incomes increase a whopping 150% during
this recession and they now control a staggering 23% of the country’s
wealth. They got richer but did not spend a lot more.
(It’s no different at the corporate level where corporate income tax
cuts produced none of the anticipated benefits. Most companies have
not expanded or made new capital investments or hired much of anyone.
In fact, America’s biggest corporations are now awash in cash, as much
as $2 trillion in cash reserves according to some experts. They are
awaiting the right moment to invest, expand and hire. At least that’s
what we’re told.)
Which brings us to the Obama non-tax-hike. Having already reduced
federal income taxes for most of us, Obama wants to maintain the Bush
tax cuts for everyone but those near or at the top of the economic
food chain. So, if your income is less than $200,000 a year ($250,000
per household), your taxes will stay the same. For those top income
earners, the Bush tax cut will be allowed to expire, as it was
intended to do in the first place.
Our friends in the GOP have decided to tell us the tax cuts for all
income levels will be allowed to expire. That’s where they come up
with the $3.8 trillion. The problem is no one – not President Obama,
not the Democrat leadership, not anyone in the Obama Administration,
no one – has ever suggested eliminating the tax breaks for middle and
low income earners.
Taxing the super-rich, most of whom will find a way around the
increases, is a favorite campaign strategy of Democrats because it
doesn’t impact the overwhelming majority of us. Making the claim
we’re all going to be taxed is a favorite campaign strategy of the
Republicans because it makes voters angry. The hyperbolic nonsense on
both sides has added nothing but confusion to the debate.
You can argue, as many are, that allowing any of these tax cuts for
any level of income to expire is a mistake that will further slow
economic recovery. Others claim the increase in tax revenues would
help reduce the ridiculous annual deficits and that would help the
economy. Both arguments come with the requisite number of competing
experts. So far, there is little evidence the tax cuts did much to
stimulate the economy and ample evidence they added to the deficits.
If a different approach would have worked better is a legitimate and
important debate.
What cannot legitimately be debated is that Obama or the Democrats
have suggested the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire on any
household making less than $250,000 a year. It simply isn’t true.
For about 95% of us there will be no change at all under the Obama
proposal. (If you’re a small business owner, additional tax breaks
are headed your way under another Obama proposal he “borrowed” from
the Republicans.)
We all expect exaggeration and some foolishness during the election
season. Who among us doesn’t enjoy those delightful campaign
commercials? However, the accusation that President Obama wants to
raise everybody’s taxes is a canard that fouls the legitimate debate
on taxes and confirms the cynicism too many voters already have about
politics and politicians.

 
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