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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Trickle-down tax-cut theory disowned by most, but not Romney

Trickle-down tax-cut theory disowned by most, but not Romney

*Trickle-down tax-cut theory disowned by most, but not Romney *Romney the better candidate for women

Trickle-down tax-cut theory disowned by most, but not Romney

“Trickle-down” is the theory proposing that fiscal policies favoring the very rich will grow a robust economy benefiting everyone.

Reagan’s 23 percent tax cuts and Bush’s 10 percent with reductions in capital gain and dividend taxes were examples of tax cuts that favor the rich. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s and former McCain adviser in 2008, has determined that across-the-board tax cuts deliver little in the effort to stimulate growth in the economy. Specifically, he found the tax cut with the best economic bang for the buck came from payroll tax cuts for wage earners, while one of the worst was the across-the-board cut.

Mr. Zandi stipulated that all tax cuts should be temporary to avoid burdening the nation with long-term fiscal deficits. Spending stimuli, by definition, are temporary (food stamps and unemployment insurance extension), and are up to six times better than tax cuts.

Reagan’s economic adviser, David Stockman, recently trashed trickle-down economics, revealing it was just a gimmick with no economic merit that Reagan used to force Congress to stop funding social programs by “starving the beast.” He had to raise taxes soon afterward to balance the budget and pay for his Cold War arms race.

Bush never corrected his trickle-down mistake (now 11 years old) and we are still paying for it. Not to be outdone, Romney is determined to repeat the mistakes of the Bush tax cuts with his own 20 percent across-the-board tax cut, but has been unable to get confirmation from the IRS (Tax Policy Center) because revenue neutrality would be mathematically impossible without other revenue.

It is unconscionable if Romney, by deliberately misinforming us, is waging class warfare against those who trust him.

Jack Cassidy


Romney the better candidate for women

Karen Cookson’s Oct. 12 Viewpoint about the candidates and women was inaccurate.

Romney had the best record for [hiring] women during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, according to a SUNY Albany study published in 2004. So the statement that Republicans (mostly) “would love it if we would all just shut up and get back to the kitchen where we belong” doesn’t apply.

What happened to the smart lawyer who married Mr. Obama? Her license to practice law is inactive. She goes around telling us about the greatness of her husband, is famous for her frugal clothes-shopping habits and good looks, and is in charge of tending the White House garden, planning nutritional and healthy meals, and making sure the kids are sitting at the dinner table.

Roberto Carlos


So much money wasted on political campaigns

When I read of the vast millions spent so far on the election campaign, I find it somewhat difficult to digest.

Why all this cash for a system that is loaded with exaggerations, half-truths and, probably on occasion, outright lies? One in which the contenders search for any sign of a personal negative situation from the past that could prove an embarrassment to their opponent and impact his credibility?

Add to this the criticism of some of the positions taken by a candidate in past performances to further undermine his integrity. What a waste of money.

In the recent debates, they stated their positions and goals on the same issues that have been hashed around for months by both political parties, so one wonders why the need for all of these previous political undertakings. There must be a better way.

I can visualize a campaign funded by the federal government, once the candidates are selected by their respective parties via primaries. This would consist of four or six debates for the various areas of the country, such as the Northeast, Southwest, etc., and cover the same subjects that have been kicking around for months — but with considerably less mudslinging. This would also curtail those who seek favors for their generous contributions to a candidate’s cause.

Certainly, the millions spent in the current campaign could be used to a better advantage in a different cause.

Edward Panfil


Glenville cut its budget; why can’t county, too?

I have watched with amazement the events surrounding Schenectady County’s 2013 budget.

I can understand why [the Legislature] would pass a law allowing you to exceed the tax cap if it becomes necessary. In Glenville, we were faced with the same dilemma last year. Fortunately, we were able to get our budget below the tax cap and it was not an issue.

I see in the county’s budget for the coming year that there are raises. I can’t argue with raises for bargaining unit employees; the county is contractually bound to give those. But raises for others — those in patronage jobs and positions not under contract? That is completely irresponsible.

Raises affect not only the base salary of the employee but the payroll taxes that are paid, workers compensation rates and unemployment insurance. So, when raises are given, the “hidden” costs increase as well.

I am sure one can argue that the employees have earned their raises. However, when we are faced with falling revenues and gaps in the budget such as a nursing home that is bleeding cash at an alarming rate, raises must go.

How about a hiring freeze for at least the first six months of the year? How about a 10 percent cut in all departmental budgets? Re-examine the ways in which you purchase equipment for the Department of Public Works and Sheriff’s Department. We did all three in Glenville. They were not popular actions, but they were necessary.

It does not matter to our constituents that the 2 percent tax cap is an arbitrary number, or that the 2 percent tax cap is unrealistic or that the real problem lies in unfunded mandates that we are handed from state government that are killing our budgets. What matters to the people of this county is our taxes are too high, and we cannot afford to pay more than is absolutely necessary.

Gina M. Wierzbowski


The writer is a town councilwoman.

Think ahead, ship ahead and beat airline bag fees

I made several cross-country flights during the 1970s. The ticket price included two checked bags and one carry-on bag.

On the trips that I had more than two bags to be checked, I would pack the items from the third bag in a box and ship it ahead by UPS, notifying the people at my destination that I was expecting a package. I would already be home to receive the package on my return trip.

Shipping by UPS was much less expensive than paying the fees charged by the airline. This method would be even more cost-effective today, since airlines are charging for every bag checked.

If flying today, I would carry basic toiletries and a change of underwear along with my wallet in a moderately-sized purse to avoid paying any baggage fees. Men could carry a shoulder bag to achieve the same purpose.

Michaelyn Hiller


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