Argument that lower tax rates would create jobs is full of holes
The Nov. 18 letter by Don Cazer is refuted by Thomas Hungerford’s Sept. 14 report for the Congressional Research Service, “Taxes and the Economy.”
In it, an in-depth analysis was done on tax rates on the top income brackets from 1945 to the present. What they found was no correlation between reduced tax rates for the wealthy and economic growth. “The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.” What they did find was that lower top tax rates were associated with greater income inequality.
In other words, rich people don’t create jobs, consumers create jobs; and when middle-class consumers, who make up the bulk of the consumers in the country, become stressed from 30 years of tax policy that favors the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, we have what we have today — stalled economic growth and high unemployment.
Talk about fairness. Is it fair that capital gains is taxed at a lower rate than wages? We should be encouraging work and productivity, not money manipulation and wild speculation. The near monetary collapse of 2008 was a systemic failure.
The whole idea of free market capitalism comes into question when the bankers and the titans of Wall Street who are extolling the virtues of capitalism, where everyone is responsible for their own economic well being, themselves have to be bailed out to the tune of $7.7 trillion at near-zero interest with no strings attached.
In the United States, we have two social safety nets — one for the people at the bottom and one for the people at the top. Those of us in the middle pay the largest portion of our income in taxes and are on our own.
I say, let all the unjust Bush tax cuts expire. I’d gladly pay 1.5 percent to 2 percent more, which is my benefit of those cuts, to see the top brackets kick in 13 percent to 14 percent more, which is their benefit of those cuts.
Thirty of the largest corporations in the country spend more on lobbying than they pay in taxes. What does that say? It says they are not being taxed enough. It’s time we end the loopholes and tax shelters and make everyone, individual or corporation, pay at least the same percentage as the average middle-class working person.
Thruway should resist raising tolls on trucks
As you may have heard, the state Thruway Authority plans a massive (roughly 45 percent) increase in tolls on large trucks.
Advocates state that trucks damage the Thruway, and that this toll increase is justified. First, trucks already pay way more in tolls than cars. Second, many federal and state laws limit weight, both total and by axle, as well as specify the arrangement of axles on large trucks. These laws ensure that large trucks do not damage our roadways.
In the last election cycle, one of the few things that everyone agreed on was the importance of small businesses; that it is, in fact, small- and medium-sized firms that are actually the biggest job creators in our economy.
Many trucking companies are just these kinds of enterprises. Many are family-run outfits that have been here for generations, some with deep roots in our regions. They provide employment, and many of them are good corporate citizens, through their businesses as well as personally giving back to their communities.
In addition, many of the businesses that these trucking companies serve are themselves small, locally based businesses and so, if trucking companies have to charge these clients more, the hardship on the trucking industry will effectively be spread throughout the economy.
Trucking companies are already struggling with rising costs — from health care, insurance, and near-record fuel prices.
Also, the way in which the Thruway Authority has gone about this, quietly slipping it through in hastily-called meetings, in some cases not even making the agenda public beforehand, seems to be the polar opposite of transparency in government, something Gov. Cuomo has tirelessly advocated for.
Eric K. Edlund
Obama shouldn’t knuckle under to GOP demands
Dear President Obama: Congratulations on your re-election. You now have a mandate for change. Those who supported and voted for you were not the banks or Wall Street, but the poor and middle class. Do not betray them by capitulating to the demands of the Republicans whose main goal for 2012 was your defeat.
Do not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These are important and successful programs that have protected our seniors from penury.
Do not be taken in by the “fiscal cliff.” These programs were not responsible for the deficit. The tax cuts for the wealthy and the ability of the wealthy and corporations to hide their money in overseas accounts, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are.
From experience, we know that austerity is not a job creator, but a job loser. We need to cut the military budget and use those funds to put people to work fixing our crumbling infrastructure. Our railroads are a shame compared to most other countries’. Do we need to have a bridge crumble and people lose their lives before we do needed repairs? Stand tall, we the people will stand with you.