Recessions are perfect time for raising taxes
In the congressional debates over the budget there was a proposal to more heavily tax the upper 5 percent or so of taxpayers.
It was rejected by the Republican-dominated House on the grounds that it would reduce incentives to invest and create new jobs, presumably as an anti-recession measure.
The administration, as far as I know, has not challenged the argument, but is this a valid argument?
Low-income families would likely spend even less if taxed more heavily because they have very little and necessarily have to cut back on consumer expenditures, which reduces demand and indirectly reduces jobs.
However, those with incomes of more than $250,000 per year would have little need to worry and would cut back very little.
True, investment by the rich would likely be reduced by higher taxes in normal times, but recessions are not normal times. When people are unemployed and firms have laid off workers, it means that they have excess capacity and won't invest in additional added capacity or in new technology, if they have good sense
So in a recession it makes no sense to avoid taxing the rich more heavily in order to finance job-creating programs.
This country has one of the most lopsided distributions of income of any developed country, which partly explains why we have a recession to begin with.
Eldon D. Smith
Bring back buyers
The overwhelming consensus among established and recognized economists is that the United States' economy is consumer-based. The economy of this country is tied to and presently dependent upon the buying power of the public.
The business community understands this correlation and does adjust its production and inventory accordingly. More consumption results in more demand, and consequently larger inventories and more manufacturing. Business expands.
Accordingly, a question to the Republican Party and especially to our senior senator: Why do the Republican leaders think that an unhealthy, uneducated citizen will consume more than a healthy, educated citizen? If this question has a logical answer, perhaps governmental cuts to education and public health care can be rationalized.
Lower taxes, smaller government and less business regulation are not the primary forces affecting business activity. The primary force is increased consumption. If there is no expansion of consumptive ability by the public, any smart business enterprise will just sit on its assets. Why manufacture goods if the result is to increase inventory alone?
Assets tied up in inventory do not enhance revenue flow; thus, a logical business enterprise will choose to just sit on its cash.
John J. Davis
I recently drove about 200 miles on Interstate 75 after having been off the interstates for at least 10 years. While driving in the right-hand lane at nearly the speed limit, I saw others barreling by me in the left lane. Where was the highway patrol?
Why weren't the speeders being stopped and hit with a heavy fine of at least $500?
My grandnephew later patiently explained that you have to speed in order to avoid being rear-ended.
During a stop along the way, and wondering if I were being paranoid, I engaged two waitresses in conversation and asked if they minded driving on I-75. Both women grimly stated that they seldom drove on the interstate as it was too dangerous. No doubt they get firsthand accounts of the gory wrecks that regularly occur.
Crashes occur for many reasons, but why are they so casually accepted? Unless a family member is involved, a fatality on the road invokes a big yawn when read about in the newspaper. Why?
Since the people who strongly oppose the death penalty and abortions greatly honor the sanctity of life, why aren't they loudly condemning the unnecessary deaths on the highways?
Those who work in the medical field and see the torn bodies being brought in to the emergency room should have more than a few words to say on the subject, as well.
Prime for uprising
Think it can't happen again? In 1930-31, on orders from President Herbert Hoover, thousands of hungry, penniless and jobless World War I veterans were fired upon by the Army when they marched on Washington, D.C., demanding bonuses that had been promised to them at the end of the war. It was a bloody day.
Skip to 1970-72. A friend of mine, a mid-level administrator at IBM, told a group sitting around a dinner table that he had been informed by the hierarchy at IBM that within 25 years the United States would become a nation providing only services ... that manufacturing jobs would no longer exist in the United States.
The reason? Big business will say it's due to high corporate taxes. In reality, it's the low cost of labor overseas.
One of the seven deadly sins is greed. And it is corporate greed that is destroying manufacturing jobs and the middle class in this country. I predict, within 25 years, the dwindling middle class will resort to arms and once again march on Washington demanding back manufacturing jobs.
The "militias" in Michigan and elsewhere, I believe, are ready now. With a real blood-and-guts revolution at hand, will the streets of Washington, D.C., be bloody once again?
How much money do the barons of big business need that they are willing to destroy the middle class?
Thank you for the July 27 letters that raised the question of the loyalty of our Sen. Mitch McConnell because of his evident disloyalty to President Barack Obama, the chief officer in all branches of our military. Many have raised questions about tatements he has made against our president as being a chargeable offense.
Is McConnell above the law?
Harold W. Dorsey
A losing battle
Regarding the article "The poor get advocates in debt debate," I can remember decades ago reading about a project to build apartments for the poor. Within 10 years it had been destroyed by vandals among those who were to be helped by the project.
Two members of my church live in government-assisted housing. I also know a number of other fine people who live in such housing who would be among the "least of these" described in Matthew 27:31-46. However, from their experiences, I also know that druggies, thieves and bullies live in such housing.
I can remember hearing about a woman who didn't want her children to do well in school because that would mean a reduction in her government check. It used to be that we had children who aspired to become doctors, lawyers, policemen, firemen, etc. Now, we have children who aspire to draw a government check.
For such reasons, I feel that winning the war against poverty is as hopeless as winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Certainly, we should not be assuring drug addicts with the pre-existing condition of AIDS, alcoholics with the pre-existing condition of cirrhosis of the liver, and gang members who fight each other with guns and knives, access to affordable health insurance.
If we continue on our present course, I fear that we will find that the U.S. government is as unsinkable as the Titanic (with an inadequate supply of lifeboats) and as invulnerable to bankruptcy as Enron.
Boyd B. Richardson