Taxing the rich less won’t create jobs

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To the editor:

      Some 60 percent of the income owned by the Forbes 400 comes from capital gains, which are taxed at just 15 percent. Forbes 400 members are part of the top 0.1 percent, who capture half of all net increases in capital gains.
      Let’s not begrudge the crème de la crème of America’s economy. Much of their collective wealth was earned through innovation and hard work, never mind that a sizable portion was inherited. However, when presidential candidate Mitt Romney asserts that if elected, he will strive to eliminate the capital gains tax altogether, we must scratch our heads and wonder.

      In a nation where more and more wealth accumulates in fewer and fewer hands while many folks must skip meals to afford medication, hungry kids can’t concentrate in school, and more and more folks are losing their homes because they can’t find work, shouldn’t our political leaders be more inclined to increase the capital gains tax and use that revenue to create jobs, say repairing or replacing crumbling infrastructure?

      Mitt says to slash government spending and taxes on the rich so they’ll be more inclined to create jobs. So how come when the highest marginal tax rate was more than 90 percent in the 1950s and early 60s, ordinary Americans proportionately had more decent-paying jobs, one wage earner could support a family, and the American dream was alive and well for a much larger share of our population than it is today?

      No doubt, a global workforce where more and more jobs are being outsourced to lands where folks work for a whole lot less than Americans has a lot to do with the decline of our middle class, but taxing the rich less won’t fix that. No matter how little we tax wealthy businessmen, they will continue to maximize profits by sending jobs overseas. Reducing the top marginal rate even more, eliminating a capital gains tax won’t deter them from doubling profits by relocating.

      Mitt also wants to eliminate the estate tax that only kicks in for the wealthiest estates. Folks in or hovering near the Forbes 400, especially Forbes 400 wannabes including Mitt, would be ever grateful if the tax was repealed, even though many more folks would suffer when things like food stamps, rental assistance and Medicaid are cut by states with larger budget shortfalls because of the consequential drop in revenue.

      Real estate taxes on middle class folks would have to rise lest more teachers, cops and firefighters be laid off if state revenues substantially fell thanks to the elimination of the dreaded tax that tampers with Junior’s inheritance. However, that’s the least we could do for the Forbes crowd and kindred spirits, implies Mitt, who is more concerned about them than the 47 percent riffraff he so blithely dismisses.

      It’s up to Democratic organizers to make sure they don’t succeed in manipulating folks to vote against their interests. The results of this election will determine the fate of our middle class and those striving to become middle class yet again or for the first time. 

      Republicans would prefer that middle-income folks receive less in wages and compensation, less Social Security, and pay more for health care to subsidize the rich and make them even richer. President Obama and Democrats running for Congress refuse to coddle the wealthy and will preserve and expand our middle class. On Election Day they need your vote.

Lawrence Uniglicht

Galloway


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