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If rich pay more taxes, prosperity will follow

Oct. 4, 2013 at 5:04 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

Tax-and-spend Democrats? Why not?

Many Republicans characterize the progressive taxation we used to have in our country as "penalizing success." That is not fair. It is good economics, which benefits rich and poor alike.

Actually, it is especially in the interest of the rich, since it was they who jumped out of tall buildings in 1929 - the time when the regressive taxation of the 1920's brought on the Great Depression.

Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman promised we would be swimming in surpluses if we lowered taxes - especially on the rich. We did. The result?

We have had serious and ever-mounting deficits ever since, except for a brief reprieve in Clinton's day. Top tax on the richest 1 percent in Eisenhower's day was 91 percent. Under Nixon, it was 70 percent. Ronald Reagan brought it down to 50 percent, then 28 percent. Thank God for Bush the First, who had the wisdom to back down on "Read My Lips." Top tax on the richest 1 percent in Dubya's day was 35 percent. Since Jan. 1, it has been 39.6 percent - but only on those making more than $400,000.

From 1947 to 1977, we had ever-increasing prosperity for the middle class. In the 30 years or so since Reagan, we have had declining income for the middle class, while the 1 percent made off like bandits. Plus, a close call to a repeat of 1929 in October of '08. It could happen yet.

Our current ever-climbing national debt scares me.

Solution: Tax the Rich. It worked before. Why not now?

Also, we spend less on welfare and other safety-nets than any other developed nation - far less, for example, than Norway, which has the world's highest per capita income. It is a beautiful country with happy and contented citizens. I've been there.

Addendum: Many super-rich were paying much less than 35 percent, mainly because they payed principally on capital gains at 15 percent. Remember, Mitt Romney confessed to paying only 14 percent? I wish I could find his tax preparer and use him myself.

Gabriel Franks, Victoria

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