Vail Daily letter: Time to raise taxes
Avon, CO Colorado
We have 14 million unemployed people and that is truly a national tragedy! There are husbands and wives who are devastated; there are young people who cannot afford to seek a higher education; and there are many children who are not even getting enough to eat. And despite those facts, some of us are pressuring our representatives to severely curtail or totally eliminate programs that are of great help to those same people.
They also happen to be programs which have long been detested by some of the wealthy, by the ultra conservatives and by a majority of our bigots. The current budget deficit and the size of the national debt have given them a fine excuse for attacking those programs anew! Incidentally, it should also be recognized that besides making life more difficult for the unfortunate, curtailing or eliminating those programs will further add to the jobless problem. Each deletion of $100 billion from the annual budget will add 1 million more folks to the rolls of the unemployed and that is significant!
So, I do believe that we should continue to honor those social commitments that are so badly needed by many of our fellow citizens. And we could do that! But we cannot fight two wars, increase our “defense related” expenditures and continue to accept added responsibilities as the protectors of freedom and democracy around the world without having additional revenues..
There is no doubt that we can make thoughtful reductions in our budgeted expenses, but there should be no expectations that those will halt the growth of our national debt. In consideration of our added responsibilities, our government needs additional revenues! So, yes, I am advocating increasing taxes! The wealthiest among us are actually paying federal income taxes that average little more than 15 percent of their incomes. At the same time, 47 percent of us are paying no federal income taxes whatsoever. Despite our ever increasing responsibilities, our taxes are currently at their lowest level in more than 50 years.
During our relatively brief history we fought a monstrous civil war in the interests of human decency and to preserve our union; and we fought two “world wars” to preserve our own freedom and the freedom of others. In each case the government collected additional revenues. It seems to me that increasing the taxes that we now pay in order to preserve the finest ideals of our great nation is really a “no brainer.”
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