Letters to the Editor

Toscano’s denial of voter fraud reminds me of statements made by others within the Democratic Party. Obama stated there was not even a smidgen of corruption within the IRS and if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. Hillary stated she did not send or receive any classified information on her private email server, and it was a film insulting the Prophet Mohammed that caused the attack on the Benghazi compound resulting in the loss of four lives.

Just goes to prove that some people are very adept at making (and I am being generous in my characterization) misstatements while keeping a straight face.

Jim Haney

Trump’s fantasy tax plan

Donald Trump’s economic program includes what he might call a huge tax cut.  In his stump speeches Trump mentions it as a cut for workers and middle class workers.  But when examined closely the cuts for those groups would be minimal and for some modest taxpayers taxes would even rise as personal exemptions would be eliminated.  Single parents would be the most likely to see tax increases, though this depends on the specifics of child care expense deductions in Trump plans.

Don’t count on big tax cut windfalls from Trump unless you are in the highest brackets, which would get larger percentage cuts.  In total, tax revenue from high-income individuals would decrease significantly.

The corporate tax rate would be reduced from 35 percent to 15 percent, though a number of corporate deductions would be eliminated.  These corporate tax cuts would be a major decrease in the government’s revenue.  Currently corporations have historically large cash reserves and can borrow at very low rates.  Tax rates are not the source that has slowed corporate investment.

non-partisan groups the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget and the Tax Foundation estimate national debt would increase roughly $4 trillion to nearly $6 trillion.  Trump claims that his program would so dramatically increase economic growth that total tax revenue would not fall, making these estimates too high.  But this statement is not supportable by evidence or widely accepted economic theory. Big cuts mean big debt.

Cutting tax rates for either rich individuals or for corporations will lead to only modest increases in economic growth.  Cutting taxes on already-rich individuals or cash flush corporations may have a small stimulus for them to spend and invest.

This extreme version of supply side theory has been thoroughly debunked by economists using data instead of ideology to examine the results.  The size of the increase in growth Trump assumes is so large as to dwell in the realm of fantasy.

Steve Schoene

Trump’s tax plan will
balloon federal deficit

Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed expert on the federal tax code, has come up with a tax plan that is guaranteed to increase the federal deficit while adding millions to the bottom lines of rich people like himself.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.  A calculator and the back of an envelope will work.

Consider that today the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 7.8 million people unemployed. This is not a big number as people are always moving in and out of the workforce. Some economists think we are already at full employment.  However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Trump’s trickle-down theory actually works and his tax reduction plan succeeds in cutting the number of unemployed in half to 3.9 million. The average earnings per worker today are approximately $50,000 and the average federal income tax rate is 15.7 percent. By multiplying the number of newly-employed workers by their average earnings and multiplying that number by 15.7 percent we can calculate that the best-case gain in additional tax revenue from Trump’s plan would be $30.6 billion per year.

However, this number is more than offset by reduced tax collections from everyone else. The Brookings Institution estimates the cost to the U.S. Treasury would be $9.5 trillion over its first decade or approximately $1 trillion per year. That’s a net annual deficit of $870 billion. Maybe this is the kind of math that Trump used to amass a billion-dollar loss in one year.

Today, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the economy is strong and getting stronger. There are 3 million jobs going begging, many of these high-paying positions that require skill sets that too many of today’s workforce do not have.  The key to economic growth and deficit reduction is better preparation for the type of jobs that are available, and plugging the many loopholes that allow high income earners and major corporations to avoid paying their fair share to the federal government.  Say no to Donald Trump’s brand of voodoo economics.

Dick Bucci
Lake Monticello

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