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Letters to the Editor

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  • | 11:00 p.m. January 27, 2015
  • Longboat Key
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: To send in your Letters to the Editor, email them to Managing Editor Robin Hartill at [email protected]. Letters pertaining to local issues receive priority.

+ What about infrastructure?
Dear Editor:
If only life and economics were that simple.

Unfortunately, conclusions that appear logical in economics (or in medicine, my field) often don’t turn out that way. Just look at President Clinton’s era — a period of unparalleled prosperity, employment, balanced budget and “high” taxes.

Your Economics 101 equation was incomplete. The $28,000 capital gains tax goes from Washington to repair our infrastructure, creating more jobs rebuilding it, which in turn will make businesses more efficient and less expensive, creating more jobs and wealth.

Are private businesses able and willing to upgrade our infrastructure? 

Dr. Gerald Litzky
Longboat Key

We wish you were right. Given all of the social entitlements and subsidies handed out, taxpayers really have no idea where their dollars are going. If they were going to infrastructure, we would see it. But we don’t. What we do see are bloated unemployment and food-stamp payments and bankrupt Social Security and Medicare systems, etc. — Ed.

+ Full of untruths
Dear Editor:
Your editorial is so full of untruths and oversimplifications that it would take me hours to tear it apart.
However, here are a few:

• Capital gains are taxed when withdrawn not when invested as shown in your silly Econ 101 handwritten example.

• Any intelligent businessman hires extra people when he needs them, not when he is investing.

• Most people who earn capital gains are investors in the stock market. They are not job creators.

• Bill Gates wasn’t a job creator. The people whom he hired were.

• Investments in businesses are determined by how much the investor thinks he/she can earn not by how much taxes they have to pay.

• Raising taxes on people who can easily afford it is fair. Since they are reaping the benefits of being part of a great country that enables them to make huge profits, it is beholden upon them to help keep the country great.

• The tax laws today favor the wealthy with many loopholes not available to the average guy.

• The corporate income tax may be high, but what corporation pays it? In most cases, after all deductions allowed are taken, most corporations pay a lesser rate than in many countries that have lower rates than ours.

• Etc., etc.

Leonard Ennis
Asheville, N.C.

Our example was the case of the investor who may have sold stock because he saw an opportunity to start a business. As you also know, a high capital-gains tax rate works against entrepreneurism, too; it incentivizes investors not to sell their stock, thereby limiting risk-taking, business startups and job creation. You can’t be serious: Bill Gates not a job creator? We’ll stop there; not enough time and space for your other points. — Ed.

+ Get the facts
Dear Editor:
Your editorial Jan. 22, “He just doesn’t get it,” reminds me of the old saying: “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” 

And the facts are trickle-down economics, the Laffer curve and all the other conservative/Republican economic theories don’t work, and the data prove it. 

Economic output was much higher, income inequality lower and the middle-class much stronger during the Clinton years when tax rates were also much higher than they are today. 

The tax reductions during the Bush-43 years just accelerated the income disparity between the middle/lower class and the top 10%. The lower tax burden on the upper-income earners from the Bush tax cuts didn’t produce a robust economy (although it produced the illusion of one until the bubble burst), and the income gains certainly didn’t trickle down to the middle class, who have made essentially zero progress in 30 years. 

But then, data don’t matter to conservatives because they know their ideology is correct.

Lee MacMillan
Siesta Key, South Bend, Ind.

Where is your supporting data? You chafe at the Laffer curve, etc.; however, Arthur Laffer and Steven Moore have shown in their annual report, “Rich States Poor States,” in states with falling tax burdens, personal income rises faster than in states with rising tax burdens. You can search Google: “Rich States Poor States, Arthur Laffer.” The data are there. — Ed.



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