To the editor:
(Re.“A reformed GOP? Not so fast ... America’s entire political system is rigged, corrupt,’” May 27, 2021)
Tim Lyke’s editorial of May 27 seemed to imply that the main problem with our political parties is that they are too addicted to government spending, which results in huge federal deficits.
There are things on which government should spend money: our national infrastructure, our public schools and universities, our military and our veterans, and a social safety net that protects those among us who cannot protect themselves.
For 40 years, every Republican president from Reagan to Trump has given away billions of dollars in government revenues through tax reductions for individuals and corporations already wallowing in cash.
Not a single one of those giveaways delivered the jobs, tax revenues, or general prosperity that was always promised.
What they did deliver was the decline and fall of America’s middle class, the decline and fall of public education, and state and federal governments that cannot afford to pay for the things they should provide.
The highways, bridges, airports, and harbors that bind the nation are crumbling, our public schools are starving for lack of funds, the number of working families below the poverty line is rising and with it the number of children who do not know where their next meal is coming from, our veterans are struggling with health issues and PTSD and inadequate services, healthcare is a privilege available only to the wealthiest and the poorest, most of the people on food stamps are working poor and many of them are active military families, and the list goes on.
Meanwhile the number of American billionaires is growing, many of them with inherited wealth.
And in Congress, even the mention of a tax on the wealthiest Americans is close to political suicide.
Our politicians, with the blessings of a majority of voters, have created a government that cannot raise the revenues it needs to provide what we, the majority of voters, demand of it.
So let’s be clear, our massive federal deficit is not simply the result of too much spending.
In the 1950s, massive government spending (and high marginal tax rates) helped make the United States the most powerful economic force on the planet.
By comparison, today’s federal government spends far too little — on infrastructure, education, healthcare, and other public needs.
And much of what it does spend, it must borrow because of 40 years of Republican-led efforts to starve the government of revenue.
The Articles of Confederation were the precursor to our US Constitution.
The Articles failed to create a strong republic in large part because they did not give the federal government the power to levy taxes, to do the needed things that the states, alone, could not or would not do.
Two hundred and fifty years later, through greed, hypocrisy, and lack of political will, we have put our current republic in similar straits.
Instead of demanding a fair and progressive system of taxation, we enable our government to enrich the rich and we force it to borrow from our children and their children and their children, who will pay the bill in poverty, inflation, and economic decline.
— David Sakrison