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


(6) comments

Sallie Helmer

Re: Letter: Gov’t spending isn’t the issue; what it is spent on is

Published on Jun 9, 2021—written by David Sakrison---Ripon

“There are things on which government should spend money: ----a social safety net that protects those among us who cannot protect themselves.” (David Sakrison)

Government spending on “a ‘social safety net’ is not in the Constitution.

“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.” (David Sakrison)

Presidents cannot raise or cut taxes without Congress. Tax cuts aren’t government spending and tax deductions don’t happen unless the company produces more or creates more to earn the tax deduction. Corporations are owned by individual shareholders, ‘not wallowing in cash’. Corporations pass that cost of higher taxes onto consumers.

President Trump’s economic policies did work. “Since the president’s election in November 2016, the economy has added more than 7 million jobs,” Crowley said. “This is more than the entire population of Massachusetts last year. It’s also 5.1 million more jobs than the Congressional Budget Office, CBO, projected in its final forecast before the 2016 election. What it shows is common sense economic policies based on freedom work. Tax cuts, deregulation, unleashing the energy sector, and trying to realign international trade—all of which this president promised during the campaign, all of which he has delivered. That, in turn, is delivering us this incredible economy.” (Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department Monica Crowley)

Working class and blue collar workers, wages rose at 3.7 percent—higher than the average worker—which means Trump’s economy is helping the very people he set out to help when he launched his 2016 presidential campaign by pledging to stand up for American workers and families left behind by the nation’s elites.

CNBC notes that the current unemployment rate, 3.5 percent, matches the lowest rate since 1969, a 50-year low. (December 9, 2019)

The sad fact is that the national debt is now too big to be paid off by the usual means of raising taxes. You'd have to collect nearly $474,000 in extra taxes from every man, woman, and child in the United States to pay off the national debt. What is the solution? In the case of the Fed, keep printing more and more dollars; money that's not backed by taxes or supported by spending cuts — that society is essentially doomed.

Joe Biden is Jimmy Carter.

Adam Umbreit

I was just going to send my letter in regarding the same topic when I saw yours. Spot on! This is what I wrote and this is what REAL AMERICANS need to look at and remember!

Why aren’t Republicans on board to rebuild America like they were under Eisenhower in the 1950’s? The U.S. government then approved an equivalent of $1.2 trillion dollars in today’s money to build our highway systems, bridges, dams and many other infrastructure needs during that time. Of course, times have changed and we do not live in the 1950’s leaving what we call “infrastructure” in today’s world that includes better high speed internet, electric car charging stations, school building/educational updates, elderly care in light of the overwhelming numbers of aging baby boomers, and much, much, more. We just saw by leaked tax information that there is a staggering number of wealthy and ultra-rich business owners who are not paying their share in taxes, leaving us working stiffs to foot the bill. This delay brought to you by the last Republican tax break disaster needs to be removed. We have already seen and they have admitted that the “trickle-down effect” Republicans praise so much does not work and has been a complete failure. The time is NOW and our country needs this infrastructure plan passed to move America ahead of the rest of the world, instead of sitting 13th place in the world for infrastructure. Urge your Republicans both in Congress and in our own legislature to do what is best for Americans rather than to continue to pull this political BS agenda they have been pushing that doesn’t nothing to make our infrastructure better. Do it for your kid’s futures much like your parents did it for you in the 1950’s!

Sallie Helmer

Joe Biden Has Spent 47 Years in Washington With Almost Nothing to Show For It

Joe Biden’s career has been well defined by his consistent betrayal of American workers in the name of globalism. Instead of putting America first, Biden spent almost half a century backing trade deals that decimated family-sustaining manufacturing jobs across the country. Biden has a decades-long record of enabling China at the expense of America. In 2000, Biden voted for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. At the time, he claimed that normalizing trade relations would encourage the communist country to become, “a productive, responsive member of the world community.” In the two decades since, it’s very clear Biden’s claim did not come to fruition. China did not assimilate into the global community as a fair-trade partner. Instead, China engaged in severely unfair trade practices that went completely unaddressed until President Trump took office. Thankfully, President Trump and his administration took bold action, making clear that such behavior, previously greenlighted by politicians like Joe Biden, would no longer be tolerated.

Biden has proudly said, “First thing I will do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

Under Biden’s tax plan, over 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes increase – a move that would eliminate 585,000 jobs nationwide. At a time when our economy is just beginning to recover from the artificial interruption posed by the coronavirus – Biden wants to cripple it with the largest tax increase in American history. Middle-class families, small businesses, and seniors will all bear the brunt of these Biden tax hikes.

Dale Failor

Why are the people with the least amount of money paying the most in taxes every year? Time for a change and the Democrats will take care of this problem a lot faster than any Republican.

Arthur Baseler

I echo Bill's comment. The latest revelation of billionaires paying no income taxes in some years only adds an exclamation point to your letter David.

Bill Bumby

Very well said, David… Thank you.

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