Letters to the editor
Republicans forget patriotic obligations
Having ended the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Congressional Republicans have now declared that whatever happens next to the nation’s economy, they are through “raising” taxes.
But a look at the nation’s top tax rate, over the 100 years we have had an income tax, shows that the rich today pay nowhere near what generations of U.S. governments - in times of national crises - have considered appropriate.
Today’s top tax rate is 39.6 percent, but during the First World War, when income tax was only 4 years old, Congress made the top rate 70 percent. During the Depression, they set it first at 63 percent, but by 1936 had upped it to 79 percent, where it stayed until World War II when it rose to 94 percent. Following the Korean War, Eisenhower, a Republican, made it 91 percent and kept it there both terms. Throughout the 1960s and 70s (Vietnam), it never fell below 70 percent.
Today, after fighting two wars and facing the worst financial disaster since the Depression, we may wonder why the patriotic obligations of the rich are so different from their ancestors? In February, this nation celebrates 100 years since the ratification of the 16th Amendment, granting the government power to tax incomes. It would be an appropriate time for Republicans to defend their patriotism and explain why, now, we should expect so much less from our most fortunate citizens than have Republican and Democratic governments in the past.
J.R. Smith, Jr.
Don’t blame Congress for cancelled air shows
Dawn Vaughan blames uncompromising Congress for air shows being cancelled. She has it backward. It is because conservative Republicans have compromised themselves out of virtual existence in decades past that America is either bankrupt or rapidly heading toward bankruptcy in every department. Such bankruptcy includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, even the Post Office.
Since Progressive Democrats won Congress in 2008, our country has lost 8 million taxpaying jobs and seen a drastic and sustained deterioration of economic indicators. These Democrats deceitfully wouldn’t even create a budget. After accusing Bush of being “unpatriotic” for his national debt and promising to cut it in half, Obama has increased our debt twice as fast and continues in his divisive class envy and scare tactics while hamstringing the private and energy sectors that produce 90 percent of our taxpaying jobs. Now he wants more of our money to cover his incompetence, discredited policies and corruption. And Vaughn is upset because we have a Republican Congress with the tiniest bit of Johnny-come-lately resistance against Obama’s economic death spiral and uncompromising intransigence.
Our country, including Vaughn’s air shows is currently operating immorally off the outright theft of the economic birthright of six, eight, 10 or more future generations as well as fumes from the prosperity of former generations.
Much more than air shows will be cancelled as Obama continues to ignore the dire warnings of catastrophe from his own Bowles/Simpson Economic Commission regarding his unsustainable and crippling debt policies.