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Letter: Economy would improve if the rich paid their share


The interesting thing about Darrell Baumbach’s reply (“President Reagan helped the economy grow,” Dec. 12) to my recent letter (“We need to get back to building a stronger economy,” Dec. 10) was that he never answered my main point, which was about the ultra-rich in this country like Mr. Romney, who pays less in percentage in taxes than a minimum-wage worker.

Like most right-wing ideologues, when confronted with facts that cannot be disputed, they ignore them and go straight to their talking points. I doubt he even heard the argument. In this way, ideologues of all stripes resemble addicts. They cannot hear anything against their substance of choice.

A country’s economy produces so much income. To keep an economy going, a certain percentage of that income must go to keeping the engine in shape so it is able to keep producing income. The uber-rich, through an army of lobbyists and bought politicians, have skewered the way we pay taxes; they pay less in percentage than people who work at Walmart, and certainly the middle class which is getting hit the hardest.

Their standard canard is that if the rich pay less in taxes, they will invest more and we will be awash in jobs. We have been down this road for 33 years since Reagan. How has this worked out?

I think the cruelest and meanest talking point is that many minimum-wage workers pay no income tax and need to get some “skin” in the game. The fact that more of their money goes to the government as a percentage of other taxes than the uber-rich is lost on them.

The pope and the president have both spoken out eloquently on the problem of income inequality. The Republican Party through its lobbyists and bought politicians — with a little help from certain Democrats — has created a situation where the wealth of this nation is being funneled to the uber-rich by letting them get away with not paying their fair share of taxes needed to keep the engine of our economy going. This is politically controlled wealth distribution at its finest.

Why do we put up with it?

John Lucas