By Jessica Chau
Today we have news articles about the meaning of tax fairness; an opinion piece about the Bush tax cuts; and an article from a former undersecretary of commerce in the Reagan administration.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jack Norman, 9/8/2012
It’s up to the media and voters to not let candidates slide by with platitudes. Press them on specific situations, difficult cases. Make them give examples of what’s not fair and what laws should be changed to make things right.
Both parties preach a level playing field for business. Is that consistent with giving some Internet.com a 5.5% price advantage over hometown merchant Sally’s Hardware?
I think it’s unfair to put local retailers at a sales-tax disadvantage to Internet sellers. It’s unfair there are no meaningful minimum federal and state taxes on both wealthy corporations and individuals. It’s unfair that nonprofit hospitals and housing for affluent seniors occupy prime real estate but don’t pay property tax. It’s unfair that income from work is taxed at higher rates than income from profits.
Maine Morning Sentinel, 9/8/2012
Tax rates for the rich have gone down steadily for the past 30-plus years. This has resulted in higher taxes for the rest of us, which seems connected to many people’s beliefs that the rich are not paying their fair share.
No American got rich on his own. He was dependent, often on inherited wealth, always on an infrastructure paid for by all of us. If he did not live here, he might never have become so wealthy, but it seems most wealthy people do not feel they owe their country anything.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger, Rick Ortner, 9/7/2012
Contrary to their oft-repeated claims, Republican tax programs that mainly benefit the rich have not promoted economic growth. During the 27 years from 1955 to 1982, with the top bracket tax rate at 70 percent or higher, the economy’s real growth averaged 3.21 percent per year. From 1983 to 2010, with the top tax rate cut in half to 35 percent, the economic growth rate averaged 2.85 percent. The net effect of making the rich richer was to increase the budget deficit and make the poor poorer.
Today’s requirement is fiscal stimulation. Bush’s flawed tax cuts aren’t doing the job and should not be extended when they expire at the end of the year. That money, and more if necessary, should be immediately put to work on a new national program to rebuild our infrastructure, which is clearly in disrepair. That will stimulate the economy.