Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Letter on Tax Policy

Recently the Lima News has published a series of editorials complaining about a "soak the rich" attitude which the paper perceives is now prevalent in the U.S. The News has even gone so far as to rail against a "confiscate the wealth" attitude toward the rich.

In reality there is no such movement afoot, and the News is simply way off-base in thinking otherwise. Rather than proposing any "confiscation of wealth", the current issue is simply whether to return to the top tax rate of 39.6% which was in effect during the 1990's, which by the way happened to be an era of unprecedented prosperity in this country.

I submit that a top tax rate of 39.6% is good tax policy and does not indicate any "hate the rich" attitude as the News has repeatedly suggested. Some of us are old enough to remember the 1950's, when the top tax rate was a whopping 91%. Now that *was* a soak the rich tax structure. Fortunately we have gotten away from that misguided policy and we now have a sensible tax structure, or at least we did have one until the disastrous economic policies of Reagan and George W. Bush wrecked the economy.

Teddy Roosevelt once said that "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the state because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government." I agree with TR, and I urge everyone to keep this thought in mind the next time you here somebody rant about our taxes being too high.

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