For all of those, including columnist Ron Bancroft, who continue to call for increased taxes on the so-called “rich” and big business, I would like to make a few points.

First, four presidents reduced tax rates — Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In every instance, total revenue increased. Under Reagan it doubled.

You might ask how. The answer is in two parts. First, the rich didn’t get rich by being stupid.

If the government asks for too much the rich have the intelligence and the resources to move their money out of the government’s line of sight.

This has been proven many times over. No matter how high the rates, revenue as a percentage of GDP simply doesn’t increase.

The second part is that when the rich, including businesses, see an opportunity to keep more of what they earn, they will aggressively pursue investments which will create jobs.

In other words, get the government out of the way both in terms of taxes and regulation and watch the economy grow, as it did under each of the four presidents mentioned above.

The class warfare being pushed in Washington is doing more to harm the economy than it is to advance equality. Abraham Lincoln said it in two ways. “You cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor,” and “I was never given a job by a poor man.”

It should also be pointed out to those who would increase taxes on business that businesses do not pay taxes. They simply pass on what they collect from their customers.

Think of anything you buy. Every cent that business pays in taxes will be paid by you as part of the price.

Increase taxes on business and all you have done is increase the price of their products.

Dave Irons

Westbrook

Here’s a list of questions our leaders should answer

Could there be a relationship between the reluctance or intransigence of the economy to achieve or sustain reasonable growth and the disenchantment of the public with Washington, D.C.? Is the political posturing of the Democrats and Republicans over the debt ceiling helping or hurting the country?

If Democrats and Republicans worked together for the good of the country, would our economy still be in the doldrums? Would the tea party have ever been born? What effect would “term limits” have on lawmakers’ willingness to compromise?

If corporate America behaved responsibly, would derivatives have ever existed? If derivatives had never existed would the meltdown of the economy have occurred anyway?

If Elizabeth Warren were the director of the Consumer Protection Bureau and if the bureau had been in existence in 2007, would the meltdown have occurred? If the meltdown had not occurred, would we have 9.1 percent unemployment now?

If Congress had paid attention to securing the border with Mexico when the stream of illegal aliens was still a stream, would we be faced with the issues surrounding the 12 million illegal immigrants now in our country?

Why should Big Oil continue to receive taxpayer subsidies? Would the oil companies simply raise prices to keep profits high?

Would raising prices encourage or discourage development of alternative fuels? Would cessation of subsidies lower tax rates?

Roy Quinn

Saco

GE shouldn’t move jobs abroad without penalties

The Portland Press Herald reported last month that General Electric plans to close its 100-year-old X-ray business in the U.S. and move it to China. This action, according to the report, will create 65 positions for Chinese engineers and an unknown number of manufacturing and administrative jobs.

This is part of a larger strategy to invest about $2 billion in China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers.

This truly bothers me. I would hope that it bothers someone in our congressional delegation and that at least one of these individuals would publicly speak out against this action in light of the current jobs climate in the U.S., the attendant loss of future tax revenue and because GE reportedly paid little or no federal income tax in recent years.

I want to ask our delegation if their outrage with GE is as great as mine? I believe that U.S. corporations engaged in this type of economic treason should encounter tax penalties when pursing this kind of growth, including stiff tariffs when they import these foreign-made goods to the U.S. market.

This will go some way toward repaying the U.S. for the tax advantages and support GE has received from the government in the past as well as help change the economic model supporting non-U.S. investment.

There should be absolutely no government support for these deplorable corporate actions.

Roger Perry

Falmouth

Before joining Medicare, find out more about it

As debate continues in Washington, D.C., over the best way to ensure the sustainability of Medicare for future generations, the fact remains that beneficiaries and their caregivers need help understanding how the program works today.

A recent survey of adults 65 and older by the National Council on Aging found most seniors are confused about or unaware of important aspects of the new health care law.

And as baby boomers age in to the Medicare program this year at a clip of more than 10,000 a day, there will be an even greater need for Medicare education.

To start identifying the right Medicare plan, beneficiaries should first focus on understanding the program as it is structured today. Medicare has four main parts — A, B, C and D — that cover different types of health-care services.

Next, ask a few key questions about your health, budget and preferences.

What medications do you take?

Are you open to switching doctors, hospitals or pharmacies based on your Medicare plan’s network?

Do you want coverage of additional services such as vision or dental care?

Would you prefer no monthly premium, or are you willing to pay a monthly premium if other out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays when you visit a doctor, are lower?

Take advantage of the many resources available to better understand Medicare and upcoming changes to the program.

You can find reliable information at MedicareMadeClear.com and Medicare.gov.

Steve King

Executive director, UnitedHealthcare in Maine

South Portland and Nashua, N.H.