One would think that if our elected officials truly wanted to help those on the lower end of the wage scale, they would increase the earned income tax credit.

This would have the least disruption with job loss and have a minimal impact on increased cost of goods, which would also help our retired senior taxpayers.

Since our elected officials are self-serving, you can see why instead they will push hard for a higher minimum wage. The fact is they need more of your earned income.

An increase in the hourly wage is a great source of tax revenue. Each increase of $1 brings in 6.2 cents for Social Security with a match from your employer. Same holds true for Medicare with a tax of 1.5 cents and another match from your employer.

All of this to be spent upon arrival in Washington, which is now the richest area per capita in the country. What a great use of our taxes.

So far, 15.4 cents sent to Uncle Sam to be spent upon arrival. Now if you spend what remains of that dollar for goods that have now risen in cost (hopefully, your employer has not cut back on jobs), you will be subject to a sales tax of 5.5 cents while the state will seek 8 cents for its income tax and the federal tax of about 15 cents will apply.

Portland will then have its annual property tax increase of about 3.5 cents so it can spread around some increases. That increase of a dollar in your hourly wage created a potential tax revenue of 47.4 cents. Not much left over for that hamburger that just went up in cost.

For senior taxpayers whose income has been flat, you will just have to continue to find ways to cut back to help with your new cost of goods, although you will not be able to help the economy.

Art Sears

Portland