ADVERTISEMENT

December 25, 2012

Another View: Don't equate raising taxes on wealthy with cuts for the needy

By Jacqueline Edwards

I don't understand why slight increases in the taxes paid by the nation's wealthiest households is equated in some politicians' minds with cuts to Medicare, Social Security, educational aid and other programs on which the middle class and poor depend for a decent standard of living.  

The first option for reducing our deficits is little more than an inconvenience for taxpayers who are well able to withstand it; the second is a real sacrifice for beneficiaries with very little margin to spare.

Take for example the proposal to extend tax cuts on the first $250,000 in household income, while allowing the cuts to expire on amounts over that amount.

This would apply to the first quarter million dollars of everyone's income -- even the 2 percent of households that bring in more than that. So that means if you made $300,000, you'd only being paying the slightly higher, Clinton-era tax rate on your last $50,000.

The tax increase for any single, even very wealthy, household would be relatively small. But collectively, this tax change would bring in a trillion dollars over the next decade, money we could use to reduce debt and bolster programs important to the middle class and working families.

On the other hand, proposals to make older Americans wait longer to qualify for Medicare, and for some of them to shoulder more of the costs; or reduce the inflation-adjustments of Social Security could have very real -- even life and death -- consequences.

Because of the very different effect on human lives of high-end tax increases versus cuts in government services, I trust Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will be sure we've raised all the revenue we should from our most fortunate citizens and profitable corporations before we turn our attention to reducing services for our most vulnerable populations.

Jacqueline Edwards is a resident of Gray.





Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


  • Back to Opinion

News
Sports
Politics
Business
Life & Culture
People

© 2014 The Portland Press Herald - All Rights Reserved.
MaineToday Media
One City Center, 5th floor, Portland, ME 04101-5009
(207) 791-6650
contact@pressherald.com