February 22, 2013

Another View: Fear of creeping communism betrays old-fashioned thinking

Raising taxes on the most wealthy won't turn the United States into a soviet-style dictatorship.

Finding a negative response to Susan Feiner's recent column in the Maine Sunday Telegram was not surprising but what was surprising was the lack of helpful criticism it contained. ("Beast of Burden" Feb. 10, "Tax breaks for Maine employers benefit Maine's workers too," Feb. 17)

We know the past 15 years have seen historically low corporate and upper-income tax rates benefiting those alleged job creators. If trickle-down/supply-side economics actually worked we should be in the middle of a great jobs boom. Simple question: Are we?

Simple answer: No, of course not.

Knowing this, Ms. Feiner's proposal for modest adjustments to some taxes would seem reasonable, with thoughtful criticism of course welcomed. Yet with reality so firmly against them, Ms. Feiner's critics give up on thoughtful debate and resort quickly to cliche.

We get spooky allusions to China and Russia. No mention of the reality that Red China is getting very rich flooding our beloved box stores with junk we happily purchase and Russia hasn't been communist in two decades.

Yes, to re-emphasize, the cold war has been over for 22 years. I think many forget that fact somewhere between their idealized version of yesterday and crippling fear of tomorrow.

The question is, how does what should be an intelligent discussion about tax rates in 2013 America veer pointlessly to creeping-commie ghost stories from a 1950s Boy Scout camp?

Ms. Feiner put forth a reasonable proposal. She was met with silliness. A perfect microcosm for the problems facing our president and anyone else working for plausible, modern, policy. So here we are.

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