Thursday, December 12, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
A paramilitary soldier guards the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002, after an attack in which 10 people died. There were several lethal attacks on U.S. diplomatic stations when George W. Bush was president, but Democrats didn't call for a "Watergate-style commission," as Republicans have in the Benghazi, Libya, attack, a reader says.
2002 file photo/The Associated Press
I raise that point because some are arguing that we cannot allow tax rates to rise slightly for our wealthiest citizens in the interest of debt reduction for fear it will somehow hurt entrepreneurs.
That is a false argument.
Congress has embarked on a great budget debate as our national debt has become more of a problem.
One idea for staunching the red ink is to raise more revenue from those best positioned to provide it: rich households and profitable corporations.
On the individual side, tax cuts passed in the early Bush administration would be allowed to expire for incomes above $250,000 a year. This prudent change, which would affect only the top 2 percent of American households, would bring in almost a trillion dollars in desperately needed revenue over the next 10 years.
That quarter-million-dollar threshold is only crossed by 3 percent of small businesses (we're talking about profits here, not revenue).
So the next time you walk around the Old Port, you can be pretty sure that none of the unincorporated businesses you pass would pay a nickel more in taxes if Bush-era tax rates reverted to the modestly higher, more reasonable rates in effect during the Clinton years.
Getting our federal budget back in shape and strengthening programs that support our middle class customers (like Medicare) is the real way to help small businesses.
I'm confident Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins understand this and will vote accordingly during the special session of Congress dealing with our national finances.
As soon as the elections are over, Congress will begin work on cutting the national debt.
Where will the budget cuts come from? If they decide to override their current deal, to cut defense and let tax breaks for the wealthy expire on Jan. 1, keep your eye on retirement benefits like Social Security and Medicare for us and our grandkids.
Watch for a lot of smoke and mirrors, but know that if they say they are going to create a "new" Medicare program, or "change" Social Security, they could have raised taxes on the wealthy instead.
Call Sens. Olympia Snowe at (800) 432-1599 and Susan Collins at (207) 622-8414 and tell them to protect our grandchildren by raising taxes on America's wealthiest corporations and individuals.