Mayor Michael Brennan’s goal to increase the minimum wage is a worthy one. It also needs a reality check!

The best way to help those at minimum wage would be to adjust the earned income tax credit. Reality says this would raise no tax revenue for our hungry elected officials. For each dollar we raise the minimum wage, it can create up to 47 cents in tax revenue.

As Gov. LePage says, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The new taxes from the hourly wage increase would result in an ocean liner for our elected officials.

For those at the new minimum wage, what they have left after taxes would have to pay for the new cost of goods and services, so they will continue along in their rowboats. Retirees on a fixed income in their leaky rafts will just have to put up with another leak.

The average Social Security check is already at or below the poverty level, and when adjusted to an hourly wage, is below the minimum wage. The federal government claims that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal tax for whatever reason. This means they can stay in their dinghy tied to the ocean liner, rowboat and leaky raft as we pull them along.

Let me suggest some real help we can give to all Portland taxpayers: Why doesn’t the mayor, who makes over four times the average Social Security check, call for converting the school budget to one based on income rather than the regressive property tax? I have paid the regressive school tax for close to 50 years, and it is about time seniors got some relief!

Art Sears


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