In his May 21 column (“Democrats stand against tax relief”), Jim Fossel expounds the tired Republican refrain painting Democrats as the “tax-and-spend” party – as though they simply enjoy taxing and spending for their own sake.

In the fashion typical of current Republican propaganda, he neglects to mention the policies that the Democratic Party supports, which include: efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change, to decrease economic inequality, to provide access to quality educational opportunities and quality health care for all Americans, not just those who can afford them, etc. The intention is to improve the quality of life for all Americans, not the further enrichment of the richest 1% and largest corporations.

A major premise of Mr. Fossel’s column was that Democrats should follow the lead of President John F. Kennedy in proposing a major tax cut for the wealthiest Americans in 1963. This legislation was passed under President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

What Fossel fails to mention is that the tax rate for the top brackets in 1963 was 91% – a rate inherited from the Republican administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Many progressives would trade today’s much more regressive tax system – and the massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (e.g., those promulgated by the Republican Party under Donald Trump: a major cause of our current debt crisis) – for the Eisenhower tax rates.

In today’s political climate, Fossel and other Republican mouthpieces’ hewing closer to truth rather than propaganda would be refreshing.

Robert Foster
South Portland

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