Paying taxes part of living in a society

Letter to the Editor

Editor,

I am taking the unusual step in writing to the editor because I’ve been incredulous regarding the advancing “Tax Reform” bill that has passed the House of Representatives and will be coming to vote in the Senate. I believe this is a bill that benefits a very few people, the very rich who don’t need the help, and corporate America who are non-voting entities that don’t need the help either. Beyond that the National debt is staggering and is an issue that must be addressed. I’ve heard this from the Republicans for the last 8 years under Obama, and now it seems to be the least of our worries. Is this the height of hypocrisy? It is said the Tax Reform Bill will increase the national debt by $1.5 Trillion due to lost revenue with a nebulous promise that the tax cut will grow the economy and create jobs (refuted by many notable economists).

My view is this. The 0.1 percenters who will gain the Lion’s share of the tax benefit will just sock the extra money away and add to their asset base. They must have something to invest in (other than the stock market) in order to create jobs (see the next paragraph). Businesses and new ventures are possibilities, but for the most part people will just sit on the benefits gained from tax reduction. Although they can buy more stuff and create some demand, but most people I know in the benefiting tax bracket have all they want. That may be except for a vacation home in the Caribbean, but that benefit goes out of the country anyway. These people generally will not invest their windfall into assets, businesses, or jobs. The 0.1 percent of the population get richer, and the country goes more in debt.

Corporate America is awash in cash. Many companies don’t know what to do with the cash because virtually all available markets for any goods or services in the US are satisfied or saturated. So where would they invest their additional income? In order to invest to generate more revenue any company must invest in a market that is immature or growing. What is that these days? Especially since the present administration has turned its back on the only major developing industry that requires significant investment, that being clean, renewable, non-CO2 generating energy. Maybe Tesla can benefit, but what about the rest of corporate America?

Also regarding corporate America, at the current tax rate we compete pretty well vs. international corporate entities. Last I checked we outperform most. If that is the case it means corporate earnings, at the supposed disadvantageous tax rate, are not hurting the companies at all. And in reality, even though our BASE corporate tax rate may be one of the highest in the world, all in, including deductions, credits, etc., our corporate tax rate is very competitive with other western countries. If true, there is no need for a corporate tax cut! Maybe cleaning up and simplifying the existing tax structure is required, but it should be in a revenue static way for the federal government to pay off its debts.

Finally, paying for this tax cut to persons and corporate entities that don’t need it on the backs of the middle and lower economic classes is plain and simple avarice and immoral. They will be the ones that will eventually pay for the ballooning debt as well as the negatives that will come to the economy because of it. Any cuts in federal spending are generally directed towards the middle, lower economic classes. I’m not saying there should not be cuts in federal spending. Could federal government spending be cut and pared in places to operate more efficiently? Sure. Could some abuses in social services be eliminated and encourage an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work? Sure too. However, let’s take those efficiencies gained and help pay down the national debt that has been railed upon for the last 8 years! To cut programs, benefits, ACA, etc. to middle/ lower economic class individuals in order to benefit the rich and corporation just seems greed personified.

Besides, the tax cut/economic expansion “theory” has been debunked by both the George W. Bush tax cut and the Kansas experiment in supply side economics. When George W. Bush enacted a huge tax cut in 2001 and 2003 the result was an exponential increase in the national debt (plus the wars made it worse). Why would these tax cuts have any different results in an already expanded economy and record profits on Wall St.?

In the end, I am one that would benefit from the Tax Reform Act, but I do not need or want the tax break. It won’t make my life any better or any more financially secure, but I DO believe it will contribute to the already bloated national debt. I feel it is my patriotic duty to pay my fair share of taxes for the benefits of living in America and all that contribution supports. Do I like paying taxes? Well no, but it is a part of living in a western society with the benefits that we have. For all those “patriots” out there who have $millions who may cheat on their taxes and/or contribute to political organizations with the sole intent of tax reduction to the detriment of the country, Shame On Them.

Raymond Samp

Editor’s note: The two letters opposed to the Tax Reform Act were received prior to the vote in the U.S. Senate early Saturday. The legislation passed by a vote of 51 to 49.

San Marcos Daily Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666