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Your Opinion: Crisis is revenue, not spending

Your Opinion: Crisis is revenue, not spending

April 6th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

In a March 29 letter Mary Miranda asks if it is not enough that the top five percent of Americans pay 57 percent of all taxes. I would say, obviously not. Why do you think that is enough?

Perhaps you recall the old story where a defendant is asked, "Why do you rob banks?" His answer was, "Because that is where the money is!" It is the same with taxes. Wealth is where the money is.

Our crisis is revenue not spending. George Bush started two costly wars, added a vast new government agency and added the Medicare Drug program all without additional tax revenue. He also cut taxes. The economy crashed on his watch. Now tax credits for the rich have been extended and the Republicans say with a straight face they will balance the budget by taking pennies from the poor. They have no fiscal plans.

President Obama has slightly increased federal spending but state spending is crashing. The net effect is government spending is about the same. Create jobs and tax the rich. Anything else is useless.

Ms. Miranda probably does not realize that the 400 richest Americans own more of America's wealth than over half of all American citizens. Many Americans cannot grasp the difference between a million, a billion or a trillion dollars. Our debt is in the trillions. Republican solutions are like a grain of sand in the universe, microscopic.

During the Richard Nixon administration income of the top 1 percent of Americans was 1 percent of GDP (yearly US growth). By 2007 the top 1 percent was taking 23 percent of GDP. This is a massive transfer of wealth from working Americans. The only other time in American history there was this amount of a concentration of wealth at the top was in 1928. Forget fairy tale stories about a Socialist and Kenyan President. The erosion of the middle class began 30 years ago.

Forcing teachers, firemen, policemen and state employees out of work and reducing salaries of workers is economic suicide. The power elite all too quickly forget in their greed that workers are consumers. Lower wages and unemployed citizens do not fuel an economic revival.

The richest Americans take their money out of America and buy cheap foreign labor.