Letters to the Editor

The emperor has no clothes

By From page A5 | July 19, 2017


When I read in this paper that “most companies pay 39 percent income tax” my first thought was whether Donald Trump pays that much? Of course (officially) we don’t know because, unlike all other presidents in last 50 years, Trump chose to hide that information. And there lies the problem with “conservative fiscal hawks.” Their arguments would command a lot more attention and respect if they made the effort to distinguish family businesses from large corporations and hedge funds managers. They talk about the former but deliver only for the latter.

Everyone likes lower taxes, but it is worth remembering that after President Bush introduced two tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, the budget surplus from Clinton era went into budget deficit. Like lost time that can’t be taken back, this lost money permanently crippled the U.S. Instead of helping small businesses and middle class these cuts put on them burden to pay off the interest on loans to cover the deficit. Trump and his circle do not have to worry, however. As we’ve seen, they have ways to avoid paying their fair share.

Conservative tax reformers claim that this won’t happen after the expected new tax cuts, assuming the economy growth of 2.5 percent and less spending. Yes, the 2.5 growth happened before and it may happen again, but still, it is iffy. The loss of revenue due to tax cuts is a sure thing. And why not finish that sentence and say explicitly that “less spending” must mean cuts to big items — Social Security and the Medicare? (No one will touch defense.)

It would be interesting to see whether “fiscal hawks” have any projection of the effect of their tax cuts on the senior population, which depends on Social Security and Medicare. Reportedly, 10,000 people in the U.S. reach age 65 every day. The trend started over a decade ago and will continue for over a decade. This is a fact that no reasonable government can ignore.

El Dorado County has a huge senior population and many jobs, services and secondary businesses depend on their spending. It takes no genius to see that they will all suffer if there are cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The higher economic growth does not help this population. If anything, it has detrimental effect as higher growth typically brings higher inflation, which lowers the value of retirement savings. This makes Social Security and Medicare dollars more important, not less.

Moreover, Donald Trump talks excessively about the balanced budget with tax cuts and the higher growth rate of 4 percent, the value that Wall Street analysts and bankers consider completely unrealistic. Our fiscal conservatives would gain lots of respect if they contradict the nonsense of Trump’s claims with more realistic and rational approach. But they are silent. Is that a sound judgement that can be trusted?

It seems that the GOP on one hand, just like foreign leaders, wants to play the weak president, while on the other hand they still want to use his rhetoric to play the trusting voters — just as he did to get elected. But to what end? After eight years of anger and promises, and with full control of the Congress and the White House, nothing is accomplished and nothing proposed adds up.

El Dorado Hills

Letter to the Editor

Discussion | 3 comments

  • NoraJuly 19, 2017 - 9:16 am

    Exactly, and well said, MM. So far his "accomplishments" are a big nothingburger, with practically nothing but a far right SC justice to show for it. He's made us a laughingstock the world over but it's far from funny to the poor, the sick, the elderly, the immigrant, and those around the world to whom he is a threat. Hated everywhere but Russia he's a menace to the world that history will show was an aberration that brought us very low, for a while.

  • Terry HalvorsonJuly 20, 2017 - 11:13 pm

    The non partisan congressional budget office (CBO) has already stated that the 2.5 growth rate is not realistic and they projected 1.9 percent. This budget would cause trillions of dollars added to our countries deficit. The trickle down promised by Trump to somehow result in a 4% growth rate is simply a fantasy that has failed over and over again. The goal of this budget is to give tax breaks to the rich and corporations under the ruse that it will help everyone. The obvious result will be even more tax burden on the middle class and the elderly. At some point the GOP has to take responsibility for Trumps misinformation. Will they or are they getting what they really want with a scapegoat to take the blame when it all goes south?

  • Ann Van De WaterJuly 24, 2017 - 3:01 pm

    Thank you for your thorough research and data-driven letter. Your letter shows why we as citizens need to pay attention, use critical thinking skills, continue to resist, and vote in new leadership in 2018.



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