To The Editor:
I am tickled to be slammed in two letters this week. Without getting into the silly dispute over whether the mega rich in the USA “earned” their massive wealth or not, or whether or not they are beneficial to the economic system or not, I will address some of the worst economic points brought out in the two letters.
First, that “most economists believe that tax cuts increase revenue” is total nonsense. There is no doubt that some tax cuts under particular economic conditions can raise revenue, but most certainly not massive tax cuts heavily targeted to those who need them the least. I know the true believers believe that the Reagan tax cuts increased revenue, but the fact of the matter is that they did not. What did increase tax revenue under Reagan was the massive deficit spending that he undertook, including wasting many billions of dollars on a totally needless expansion of the military. I use the word “wasting” because, though it got people hired, and it got money into the pockets of industrialists, actually doing something positive for the country with that money would have had the same effect.
Bush’s reckless and irresponsible dole to his well-to-do campaign contributors didn’t help because, again, the cuts were targeted to those who had no need, or even use for the money, other, of course, than kicking back some into the coffers of right-wing politicians. A recent survey done among 44 economists at the University of Chicago (which might be called the birthplace of the supply side fraud) went 44-0 against such a belief.
The other major point made in the letters, was the usual straw-man argument that free enterprise is the root of American affluence, where I, of course, was against “free enterprise.” If you include the heroic struggle by the labor movement for more than a century to curb the abuses of the corporations, abuses which the American Right has reinstated, with abandon, over the past three decades, then yes, the combination of a strong labor movement, progressive taxation and free enterprise used to work.
Lastly, the idea of a huge throng of “dependent” people is a farce. The baby boomers are retiring. They will be collecting the Social Security and government pensions that they earned, and paid for dearly. They are not “dependents.” The poor, on the other hand, are dependent on the government, and the greatest cause of this is the fact that while working-class Americans have produced enormous increases in wealth over the past three decades, the politicians purchased by the billionaires have made sure that virtually all of that increase has gone to the most affluent. Further, the same politicians stood idly by while these same corporate “leaders” sent American jobs to China and other slave-labor states.
I am not here to give lessons to the economically illiterate, but to show anyone who might be interested that there are those of us who have been around, have studied the subject, and seen the devastation that right-wing economic fraud has wreaked upon our society and are willing to bear true witness against the fetid tide of corporate propaganda.