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Ehrlich is wrong: Lower taxes don't spur growth or solve deficits

I read Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column ("Obama economics: More government means more growth," June 20) with interest and disbelief. Well, not really.

But his comment at the end about the "left's dangerous love affair with ever-higher taxes" brought a smile to my face. Is Mr. Ehrlich not aware that President Barack Obama followed the Republicans' call for lower taxes to fix the problems left by his predecessor? Mr. Obama cut taxes over and over again to the point that we now have the lowest tax rate seen in the United States in more than 60 years! Not only that, but we have the lowest tax rate of any developed country in the world.

This does not seem to have solved the problems. But if we look back over the years and compare our tax rates and our economy we find that higher taxes have always seen higher employment. Why would this be? Perhaps because when you have the top 1 percent of the population making hundreds of times what the average middle class person makes, it's likely some of that excessive income can be put to better use such as creating jobs. When that happens, everyone gains.

The average American pays 30 percent of his income in taxes, but the average person in the top 2 percent pays 16 percent of his income in taxes while the really wealthy pay even less. Mitt Romney for example, paid just 12.8 percent on income of $21 million in 2010.

This may be the only country in the world where the more money you make the lower your tax rate.

And we keep on hearing, from the right, Fox "News" and people like Rush Limbaugh that President Obama keeps raising our taxes when the truth is exactly the opposite. We have the lowest tax rate ever, here or anywhere. We don't even collect enough taxes to pay our basic expenses. We keep hearing "cut foreign aid" ( .1 percent of GNP), cut "government workers" (cut by more than 600,000 since Mr. Obama was elected), cut this, cut that. Putting aside military spending (greater than every other country's military spending — and most of them are our allies) and Social Security and Medicare, if we cut everything else to zero (roads, education, police, libraries, everything.), it would not come anywhere close to balancing the budget.

The answer is very simple. Yes, cut the military, Social Security and Medicare but also raise taxes on the rich (who would hardly notice it) and we would have enough money to put everyone to work which would bring in more taxes and we could balance the budget and pay off the debt.

So much easier than fighting and fighting among ourselves, which is raising the hate factor. And we would all be happier.

How about some kind of politics where we have no parties and instead, we vote for the person we think will do the best job. Then the people we vote for would vote for a leader and they would all vote for bills the way they think would be best for everyone and not how a political party tells them to vote. How simple is that? Too easy?

David Liddle

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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