Dan Rodricks' column, "Voting to give more money to millionaires," (Oct. 21) was right on point. While middle class wages have remained stagnant over the last 20 years, the top 2 percent have seen their incomes triple (with both groups adjusted for inflation).
Republicans say higher taxes on the wealthy kill jobs. In 2001, George W. Bush spearheaded the largest tax reduction in U.S. history (overwhelmingly benefiting our wealthiest citizens) and unemployment rates quickly spiked higher and have remained nearly double the Clinton era levels to this day.
When were the golden years of U.S. full employment? How about the 1960s when the highest earners paid up to 91 percent in taxes? How about the Clinton years (4 percent unemployment) when the wealthy paid 36 percent in taxes (the level President Barack Obama wants to again be the highest rate)? Small businesses hire more workers when demand for their goods and services increase, not when their tax rates decrease.
Mitt Romney disclosed that he paid only 14.9 percent tax on his $22 million annual income. His father, also a millionaire and a governor (of Michigan) during the prosperous 1960s, paid 44 percent in taxes. Did millionaires lead diminished lives in the 1960s because of their higher tax rate?
The press never seems to mention that the U.S. tax rate on our wealthiest citizens is now the lowest of any nation in the world (except Japan) and that the current tax rates on the wealthy are at the lowest levels in U.S. history.
Mitt Romney and his party call for federal spending cuts only to relieve our nation's debt. These cuts hurt the poorest, sickest and neediest of our citizens the hardest.
Ronald Reagan, the champion of smaller government, raised taxes eleven times in his 8-year term. He understood that, like a family, government must collect revenue to pay its bills. The right wing rhetoric that millionaires should not pay one dime more in taxes is immoral, does not foster job growth and is quickly leading our nation toward bankruptcy.
Finally, let's remember that with a volunteer military it is almost exclusively the poor or those with little economic opportunity who now opt to bear the burdens of military service. The poor and working classes bear the sacrifice of military service while the middle class pays a higher tax rate than the very wealthiest among us (a rate which Mr. Romney calls "fair"). Please, let's restore some fairness and shared sacrifice to our tax code. This path does not lie with Mr. Romney and his Republican party.
David Wagenheim, TowsonCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun