In The Sun editorial of Feb. 20, "Tax cuts for the rich," you champion progressive taxes and argue against personal income tax reductions because measured in dollars, wealthy Marylanders will receive more tax relief than those in lower income brackets. Yes, of course a rate reduction allows higher income earners to retain more dollars because they pay so much more in the first place. These are the very people who are fleeing Maryland, denying the state the ability to tax any of their income. These are the small businesses that are taking their jobs to friendlier states. From 2000 to 2010, 66,000 people have left the state, taking $5.5 billion with them. These are the people who have the capability of growing Maryland's economy and bringing more revenue into state coffers.
The Sun ignores available data available that prove conclusively that lowering tax rates results in more, not less, revenue. From the tax rate reduction of President John F. Kennedy to current tax cuts by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, tax cuts have worked like magic. President Kennedy's across-the-board tax rate reductions took the top tax rate from over 90 percent down to 70 percent. Tax revenues did not decline. Instead, they climbed 62 percent, from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968
Unlike his predecessor who raised taxes, lost jobs and created a large deficit, Wisconsin Governor Walker has significantly decreased taxes and reduced state spending by $2 billion over his three years. But Governor Walker will have turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a budget surplus of $912 million this year. I would like a governor who would accomplish the same in Maryland.
Harford County Executive David Craig is proposing a sound plan that accompanies tax reductions with budget reductions that will roll back the 35 percent state spending increases of the past seven years. Mr. Craig argues that life in Maryland has not improved over these seven years as a result of this huge increase in state spending. He believes that families can make better decisions about how to spend that money than state government. I agree.
The Craig proposal, which aims to ultimately eliminate the state individual income tax, would improve the Maryland economy as has occurred elsewhere. Sixty-two percent of net new jobs in the U.S. in recent years have been created in the nine states with no personal income tax. It should also be noted that Mr. Craig balances the rate reductions with a significant increase in the personal exemptions, which will remove a significant number of lower and middle income Marylanders from the income tax rolls altogether.
Ellen Sauerbrey, Baldwin
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