Lawmakers from the right and left are worthy of our scorn
While Jeffrey D. Sachs gets it largely right in his dissection of Republican-sponsored tax reform (“Daylight robbery,” Opinion, Nov. 14), he falls prey to the temptation to round up the usual suspects, most prominently, the Koch brothers. It is a diversion from reality to make the Kochs the virtual piñata of progressives. If anything, they are models of probity and transparency compared with their minions: the putative legislators who enable the fiscal assaults on our society.
As with the sirens of Greek mythology, there will always be tempters ready to lure those of low character. For some, public service is little more than a trough from which they gorge their insatiable appetites for self-interest and personal enrichment. That trough is hued in both red and blue.
Business owners welcome tax cut
Re “Daylight robbery” by Jeffrey D. Sachs: The House tax cut, if enacted, would be great for investment in our economy. I am the CEO of a small company, and here is the truth: My firm plans on hiring and training more than 20 percent more new people because of the benefits to the economy this tax cut can bring. I know many small-business owners in a wide variety of fields who are planning to do the same.
According to Businessweek, two-thirds of the House tax cut would go to benefit business directly. The US tax code is highly imperfect, but for those of us who have invested all our savings, or taken out a second mortgage, to face the challenge of creating a job and building a business, it feels good to finally become a priority for our elected officials.
The writer is chairman and CEO of LifeYield.com, a software firm that serves individual investors and financial advisers.
Scrap the Social Security wage cap
Kudos to Renée Loth for raising the payroll tax issue (“Missing from the tax bill,” Opinion, Nov. 8). Despite all the talk of taxes and tax reform, the payroll tax has gotten virtually no attention.
Who pays this tax? Working people and businesses who employ people. Let’s reduce the Social Security tax rate, but eliminate the cap on income subject to the tax so that higher-paid employees can pay their fair share. Doing so would promote job creation and reduce one of the burdens crushing hard-working people across the country. Democrats should seize on payroll tax reform as the counter to the Republican determination to further enrich the wealthy.
It’s easy to give away money — but it’s the wrong thing to do
It’s not a tax cut if you simply give away $1.5 trillion with no way to pay for it. Jeffrey D. Sachs notes that the richest 6 percent of taxpayers are estimated to get more than half of the Republican-proposed giveaway, with most of that going to the top 1 percent. So, we can spend the next few weeks arguing how large the tax cuts should be for corporations and different income earners and whether we should limit deductions for state and local taxes, interest on home mortgages, or student loans. But when will this be seen for what it is: quite simply, a $1.5 trillion giveaway.