LETTER: The facts behind GOP tax arguments

Mar. 11, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

Republicans, whenever they want to talk about lowering taxes, bring up the fact that JFK lowered them. (i.e., Jonathan Fallin’s letter). True, Kennedy lowered the top tax rate from 91 percent to 65 percent. That’s because we were still basically on the tax rates from World War II. Compare that to today’s 35 percent. If Republicans love Kennedy so much, let’s go back to that rate.

And, of course, they throw in Reagan. Reagan famously lowered tax rates in 1981. But he also raised them, in 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 — all while he had a Republican-controlled Senate until the 1986 election. While governor of California, he signed the largest tax increase in state history up to that point, and spending nearly doubled. Reagan nearly tripled the national debt from less than $1 trillion to almost $3 trillion. As a percentage, [it was] the largest increase of any president since.

Then unemployment actually increased after the 1981 tax cut. While governor, he liberalized abortion regulations in the state. As a presidential candidate, he campaigned for a constitutional amendment but did nothing to further that goal while in office. He increased the size of the federal government, gave illegal immigrants amnesty and wrote in his memoirs that he dreamed of a nuclear-free world. 

Reagan’s so-called trickle-down economics is actually trickle-UP economics. Since 1980, middle class income has gone up about 30 percent while the top 1 to 2 percent has seen double and triple growth.

Reagan would never be elected dog catcher by today’s extremist Republican/Tea Party.

Neil Rotter

Lee County