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Reader's View: Favoring wealthy costs working classes

The Oct. 14 "Economist's View" column, "For our economic health, MN must cut tax burdens," showed an artful mix-up of conservative ideology and supporting data. The writer tried to provide data to support his thesis that cutting taxes would increase the state's economy.

However, the data could be read in different ways.

First, the writer claimed that cutting the state's income tax rate by 2 percent at all income levels coupled with abolishing the corporate and inheritance taxes would result in a better economy. Did you notice he coupled the corporate and inheritance tax reductions with a small reduction for everyone?

Who will benefit most from the ending of corporate and inheritance taxes? Certainly not the middle and lower working classes. Clearly, it will be the wealthy who get the 2 percent reduction and the benefits from the ending of corporate taxes and the inheritance tax.

And the $4.5 billion loss of income? The writer admits that the state government could not be run with this loss. He claimed the state could be run at the 2011 budget level and the rest would be made up by eliminating wasteful spending. Wishful thinking is not a good basis for governmental policy-making.

The writer discussed a four-year period of the 1980s state budget. The top income tax rate was reduced from 16 percent to 8 percent, and the bottom was increased from 1.6 percent to 6 percent. Income tax collections increased. Of course, note the huge increased burden on the working classes. A later small tax reduction was associated with increased revenues, with no acknowledgement of other factors.

It was clear the writer recommends continuing Republican policies of favoring the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of the middle and lower working classes. There are better ways.

Donald E. Maypole

Lake Nebagamon