The voodoo economics of “trickle-down" economics is back. The Republicans have introduced budget plans that cuts taxes for corporations and the wealthy. They have tried this many times before and it never works -- huge deficits have been the result. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimate that the Bush (George W.) tax cuts will be responsible for 40 percent of the nation’s debt by 2019. Now Trump wants to double down and cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

As Robert Reich notes in the 9/25/17 Huffington Post article (“Why We Must Raise Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy, Not Lower Them”), "Even if Republicans eliminated everything else in the federal budget -- from education to Meals on Wheels -- they wouldn’t have nearly enough to pay for tax cuts of the magnitude Republicans are now touting.”

He also states, “Senate Republicans want to increase defense spending by a whopping $80 billion (enough to fund free public higher education that Bernie Sanders proposed in last year’s Democratic primary, which deficit hawks in both parties mocked as being ridiculously expensive).”

This joke of a budget plan also includes eliminating the estate tax. The estate tax affects only the richest two-tenths percent of Americans. The exemption is currently $5.49 million.

This was the subject of an article in Atlantic magazine (2/23/16, “America’s Un-American Resistance to the Estate Tax”, Stephan Martin). Martin writes, “Professor Neil Harl, an Iowa State University economist whose tax advice has made him well known among Midwest farmers, said for 35 years he searched without finding one family farm lost to the estate tax,” Johnston wrote in 2001. “It’s a myth.”

“This still appears to be the case today. Analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that in 2013, only 20 U.S. estates that owned farms or small businesses paid any taxes, and those 20 paid an average of 4.9 percent of their value.”

There is no good reason to pass this budget. We have plenty of things that need help right now, like hurricane relief and re-building our nation's infrastructure. The wealthy don’t need help. They’re doing fine.

Don Paulson

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