Extend All the Bush-Era Tax Cuts?

Readers share their thoughts.

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Sen. Chuck Grassley argued in favor because the tax cuts would help small businesses create jobs; Rep. Sander Levin said extending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich would inflate the deficit. Your feedback:

[See where Grassley gets his campaign money.]

If giving tax cuts to the very, very rich was supposed to create jobs and help the economy, how in the heck did we get into this mess? Giving more money to the very, very rich, at the expense of doubling the national deficit in 10 years, is idiotic.

[Read more about national debt.]

RICK BUTTON Kennesaw, Ga.

Both writers skirted the issue of the effect of the proposed tax increase on small-business jobs. Neither one got to the key point: how many jobs are related to proprietors making less than $250,000 and how many to those making more. But a much bigger, glaring point is that about half of all households pay no taxes under the current tax structure. This means that half of our population has no stake in the game, no reason to question the misuse of their hard-earned money paid in taxes. Just as having a military draft during the Vietnam era got people aroused about the misbegotten decision to go to war, having everyone share in the tax burden would focus more attention on misbegotten and out-of-control federal spending. I hope that we as a nation have not yet reached the tipping point where so great a percentage of voters are on the federal dole, either as employees or entitlement recipients, that no move toward fiscal responsibility is possible—until the whole house of cards collapses.

JIM BURDICK Rocky Face, Ga.

If the Democrats are so certain that raising the top tax bracket will not hurt the economy, then they should vote immediately to do it while they have a maximum number of votes. If the Republicans make gains in Congress, the Democrats can blame the Republican policy changes for causing the “unexpected” results. Democrats say it is good for the economy and Republicans say it is bad for the economy. Do the experiment and find out.

[Read more about the economy.]

DAVID MUHLRAD Oro Valley, Ariz.

While I do not favor a redistribution of wealth, the opportunity to accrue wealth carries a responsibility to pay for the system which creates the opportunity, and I’m not talking about campaign contributions. Those individuals with higher incomes should pay higher taxes, and the system must be simplified while rewarding risk. Those whose incomes are inflated on the backs of low-wage earners should fund the services necessary for the survival of the low-wage earners.

JOSEPH SONGIN Scottsville, N.Y.

Congress is running deficits of over $1 trillion. This did not happen because of the tax cuts. This happened because Congress decided to spend more than it takes in. Reducing spending is the prudent way to reduce deficits.

ROBERT WASILEWSKI Papillion, Neb.

GOP right-wingers holler about the deficit. Most of the deficit is due to paying for two stupid wars that Bush started. The deficit is also due to the economy, which the GOP right-wingers killed with 30 years of deregulation. The tax cuts thrust us from surplus to deficit. The reduction in the deficit was due to the bubble created by deregulation and incompetence that eventually crashed. The Tea Partyers and others want us to return to the stupidity that got us into this mess. No thanks.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]

DAVID FRENCH Phoenix

Those who make more than $250,000 have much more to lose. It is those from the lower 50 percent—policemen, military, etc.—who help protect their riches. Of course the high earners should pay more.

JAMES ERWIN Nashville, Mich.

I am not rich, and I don’t earn anywhere close to $200,000 per year. But I do believe there is a limit on how much we can take from one section of the population to support society as a whole.

JAMES BOWER Redmond, Wash.

Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would be a travesty and the Republicans know it. The only tax cut permitted should go to blue-collar workers who are being squeezed hard by the economic situation that, in part, was caused by poor economic policies under Karl Rove and President Bush.

HOWARD BINGHAM Houston

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