GOP objections to taxing the rich don't add up

August 26, 2011

In his recent opinion piece on taxing the rich, Brian Murphy packs in just about every Republican tax myth and deception as humanly possible ("Warren Buffett is wrong," Aug. 24). Somehow, in talking about Mr. Buffet's proposal to raise federal taxes on the super-wealthy, he shifts the conversation to state taxes and the Internet sales tax.

This is a common Republican tactic to convince middle and lower income groups that a tax on the super-wealthy is really a tax on them. In other words, lead the discussion in a direction that will scare them.

Mr. Murphy argues that the rich already pay plenty. This is the typical Republican message that half the American population pays no taxes while the victimized wealthy are so burdened by taxes that they're on the verge of homelessness. This talking point totally ignores what the lower income groups do pay: state and local income tax, state and federal fuel tax, sales tax, property tax, Medicare tax, Social Security tax, etc. And, as federal assistance to the states declines (to protect low federal tax rates for the wealthy), Marylanders can look forward to higher bridge tolls, motor vehicle fees, and the like to make up the difference.

Mr. Murphy writes, "History has proved that tax increases are speed bumps to economic growth."

This is the biggest Republican whopper of them all. One of America's strongest periods of economic growth was from the 1940s through the 1960s, when taxes on the rich and corporations were phenomenally higher than today. And more jobs were created under the Clinton-era tax rates than under the combined presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, andGeorge W. Bush.

The tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy religion is a drag on our economy.

Brent McKee, Arnold

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