Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Talk of tax, fiscal policy far from constructive

To the editor:

The canards “tax the rich” and “reduce the deficit” are meant to sway votes not to prevent a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff. When fiscal and economic policy descend into facile slogans the buffalo are already stampeded. Political jabberwocky has replaced constructive discussion.

The best way to tax the rich is to raise wages. If more corporate operating revenues go to workers’s wages (and thus to retirement plans and social security taxes) less is available for the executive class to arrogate to itself.

At the base of fiscal reform is the pool of money available to be taxed. Tax policy must be efficient and equitable to create a tax structure that goes beyond political shibboleths. Closing loopholes — leveling the playing field — is part of the required reform to increase government revenues. But the most popular loophole is the home mortgage interest deduction. This deduction obviously favors taxpayers in the higher tax brackets. It exists to benefit the mortgage industry much more than to shelter workers’ wealth.

The central principle of tax and fiscal policy is the responsible management of public monies. Instead of any honest discussion of how to put this principle into practice, we are insulted with constant yapping about creating jobs, taxing the rich or reducing the deficit.

Some of us have a new representative in Congress; all of us have a new senator. Let’s encourage them to strive to enact efficient and equitable tax policy.

Paul M. Craig

Northampton

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