Letters to editor

Who doesn’t know the facts?

By From page A11 | November 21, 2012

In a recent letter to the Daily Republic, Patricia Sivigliano accused columnist Mike Kirchubel of not knowing the facts. Yet she does not supply any facts in her letter.

For example, she says, “And yes, rich people do create jobs.” This is part of the Republican party propaganda that we cannot increase taxes on the rich because we will thereby cause an increase in unemployment. However, the facts do not support this trickle-down economic propaganda.

From 1993 through 2000, the highest tax rate was increased to 39.6 percent. During that period, unemployment decreased from 6.9 percent in 1993 to 4.0 percent in 2000. The top tax rate was decreased to 39.1 percent in 2001, 38.6 percent in 2002 and 35 percent from 2003 to the present. During that period, unemployment increased from 4.7 percent in 2001 to 8.9 percent in 2011. These facts indicate that allowing the rich to keep more of their money does not create more jobs. Trickle-down economics does not work.

Also, her criticism of the Daily Republic for publishing Mr. Kirchubel’s column is very close-minded. The Daily Republic also includes local columns by Bud Stevenson and Murray Bass that support the conservative point of view as well as by Thomas Sowell. By publishing Mr. Kirchubel’s column, they are only trying to present a balance of viewpoints. Apparently Ms. Sivigliano wants to suppress any viewpoints that do not agree with her own.

Charles McLaughlin


Letter to the Editor


Discussion | 22 comments

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  • Flat tax is the fair taxNovember 21, 2012 - 5:24 am

    Everyone paying a flat tax without any deductions is the only fair way to handle it. If someone CHOOSES to be successful and make something of their lives they shouldn't be forced to pay an unfair amount compared to someone in the middle class. It doesn't have anything to do with who creates jobs. It's about fairness.

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  • rlw895November 21, 2012 - 8:17 pm

    FTIFT: But here's the rub--"fairness" is subjective. Why isn't it fairer to have every working citizen pay the same amount rather than the same percent? We have had a progressive tax system, including the progressive income tax, for a long time. That means an increasingly higher percentage is paid on higher income. We've tweaked it from time to time, but never gone to a flat income tax. One might speculate that the majority of policymakers over the years have seen a flat tax as "unfair." But more to the point, they have seen it as not good for the country in more measurable ways. It would stifle consumption and hurt the economy, which causes hardships and reduces tax revenue too. As a practical matter, a progressive income tax is the way to go. Right now, it's at a low ebb of progressivity, thanks to the Reagan Revolution of 1980 (before that, the progressive income tax was not a political issue). At the same time, we are seeing historic and troubling trends in the concentration of income and wealth in the top 10%, the top 1% and 0.1% especially. The best place to go for more revenue is to make our income tax more progressive, not less. I would not only let the "Bush tax cuts" expire for income over $250,000/year, but would add new brackets above that. I think the top bracket—for very high income—should be somewhere around 55%. Right now, the tax on the billionth dollar earned is the same as the 250 thousandth. And it’s even lower for unearned income from dividends and capital gains that greatly favor the rich. There a few voices in congress to make income taxes more progressive. But because, despite all the rhetoric from his opponents on the right, Obama is a right of center Democrat, these voices are the minority. Obama's already said what he will settle for, and it's a far cry from what I think. But then, he had to run for election in a selectively anti-government country that generally has little interest in public policy economics.

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  • Flat tax is a fair taxNovember 21, 2012 - 10:06 pm

    @rlw895...why is TROUBLING to you what other taxpayers have to pay? If they have to pay the same percentage as you don't you feel that is fair? I hope you aren't trying to say someone making $20,000 or $200,000 more than you should pay a higher tax rate. Please say you don't have the big L on your forehead?

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  • rlw895November 22, 2012 - 2:55 am

    FTIFT: I stay away from using the word “fair” for the reasons I stated before. It doesn’t get us anywhere. We need to use some other criterion, such as what is doable and will give the desired result of revenue to the government without harming the economy too much, while at the same time doing some social good. That’s a mouthful, but it’s the way I think of it. Clearly a progressive income tax, even much more progressive than we have now is doable because we’ve done it before. Was that fair? I don’t know, but we did it, it was bipartisan, and it was not controversial. I assume that meant it was commonly accepted as fair. There are some excellent Web sites that show the history of the progressive income tax in America. One I like (taxfoundation.org) adjusts the income brackets for inflation so you can see where they would fall today. In the past, there were many more brackets, with the top bracket applicable to income exceeding $millions in today’s dollars, much higher than today’s top bracket of about $380,000/year for a couple filing jointly. That top rate was in the 90% range until a big reduction in the 60s started under Kennedy, when it went down to 70%, in part by lowering the rate and in part by eliminating the brackets higher up—a boon to the rich. And there it sat until the Reagan administration. Reagan reduced the top brackets even more severely (giving us close to a flat tax) and we’ve never gone back much since. Our top bracket of $380,000 has a rate of 35%. All the fuss is over letting that rate go back to 39.6%, where it was before the Bush tax cuts. I say we should let it go back, but we should also add more brackets for income above $380,000. I’m talking about higher rates for income over, say, $500,000, $750,000, and $1,000,000, topping off at 55% for income above that level. Because high income people tend to have enough money for their consumption needs regardless of their income taxes (and our economy is highly consumption-driven), adding brackets for very high income will raise revenue while having the least impact on the economy. It would also show Congress cares about the concentration of wealth and income that has occurred since Reagan. A more progressive tax system isn’t the whole answer to that problem, but it’s a necessary component. So I definitely AM saying (not “trying to say”) that someone with a very high income should pay a higher rate on the last dollar earned than the first dollar (which for everybody is the same—zero). That’s what a progressive income tax system IS. We have it now. The president wants to tweak it, and I’m OK with that, only I want to tweak it more. I don’t think that alone make me a liberal, because a more progressive tax system has been bipartisan in the not so distant past. I’m just getting to be an old guy. I call myself a “McCloskey Republican,” which makes me a Democrat these days. I’m not sure if that makes me a liberal or not, but I don’t worry about it.

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  • jafNovember 21, 2012 - 5:58 am

    Amen! Obama campaigning and winning on a strategy of "fairness" while pitting one class against another was the height of hypocracy. What's fair about one group of people who work hard and make a lot of money having to give their money to someone who doesn't work as hard but still benefits from government services? Liberals can't answer that because they lack the honesty to admit that that isn't "fair." Everyone paying for what they receive is "fair", but you'll never hear the liberals/Democrats admit that. It would lose them votes (and elections.)

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  • CD BrooksNovember 21, 2012 - 7:20 am

    The majority voted, Obama won and America will be better off because of it. I suppose the negative feelings must continue from those few Republicans actually still visiting here, but there are other issues of importance to address as well. Wishing you ALL Happy Holidays!

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  • DJKNovember 21, 2012 - 7:30 am

    I noticed the lack of Republican visitors also since...there's no reason to post if there's no financial incentive to do it. Whatever happened to Marci?

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  • JonesyNovember 21, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Why stop at a flat tax jaf. What about excise tax? Why do I have to be taxed on the beer I drink just because I choose to drink beer? What about tax on gas, just cuz I choose to drive a car? Bottom line, the reason to tax the rich is because that's where the money is. And who ever said life was fair?!...

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  • Your right Jonesy!November 21, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    When it comes to American's who have chosen to be successful and have NOT chosen to be a leech on our economy....We should financially pound the hell out of them until they fall in line with the rest of the losers in our Country. Absolutely brilliant thinking!

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  • JonesyNovember 21, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    That's kinda funny...Just went to the 99 cent store (cuz that's where us po folks shop) to get a pan to roast my turkey (the one I got at the give away on Travis St.) and I parked next to a Maroon Maserati. This lady got out & went in shopping the same time I did. I thought Dang, I shop at the same place the 1%ers shop. Then I thought, NO, she's just getting ready to adjust for all the extra taxes she will have to be paying...

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  • That's why you are who you are JonesyNovember 21, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    Boy, I would have loved to park next to some lady with a Maroon Maserati! I would have asked her how she became so successful without being a sponge on her fellow Americans..Did it ever cross your mind that this was your chance to become someone?

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  • JonesyNovember 22, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    (Lets try this again) Well I didn't get the chance to talk to the lady as she was sniveling about having her taxes (only) going back up to the same rate as they were when Bubba was in office. But as I was checking out her car a guy in a Benz SLS AMG GT pulled up & started a conversation with me, ME. Think he might own the store but not sure. He looked at the Quattroporte & stated that “That car has as much style as a Ford Taurus”. I laughed & stated that I really liked his SLS & asked him how he made his money. He said It's best if you are born to wealth. Then to cut labor cost & to buck the Union of those greedy workers you complain that to be competitive with the likes of Wall Mart you must cut wages & benefits. Then when you get concessions you change your work core to part timers making minimum wage & get this no benefits. He said that was a win, win, & really helped with his profit margin. He said next was to get American wages in line with China. So I asked him if he wanted to adopt me, He laughed & replied try your luck on the lotto. I replied, the machines do not take Food Stamp Cards. He laughed & said Good Luck, you'll need it. Oh well, better start on my sign “Hungy, please help...God bless” to see if I can scrape up enough change for that roasting pan...Happy Thanksgiving...

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  • JonesyNovember 23, 2012 - 11:43 am

    >>>Test<<< Tried to post a comment here four times...I give Up...

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  • JagNovember 21, 2012 - 7:57 am

    DJ I am not sure who you are but CD I see you all the time, Really? Come on now we are out here I think it is about a 60 40 split for you crazy little dems, but we fight on. I do agree with the flat tax but can you see people that are on welfare all of a sudden see federal, state and social security taxes being taken out of their checks they will go crazy,,, My last comment is on the daily republic I thought they were a way leaning left newspaper but I was shocked to see as they recommend right before the elections as they were pretty much to the right, Happy holidays

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  • cliff bensonNovember 21, 2012 - 4:59 pm

    JAG I always thought my Hometowner was leaning republican(still do) but always appreciated their "fair and balanced" (opposite of FOX or MSNBC) Opinion Page. I was certain they'd go for Romney, as they did. Hey CD...thanx for good wishes to all...wish you the same.

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  • Mike kirchubelNovember 21, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    Thanks, Mr. McLaughlin, for sticking up for truth, justice, And the American way.

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 21, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    Now you're quoting Superman? A well known and avid conservative. Blasphemy! In all seriousness Mike, have a great Thanksgiving!

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  • Mike kirchubelNovember 21, 2012 - 6:29 pm

    Thanks, you too. You are the first person to pick up on that. It''s from the 50's TV series intro. Congrats for being so old And still in the game.

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  • rlw895November 21, 2012 - 8:37 pm

    No, no. Not quoting Superman. Quoting George Lowther, the narrator;-). Happy Thanksgiving all.

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 22, 2012 - 7:24 am

    rlw, good catch! But, what if I was speaking of the show and not the character? A Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

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  • '50s Adventures of Superman - IntroNovember 22, 2012 - 11:21 am


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  • rlw895November 23, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    MrP: Well, I presumed—knowing what a precise guy you are--if you had meant "The Adventures of Superman," you wouldn't have just said "Superman." ;-) I had a great Thanksgiving, hosting a dinner and visiting with some family we hadn't seen in a while. My wife organized a real feast. Good to catch up over a fine meal. Add a couple of long walks in beautiful downtown Fairfield. The fall trees are really good this year.

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