Letters to the Editor

Look to rich as source for reducing our deficit

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan cuts taxes for the rich, eliminates programs for the poor and middle class, and does little to reduce the deficit according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

Krugman thinks President Barack Obama's proposal is better, but not nearly good enough.

No one likes to pay taxes, but we all like the many services that government (at all levels) provides for us. We don't usually see the direct connection between our taxes and the benefits we derive from them.

We don't want anyone's taxes raised, but if someone's taxes must be raised, let it be the other guy's -- "the rich." Don't mess with our Medicare or Social Security, and we certainly don't want government messing with our tax subsidies and loopholes (better known as deductions), such as mortgage, charitable, medical, taxes, travel and other deductible expenses.

Krugman points out that American's taxes are "much lower, as a percentage of national income, than taxes in most other wealthy nations." His solution is "spending cuts mostly focused on defense ... a rise in the Social Security cap ... (and to) modestly raise taxes even on middle-income families." To that, I would add a substantial increase in taxes on dividends and capital gains.

The tax increases, or rather the phasing out of the Bush tax cuts, for the middle class will require time. The middle class' financial situation is still weak. The financial situation for the rich is fine. They should pay more -- now.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island