Letter: Inconsistencies in Kellogg’s column
James Kellogg’s recent column holds ironic inconsistencies. He likens the decades after World War II as a seminal time for the United States, a time when individual resolve and a lack of government intrusion allowed the economy to grow. He speaks glowingly of this time when, “A centralized government that bestows ‘equality’ by redistributing wealth did not buoy the United States to strength and prosperity.”
In truth, and counter to Kellogg’s argument, the top marginal income tax rate from 1944 up to 1963 stood at over 80 percent, with the highest (91 percent) during the Eisenhower years. Tea partiers like Kellogg list high taxes as the primary method of “income redistribution.” Guess he neglected to research his facts. Oops.
Those progressive taxes lasted until the election of Ronald Reagan, who sold the snake oil concept of “trickle down economics” to the nation. Even conservative economists didn’t embrace it. Remember the phrase “voodoo economics?” In the years since that failed experiment, and in defiance of the country’s economic track record, conservatives like Kellogg continue to hawk that same philosophy. Meanwhile, since 1982, the year of the Reagan tax cuts, the middle class has shrunk numerically, and seen its economic and political clout shrink at the same time. Coincidence?
Unregulated laissez-faire capitalism inexorably concentrates an economy’s wealth to a tiny percentage at the top, with the masses getting progressively less. Money begets power; power begets money. Eventually, the few and powerful control the many; the very reason our founders revolted from England. At some point, the peasants pick up the torches and pitchforks.
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