I hope Herald readers took the time to read James McCusker’s Dec. 1 column (Will “free stuff” tempt Americans to try socialism?) especially those who supported Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president. The article provided a great synopsis of the Council of Economic Advisers report, “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” Taking his advice, I took the time to read the full report. In the report, Margaret Thatcher in 1976 observed that “socialism started by saying it was going to tax the rich, very rapidly it was taxing the middle income groups. Now, it’s taxing people quite highly with incomes way below.” Obtaining large amounts of tax revenue ultimately involves resorting to high tax rates on the poor and middle class because these groups in the aggregate generate much of the nation’s income. The tax base is needed to support all the free stuff. Or as my mom used to say, “free simply means someone else is paying for it.”
As a retired person I was also very concerned about a statement in the CEA report that Sanders believes capital gains and dividend income should be taxed a 68 precent. Since it is obvious to me that Social Security will not keep pace with inflation, I will need more of my future income to come from investments made during my working years. For those living on fixed income (and everyone else for that matter) it might be wise to consider how socialism would affect you monthly income if Sanders or some other socialist has their way with tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
Another recent Herald article by Jerry Cornfield (“State revenues to reach $50B but new fees or taxes loom,” Nov. 21), stated that the expected state revenue for 2019-21 is $50 billion He went on to say “But — and you knew this was coming — they say it is not enough,” Since the voters in this state saw fit to give Democrats control of the House and Senate along with the governor all I can say is refer to the Thatcher quote above. I think government spending at all levels should be limited to the cost of living just like my Social Security.
Lake Forest Park