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Letter: Who sent us over the cliff?

I am writing to ask the Concord Monitor to dedicate one full page of its paper to a list of every congressman and senator currently serving along with the states they represent. Every American should be encouraged to pin this list up somewhere where they can see it every day and remember just who was responsible for sending this country over the fiscal cliff and use it when they go into the voting booths at the next election to make sure that every last one of them loses their job.

ELLA THOMAS

Salisbury

"I am writing to ask the Concord Monitor to dedicate one full page of its paper to a list of every congressman and senator currently serving along with the states they represent" Shouldn't how they voted also be included?

Q: Who sent us over the cliff? A: Prior to Reagan, the total US debt was a barely manageable $930B at 35% of GDP, with yearly interest expense of $75B/yr. And prior to Reagan the 50 year average top bracket rate from 1932 to 1981 was 79% (94% in 1944 and 1945 when the wealthy stepped up during WW2). Reagan's top bracket cut from 69.125% to 28%, along with inheritance tax cuts and the Bush 10% capital gains tax cuts, were unaffordable, and have forced us to borrow about $200B/yr X 30 years = $6T to pay for them. If we couldn't afford those tax cuts, we certainly couldn't afford all the interest expense for 30 years to finance the borrowing for the tax cuts. For the 30 years since 1981 the Treasury has spent $10T on interest expense, including interest on all the $Ts borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund. Total interest expense is costing the Treasury $400B/yr now, compared to the $75B/yr when Reagan cut the top bracket rate. The $6T of tax cut borrowing, plus the $10T of interest expense borrowing equals our total $16T debt today. Even with the internet boom, Clinton couldn't lower the debt because of the $2.7T of interest expense he had to borrow to pay, mostly on the 189% debt increase under Reagan (we will be paying interest rates in the teens on Reagan's 30 year bonds until 2019). The wealthy should be asked to step up to the 79% 50 year average top bracket rate prior to 1981 - back before the Republican fiscal cliff/ debt problem began to snowball. The new top bracket rate of 39.6% is only half of what it should be. Now that this Republican tax cut/debt snowball has grown so large, we couldn't stop it even if we taxed the wealthy at 100%. Now we also need to make huge spending cuts and/or reforms that would increase GDP to produce more tax revenue. Here's one idea: The argument in favor of national health care is, or should be, strongly linked to the argument in favor of stopping job outsourcing. US companies are outsourcing our jobs to China, where manufacturers are not burdened with the huge costs of health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. In order to level the playing field, we need to pay for national health care with individual income tax revenue and a national sales tax, just as the Chinese do to provide health care to all citizens at lower cost. Unlike back in the 1950s, most of the products in our stores are imports, and therefore a national sales tax would apply mostly to imports. The offsetting elimination of employer/employee costs of health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid would lower the cost of products made in America. After this change, US companies would suddenly realize that they could further cut costs by not paying to ship products from the other side of the world. and that combined cost reductions could tip the balance in favor of American manufacturing.

Nice filibuster but it is full of conjecture, innuendo and propaganda. The beliefe that if you say the same thing enough, people will begin to believe it is certainly true if you consider that they 1) are naive, low information voters (aka progressive victim groups), 2) if the argument is brief and to the point. What I see above is simply a waste of bandwith, gobblygook that people can't wade through without coming to the conclusion that extremism is alive and well.

100% correct as usual - thank you itsa

The 100% wrongheaded Right put us all on a runaway debt train headed for a fiscal cliff. Now 39.6% is only half of the 50 year average 79% top bracket rate in effect before the train left the station in 1982. Republicans apparently think (not sure about that) subsequent yearly interest/deficit costs have nothing to do with why the Treasury bonds were issued to begin with.

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