Threat of higher taxes hurting the economy

To the editor:

Thursday’s letter, “Depend on government,” by Rick Tope, requires a response.

First, President Clinton rode in on an economy that was expanding. It remained at a plateau until the nation’s purse strings were turned over to the GOP in 1994. Mr. Clinton was forced to the middle and went along with a balanced budget, welfare reform, et al.

Mr. Clinton did raise taxes on the rich, but it was done during a booming economy. Even Mr. Clinton remarked later that it scared him when he initiated that tax increase because he thought it might stifle growth.

The dot.com boom fueled the growing economy, until its corresponding crash late in Mr. Clinton’s last term.

George W. Bush came into office inheriting a mild recession. He cut taxes and put more money back into investor and consumer hands. These tax decreases brought more money into the government coffers – which happens every time taxes are decreased.

Deficits did increase under Mr. Bush, mainly because of two wars and Katrina. But the economy boomed — unemployment reached a low of 4.6 percent in 2006.

Then the nation’s purse strings were once again transferred back into Democratic hands in 2007. Since then, unemployment has risen to a high of 10 percent, the housing industry has collapsed and bankruptcies are at an all-time high.

What Mr. Tope and the Democrats do not understand is that you do not raise taxes during an economic slowdown. Many of these so-called “rich” are small-business owners. These small-business owners do not put their money under their mattresses, they invest it, increasing employment and — hopefully — profits.

Hiring more government workers does nothing to expand the economy. They produce no product or wealth. Take more money from the taxpayer, the more stagnant the economy.

This threat of future tax increases is currently causing businesses to hunker down and curtail any hiring or expansion.

Warren Willis Sr.

Las Vegas

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