Monday, April 18, 2011

Low taxes = Failing infrastructure

Among the industrialized countries of the world, there are at least twenty-six with higher tax rates than the United States. Most of them also have a more equitable standard of living ranging from their richest to their poorest citizens, as well as a stronger safety net to catch citizens who, for whatever reason, fall upon hard times. And most of them have infrastructures in good repair, some of them absolutely state of the art when it comes to mass transit and moving people safely from one place to another. The state of the infrastructure in this country is an embarrassment and is getting worse day by day, and where is the money to reverse that trend?

Looking at individual tax rates in this country, on this 2011 Tax Day, the effective tax rate for the 400 wealthiest taxpayers is 17%. 17%!!! And there are those who say that they should get further tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the government is drowning in red ink. The situation could be helped immensely with even a slight increase in taxes of the wealthiest and most able to pay, but Republicans refuse to consider any rise in taxes. They profess to believe that we can cure the deficit by cutting, cutting, cutting. Cutting to the bone, if necessary. Who needs infrastructure anyway?

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