Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, November 19, 2017
ISSUE #919
Trickle-down tax plan: thankful or not?

COLUMBUS: Will Rogers was back in newspapers across the country this weekend, including our Columbus Dispatch. Paul Wiseman wrote an Associated Press article on the new House of Representatives plan to lower income taxes on business and individuals. He described it as trickle-down economics and that “it dates back at least to a 1932 wisecrack by Will Rogers.”

In the story Mr. Wiseman included the first line of Will’s comments in Weekly Article #518 (Nov. 27, 1932): “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.” Will continues, “Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot. But he didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.”

Republicans are convinced that lower tax rates will lead to more total revenue because the economy will grow and total wages/salaries will increase. Also manufacturing and other business will come to the U.S. when the corporate tax rate is dropped to 20 percent from the current 35 percent. They point to the last time we had major tax reform under President Reagan when revenues went up from $600 billion in 1982 to over a trillion in 1990. They also say that eliminating most deductions won’t matter because at least three-fourths will take the standard deduction.

But Democrats don’t buy it. Do they want a “trickle-up” tax plan? Maybe raise the corporate tax rate to 50 percent, and raise the rate on the top earners, including capital gains, so the top 10 percent pay at least 80 percent of all income taxes. They would take all that extra revenue and give three or four thousand dollars to the ones who pay little or no income taxes. If Will Rogers is right the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. And they should be happy because there will be so few of them left in the country to divide it.

Since the Republicans are in charge, I say let them pass their trickle-down plan. Then if it don’t work out, in a few years the Democrats can take over and pass their trickle-up plan.

This is Thanksgiving week.  Even if you’re not thankful for Congress and the President, I bet you can find something in your family and surroundings that gives you great pleasure.

Hey, we’re not in a Great Depression like we were in 1934.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Thanksgiving Day. In the days of its founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all they expected.  But now neither government or nature can give enough but what we think it’s too little. Those old boys in the Fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood. But if we can’t gather in a new Buick, a new radio, a tuxedo and some government relief, why we feel like the world is agin us.” DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934


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