Bad tax policy

EDITOR: In a recent letter supporting the current tax bills, the writer claims that tax cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush administrations all resulted in an increase in revenue. Calculating the effect of tax cuts can be tricky given all the variables; however, the writer seems to rely on classic Republican rhetoric while ignoring the mess a similar plan caused in Kansas.

According to statistics found at www.econdataus.com/taxcuts.html, the writer neglected to mention that tax revenues doubled in every decade since the Great Depression prior to the Reagan tax cuts. In addition, the FICA tax rate was increased 25 percent by Reagan, which added to the overall revenue but left a smaller increase for Reagan than in prior decades.

For the Bush years, leaving out the 2009 financial collapse, revenue from individual tax returns decreased 8.9 percent during the period 2000 to 2008 and total receipts declined 0.5 percent.

For the Kennedy-Johnson era, revenue did increase 54 percent, from $301 billion dollars to $464 billion over the period 1965 to 1969, but 45 percent of that increase occurred in 1969 as a result of the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968, which enacted a 10 percent income tax surcharge.

The current tax bills will do very little for the middle class and add $1 trillion to the debt, even after the optimistic revenue increase claimed by the Republicans.

Steven Donatone, Hampstead

Accept punishment

EDITOR: Michael Flynn, former national security advisor for President Donald Trump, pled guilty to “…knowingly and willfully…” lying to federal agents. A federal judge would have only accepted the plea if Flynn acknowledged that he knowingly and willfully lied. That’s why the statute uses the quoted words. Now Flynn is an admitted liar; not good.

So what was Flynn up to that caused him to lie? Apparently he was knowingly and willingly up to no good. The question is, who else, if anyone, was involved in his shenanigans? If someone on the Trump team was doing something illegal in Flynn’s presence, he should have just bowed out and become the innocent witness who “spills the beans.” Flynn chose not to do that.

Whatever he was up to, it’s time for him to stand up like the soldier he was and take his medicine without dragging others -- guilty or not -- through the mud.

This is not what Flynn is doing; he cut a deal and now is likely an informant of sorts. ... Flynn has a moral obligation, be it illegal, to not break the code of silence. ...

Flynn’s guilty plea proves he is a liar, so now what is he going to lie about? Who does he think is going to believe whatever tales he weaves? ...

I know a thing or two about informants. I dealt with them for almost 30 years. Neither trust nor truth are in their vocabulary.

Michael E. Grimes, Hampstead

Inconsistent views

EDITOR: The recent publication of an editorial make me think that The Seattle Times and StarNews opinion editors agree that it is right and proper for the government to regulate what an adult may or may not do with their bodies. In this case, it was the popular anti-opioid crusade, urging regulations on opiate prescriptions.

Instead of letting the adult and their doctors determine what is the best course of treatment, the government would decide for us with new rules.

How does that differ from the same editors’ vehement opposition to government regulating what an adult woman may or may not do with her body when she is pregnant? It seems the editors are knee-jerking along with a popular crusade rather than thinking through the issue and following a coherent legal path.

In my mind, either the government gets to regulate what adults get to do with our bodies or they don’t. That would be the rule of law.

If the government gets to pick and choose what they regulate with respect to our bodies, then we are at the mercy of the whims of the men and women in government. ...

Jeff Miller, Wilmington