To the editor:
In good times, and now in bad, conservatives have the same chant: “Let people keep more of their own money.” Thus the Republicans keep pressing for lower taxes to stimulate the economy. But the key now is employment. People who are afraid of losing their jobs stop spending. The downward spiral has to be interrupted.
But in scary times, lowering taxes doesn’t increase jobs. What business adds workers because their tax rate has gone from 25 percent to 22 percent? They add workers because they have purchasers of their goods or services.
But what about consumers? Sen. Brownback argues that “citizens” know best how to spend our own money. In normal times, that’s no doubt true. But hardly anyone feels financially secure right now. When times are scary, most prudent people will save their tax savings, not spend them.
The government needs to do two things now. First, force mortgage interest rates lower so homeowners’ lower payments can reduce foreclosures. Second, fund important projects which have been neglected for many years and which create American jobs right now. Fixing bridges and roads, replacing unconscionably dilapidated schools, making us competitive in Internet access and upgrading our electric grid are important projects and will create jobs immediately.
Especially in extraordinary times, this is no time to add failed local and state governments as part of the problem. It is time for our political leaders to support future prosperity. Lowering taxes is not the answer.