To the editor:
The so called “tea party” seems to have forgotten history. They are angry, but at the wrong people, or at least for the wrong reason.
It wasn’t the government, but corporate executives, who have recently outsourced millions of American jobs and downsized companies not to save them but just to make more money. Of course, their own salaries increased tremendously.
We seem to be headed back to economic conditions as they were approximately 100 years ago. This was the time of starvation wages, child labor, 16-hour work days, six-day work weeks, and great wealth in the hands of the lucky few, most of whom acquired it by unethical and even illegal means.
What did we do about it? We enforced and added antitrust laws, workers began to bargain collectively and Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution which provided for a progressive income tax, designed to keep the rich from getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
In the 1980s, we decided that the rich were taxed too heavily and reduced their taxes. It was thought that this would encourage them to invest in business. This ignored the fact that income taxes, unlike sales or property taxes, are not a cost of production, they are paid only on profits. Since 1981, according to the Treasury Department, the national debt has risen from $900 billion to over $12 trillion, over 90 percent of it since the reduction of taxes on the rich.