To the editor:
In the Oct. 7 Journal-World, Bob Johnson’s letter tried to refute the claim of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren that successful people should be willing to pay more taxes to “pay forward” for the benefit of society. He said the factory owner paid for all the streets, schools and public services before, during and after the factory was built.
Unless a factory owner was born at home and schooled at home, he owes a great deal to the community that provided the hospital, schools and infrastructure. Saturday’s Journal World carried the news that taxpayers will provide $1.3 million to help convert a warehouse to apartments, provide a $25,000 “forgivable loan” to a local sportswear company, $30,000 to a plastics company and $48,000 to help convert a Masonic Temple into a restaurant.
Previously, taxpayers provided millions of dollars of tax rebates to firms like DreamWings, Davol, E&E Specialties and Sauer Sundstrand. None met their agreed-upon employment levels and all went out of business or left town when their abatements expired, with no long-term gain for the city. We are awash in corporate welfare while recipients beat their chests about free enterprise.
Recent surveys show that very wealthy people, from Warren Buffet on down, agree that they should pay more taxes. So, that suggestion can hardly be described as “class warfare” as alleged in Mr. Johnson’s letter.