To the Editor:
Giving credit where credit is due, I want to thank Frank Tuckwiller for listing the issues that are of concern to him now that the election is over. Debate is good, and whether we agree or not on what are the real issues and what are the real solutions, open and public discussion is essential to a functioning democracy, especially if we still have one. I share a concern for several of the issues he mentions although my take on each of them might, or might not, coincide with Frank’s. Having said this, here are my thoughts on each of his issues:
Fewer restrictions on small business
I hear this all the time from conservatives. What I never hear are specifics as to what these “restrictions” actually are. I am inclined to think that these people are just parroting what they hear on Fox News(?). I owned small businesses for a good portion of my working life. I never encountered a degree of “restrictions” that impeded my ability to run these businesses successfully. As a general contractor, I dealt with numerous safety regulations that sometimes could be annoying but ultimately save lives. I also never felt that the corporate taxes I paid significantly impacted my ability to make a decent living.
Someone we all know who didn’t like “restrictions” at all is Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Coal. He didn’t like them so much that he didn’t abide by them. The result was the deaths of West Virginia coal miners. My expectation is that Blankenship was more concerned about how much these deaths would cost him than the loss of lives themselves.
Millions and millions of people succeed in creating and running small businesses. Those who complain the most about “restrictions” and “regulations” are probably those who aren’t capable business people to begin with.
Reduced taxes on all businesses regardless of size
Frank apparently never looked at Donald Trump’s tax plan as described on Trump’s campaign website. If he had, he would have seen that there is no tax reduction at all for the smallest businesses. On the other hand, large businesses will save a bundle. This tax plan has now been removed from his website, so don’t bother to look for it there. You will need to look up his new, after election, version.
The myth of the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rates in the world is just that, a myth. The “effective” tax rate, what companies actually pay rather than what the top marginal tax “rate” is, is one of the lowest. That’s why some of the most profitable companies in the world, like Apple Computer, General Electric, the Oil companies and Wall Street Banks, pay almost no tax at all. If you think for a minute that this is not true then look it up.
Opportunity to repatriate $2 trillion of U.S. company profits
The only way we have been able to repatriate U.S. companies’ foreign profits so far is to let them bring it back tax free. The Trump plan calls for a 10 percent tax. I’ll be glad if he can get it. It’s better than nothing.
Better medical care for veterans than for illegal immigrants
One of Trump’s bogus claims during the campaign was that illegal immigrants get better medical care than our veterans. His staff made a pitiful attempt to defend this statement that ended up being a perfect example of circumlocution.
The veterans I know who use the VA are satisfied with the service. The VA provides good care at a reasonable cost to the American taxpayer by cutting out the private insurance and private health provider middlemen.
We would be better served by eliminating unnecessary wars.
Equal justice as proscribed by the Constitution for all Americans and, yes, illegal immigrants
This certainly would be nice to have. But, with President-Elect Trump appointing the head of the white supremacy movement to be his chief adviser and naming an openly racist southern senator as his attorney general I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.
Chance for middle America to receive benefits of free trade
Free trade agreements like NAFTA are Republican programs and are not designed to help middle America. They are based on the conservative theory that if you give businesses (especially big businesses) enough profit, they will help the little guy. Dream on.
Terminating the ACA
I have written about this so many times before it seems crazy, if not embarrassing, that I still have to address this issue. The ACA is really the Republican health care program. Why Obama ever advocated it I will never know. ortunately for the American people, Obama added a few things that did benefit the American people considerably. It is, however, still a program aimed at profiting the insurance companies more than the American people.
Trump and his fellow Republicans are already backtracking on repealing the ACA, with Trump pledging to retain major parts of it. The biggest change will most likely be the name.
Growing the economy to reduce the National Debt
We have already seen what the Republicans’ economic plan of lowering taxes for the wealthy and spending more on defense has done to our economy and the national debt, i.e. the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Greeks have a saying that “only a fool trips over the same stone twice.” You might want to watch your step.
Thanks again, Frank.