“Please don’t let him suffer!” (Cartoonists’ sketchpad, 4-16) is the caption on a cartoon that depicts a rich man threatened with the end of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Members of Congress assure us that the richest of the rich must have tax relief so that they will invest, innovate and create jobs. If the very rich had truly invested in recent years, we would not be in economic straits today.
Their idea of investing was outsourcing labor overseas and eliminating jobs for Americans. Their idea of innovation was the hedge fund.
If we continue to award these tax cuts, could we attach some strings? If you donate to a charity and claim a tax deduction, you have to show a receipt to the IRS. Could we ask tax-cut recipients for a receipt?
There is ample space for investment in America. Tycoons of the past made fortunes in railroads, city transit and shipping. Current billionaires could invest tax savings to reinvigorate those faltering systems. How about investments in medical technology and training? Could they fund innovation in energy systems, in means of recruiting, training and rewarding superior teachers?
The tycoons of the past were no angels. They made fortunes for themselves, and too often exploited their workers, but they also helped make our economy the envy of the world and had enough to endow universities, libraries, hospitals, museums – ensuring themselves a legacy far outlasting their dollar rewards.
If we allow tax cuts, can we ask for accountability?