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Letter: Buffet's tax plan is a better idea

To the editor,

President Trump issued a one-page tax reform plan in April. One of Trump's reforms is to lower corporate taxes, making American companies more competitive overseas.

Perhaps that's a good idea, but billionaire Warren Buffett may have a better one. Buffett would replace our employer-based insurance model with a single-payer health care system. This would be much better than a corporate tax cut. It would enliven insurance-burdened businesses while delivering the universal health care system most Americans want.

We might also question Trump's plan for individual taxpayers. The plan gives the greatest percentage tax cuts to the very rich. It relies on economic growth to compensate for lost tax revenue.

When Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush tried such supply-side tax cuts, deficits soared. Several independent tax experts say a ten-year binge on Trump's tax plan will add trillions to the national debt and increase inequality in America.

Trump's plan lowers the top tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. It should go to 70 percent, where it hovered during the booming decades after World War II.

A moral tax plan would rebuild the middle class and raise taxes to pay for programs Americans want and need.

At the same time, we should create a government agency to evaluate federal programs and recommend termination of nonessential ones. Concerns about runaway government are well founded.

Many conservatives, however, would make government too small. They believe a largely unregulated private sector and charity can address most human needs. The problem is that the private sector and charity cope poorly with scourges such as unemployment. Yet, unless Congress regulates the banking system, which has become speculative and unstable, it will collapse, as it nearly did in 2008. Unemployment looms.

One day, the Grim Reaper of jobs will knock on America's door. Then, many Americans who never expected it will know poverty.

When that day comes, our tired, our poor, our troubled masses and a sizable chunk of President Trump's base will recognize the utility of a government big enough to fund modernized infrastructure, universal health care, and help for the unemployed.

Richard Hanson

Grand Forks

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