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Economic debate simplistic

Gary Crooks column (“Peons of prosperity,” Oct. 16) says increasing business taxes is unlikely to adversely affect the economy because there were very prosperous times with much higher rates of federal income taxes. This argument fails because it doesn’t consider other conditions present during those periods of prosperity.

Businesses are affected by the total of government-imposed costs and subsidies. Costs include all federal, state and local taxes, plus costs imposed by regulations of those entities. Subsidies include direct subsidies, plus increased consumer demand from government-mandated easy credit.

Costs have been increasing for years and easy credit in the form of home equity loans has disappeared. I agree taxes will have to be raised to pay down the federal debt, but that must be coupled with other changes, like reducing business costs to keep our economy growing.

We need a more sophisticated discussion in Washington and the media to work out what those changes must be. Media cheerleading for one or the other side of the mud pit wrestling going on in Washington doesn’t help the country, even if it increases circulation. If we don’t recognize that there is a greater game than political partisanship, then Team USA is going to continue to lose.

W. C. Rust



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.