Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rest of the story on Depression, taxes
Regarding David Post’s recent column, “Tripping over the tax debate:”
Post wrote: “Despite the political rhetoric, when tax-rates were raised in the 1930s during the Great Depression … government revenues increased.” That’s true; but it doesn’t tell the whole story. After the tax-hikes of 1932, revenue did rise, but unemployment didn’t drop below 15 percent until 1937, when the end of the Depression was in sight.
Then President Roosevelt raised tax rates again, and again, revenue increased; but the economy crashed (again), unemployment went up (again), and the Depression started all over (again).
Today, we call this second crash (1937) “the Depression within the Depression.” In reality, though, America suffered two back-to-back Depressions. We lump all 12 years together and call it the Great Depression to hide the fact that tax hikes directly helped create this second Depression.
Even Democrats understood this; when World War II ended, President Truman (a Democrat) drastically cut taxes to keep the country from sliding back into depression.
Post also mentioned the tax cuts of the 1980s and 2000s. But first, here’s some numbers to consider.
The 1980s saw over $7 trillion in government revenue, while the previous decade saw under $3 trillion.
The 2000s saw $21 trillion, while the previous decade saw $13 trillion.
Yet instead of explaining this, Post merely wrote: “When rates were cut in the 1980s and 2000s, government revenues decreased and rose in later years.”
The fact is that revenue can be increased either way, tax cuts or tax hikes, if revenue is your only concern. Roosevelt could’ve ended the Depression in 1937 had he cut taxes, not raised them.
Liberals argue that more stimulus spending would’ve avoided the second Depression, but stimulus is like building a long wobbly pier out over a cliff.
Today, we’re standing on that pier, and President Obama just won re-election with the slogan “Forward.” So hold on tight, folks; this could be a bumpy ride.
— Steve Pender
Compare numbers
Today I read where Nick Swisher signed a four-year contract for $14 million a year. Not bad for a baseball player who hit .272, with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in!
In 1956, Mickey Mantle hit .353, with 52 home runs and 130 RBI, winning the Triple Crown. His salary that year was $100,000.
Let’s break down these earnings:
Mantle’s ‘56 season had 150 games, which averages out to $667 per game; he had 553 at bats, for $180 per at-bat.
Projecting Swisher’s 2013 stats, the regular season will have 162 games, with him earning $86,419 per game; if he has 648 at-bats (four per game), he’ll make $21,604 for each at-bat.
My, how times have changed! I am sure that some of the former greats still with us like Mays, Aaron, Musial and others feel insulted when they see such figures.
Where else do you see such mediocrity rewarded? Perhaps in the halls of Congress?
— W.L. Poole