Just now remembered that I meant to say a big "Amen!" to the third of these letters that ran on Thursday:
I think that if I read one more letter praising Ronald Reagan’s tax policies I will be sick.
was in the tax business when his 1986 tax reform act was passed. This
act was revenue-neutral. The cut in the top brackets was accomplished
by cutting numerous deductions that the middle class enjoyed. My own
taxes increased more than $2,500.
The idea, of course, was that
those in the top brackets would create jobs and products. The problem
was the middle class had less money to purchase the products.
that point on, the discrepancy in accumulated wealth between the middle
and upper classes began to widen, and the government deficit began to
If you want real tax reform, I have a suggestion: Allow
those who take the standard deduction also to take their charitable
deductions. This would result in churches and other charities being
able to meet the increasing demands they are facing in this current
WILLIAM R. GEDDINGS JR.
The first year that tax "reform" took effect was my first year at The State. I had taken a big pay cut to come here from Wichita (I SO wanted to be close to all of y'all and I really, REALLY wanted to get the heck out of Kansas). I mean a big one, like 25 percent. Add to that the fact that I was the first (or at least, the only) editor ever hired from out of state (in our daily meetings, pretty much everyone was a USC grad except for the guy who was ostracized for having gone to Clemson), and there simply did not exist a procedure for compensating such new hires for their moving expenses. My boss fiddled the books (legally, acting within he rightful prerogatives) to give me an extra $1,000 in my first paycheck to help me out with that. I went with the cheapest deal with the movers I could get — we did all the packing, in our own boxes — and we drove a lot of stuff ourselves crammed into our two vehicles like the Clampetts heading for California. With needing to stop for the kids, it took us four days to get here. And the move still cost me $1,500 out of my own pocket, which cleaned out our savings account.
We rented because we couldn't afford to buy, and we kept putting food on the table by my wife taking in other kids to care for them along with our four (our fifth was born here the following year).
And THAT year, thanks to Ronald Reagan's tax "reform," was the first time I EVER had to pay more than had been deducted from my paycheck. In fact, I think it still stands as the ONLY time, but I'm not positive; I'd need to check.
So needless to say, I didn't think much of what the Gipper had done for me. Maybe somebody benefited — Gordon Gekko or somebody — but it was pretty painful for me and mine, hitting me in probably the worst year of my adult life for such an unexpected expense.
Not that we should make tax policy based on how it affects yours truly. I'll leave such arguments as that to my libertarian friends. I'm just saying Mr. Geddings' letter struck a chord with me.