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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Budget debate needs reframing

By Brenda Procter
April 1, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

We need to be about fair taxes – not harmful cuts. It was a good start when the U.S. Senate, in a very tight vote, supported raising nearly a trillion dollars in new revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and levying a small Wall Street financial transactions tax.

We need to reframe this budget debate. Wall Street may be doing fine with the interest-free money that the Federal Reserve hands them. Big corporations have used their lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the tax system in their favor, with some profitable corporations paying no taxes at all.

But who’s investing in us? Interest rates are at historic lows. What better time to invest in education and jobs, and rebuild our crumbling public infrastructure?

Creating jobs also creates new taxpayers. Maybe that takes a public investment, but it pays off in the long run. New taxpayers provide new revenue.

Since the 2008 recession, corporate tax rates have dropped to 10 percent even though corporate profits have doubled in the past ten years. We need to strengthen, not cut, important programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We can certainly afford it if corporations pay their fair share!

Brenda Procter, of Columbia, is a consumer and family economist.