Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 | 2:01 a.m.
There is no empirical evidence to prove “wasteful spending” caused our current deficit. Republicans seem to believe that wasteful spending includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and support for the poor and needy. Non-wasteful spending to the Republicans apparently includes defense, corporate subsidies and giveaways of federal assets to the wealthy.
Our lack of revenue started when Ronald Reagan lowered the tax rate on the wealthy from 70 percent to 28 percent. Massive cuts in capital gains, dividends and interest-earning taxes have cost the Treasury revenue.
Tax code loopholes available only to the wealthy and corporations have cost the Treasury revenue. Lower rates and tax loopholes have been in effect for as long as 30 years.
This is empirical evidence of purposeful revenue reductions geared toward the wealthy so Republicans can blame the deficit on the poor, elderly and powerless. This strategy fits their ideological agenda.
Yes, Medicare needs major adjustments. Seniors need to pay more and we need to eliminate Medicare fraud. Social Security needs adjusting to bring in more revenue to sustain the system. Medicaid and aid to the poor will always need vigorous oversight and continuing fraud control.
A small tax increase to a limited percent of wealthy people cannot be the end of raising revenue to offset the deficit, and punishing the poor and elderly is not a fair method of deficit reduction.