Letter in the Washington Post New Year’s Day

1Jan15PostHeritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore’s claim that there’s a “vital link between low taxes and jobs” is, dare I say, laughable. When the stock market crashed in 1929, triggering the Great Depression, the top marginal tax rate at 24 percent was the lowest it had been since 1916. Although unemployment remained very high throughout the next decade, the percentage of unemployed Americans peaked at more than 20 percent just before Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office and boosted the top tax rate to 63 percent. It was bumped up to 79 percent in 1936, but unemployment continued to drop steadily.

The 1950s are rightly remembered as a time of broad-based prosperity with good middle-class jobs available for most. The top marginal tax rate during that decade never dropped below 91 percent. More recently, presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton and Obama saw employment surge in the wake of income tax hikes on the rich.

In contrast, the “Great Recession” of 2008 occurred after President George W. Bush had cut top tax rates twice and when taxes on dividends and capital gains were the lowest since the Great Depression.

Despite conservative claims to the contrary, it simply isn’t true that soaking the rich leaves us all wet.

Hal Ginsberg, Kensington

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6 Responses to Letter in the Washington Post New Year’s Day

  1. jeff linder says:

    Once again Hal compares apples and oranges and comes up with BS.

    • halginsberg says:

      Jeff – here are two facts: 1) High top marginal tax rates do not lead to higher unemployment. 2) Humans burning carbon is destroying our planet. Either one independently or both together demonstrate that your libertarian/objectivist ideology is false. So, why do you believe that rather than forswear your ideology you have chosen to deny facts? Do you believe that you are congenitally or innately incapable of modifying your beliefs or is your obduracy due to environmental factors?

      It is important for me to understand your mindset because if I can get inside your head, I can me more effective in persuading others to vote in their (and my and your) best interests.

  2. jeff linder says:

    First…don’t confuse your opinions with fact
    Second…why do you user marginal tax RATES when its been shown to you over and over again that marginal tax RATES don’t mean squat?
    Third…don’t presume to know what my best interests are. Save that paternalistic mindset for your unemancipated children.

    • halginsberg says:

      1) So do we agree that raising top tax rates will not harm the economy?
      2) It’s hard for me to believe that anybody (save those with $10 million+) are better off under con rule. Maybe, you can explain why you think you are.

      • jeff linder says:


        First…What part of “marginal tax rates” don’t mean a thing?

        Second…I’m intelligent so it doesn’t matter who is in charge at the Federal, State, County and Local levels.

  3. jeff linder says:


    First…What part of “marginal tax rates don’t mean squat” don’t you understand?

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