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Letter: GOP economic plan neglects middle

Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan and

Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan and presidential nominee Mitt Romney wave to the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2012) Credit: AP

The current campaign rhetoric brings to mind Yogi Berra's famous line about déjà vu all over again ["Romney on LI for fundraisers," News, Sept. 14]. We've been here before. The story from the Republicans and like-minded folks is that we need to reduce taxes to make the American economy grow.

The thinking goes like this: Capital gains taxes and corporate taxes are hampering growth. When the wealthy invest in companies, those companies hire people, and we all rise together.

The problem is that the facts tell a different story. According to the Congressional Budget Office, corporate taxes have fallen from about 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in the 1950s to 1.3 percent in 2010. Corporate tax receipts as a share of corporate profits have hit their lowest point in 40 years. This is mainly due to tax credits and loopholes.

In terms of capital gains taxes, there is no correlation between GDP growth and capital gains tax rates.

Meanwhile, wages have fallen, exposing the corporate tax reduction idea as a myth. The middle class has suffered to the boardroom's benefit.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's tax policy is shaping up to be more of the same. The wealthy are looking to legislate their way to continued wealth, to the detriment of the middle class. The strategy to distract middle-class America with hot-button social issues like gay marriage and abortion is ingenious. But heartfelt beliefs in these issues won't get your kids fed.

Kevin Hassett, Farmingdale