How do taxes compare?

How does the new Republican tax plan measure up in comparison to other countries? I was curious, so I decided to look at Denmark. Most progressives regard it as a relatively enlightened nation. Also, I have personal interest since a modest portion of my income comes from a small Danish company. I’m a freelance technical writer and one of my clients, Neets, makes AV control systems for the international market.

First, the corporate tax. The Republican bill drops the U.S. rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Denmark’s corporate tax? It’s 22 percent, down from a high of 50 percent in 1985. So, not significantly different from the GOP proposal. Presumably the sensible Danes realized that, at the old rate, small companies like Neets would struggle to compete globally and big companies would be tempted to shuffle profits offshore.

Now, what about personal tax rates? For the richest Americans, the GOP plan shaves the top rate from 39.6 percent down to 37 percent. The top rate in Denmark? It’s 55.8 percent. There’s the big difference. In Denmark, tax policy lets your company grow and prosper. But if you get rich in the process, you are expected to give back to the community, to support things like universal health care and free university tuition.

Not here. If you get rich, you keep the lion’s share. Except for what you might want to give back in gratitude as campaign donations to Republican politicians.

Bruce Borgerson

Ashland

Buggy-whip investors

Three of the world’s largest financial institutions — the World Bank, ING (a transnational bank), and AXA (a huge insurance company) — have recently announced plans to divest from fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) over the next few years. AXA will no longer insure U.S. pipelines, while ING will also increase investments into clean energy.

It is significant when financially conservative institutions like these abandon Earth-killing fossil fuels. When smart investors commit to a life-giving rather than a death-dealing future it signals the fossil-fuel era is over.

From an economical viewpoint, investing in fossil fuels is like investing in buggy whips just as cars are coming into vogue. From an ethical viewpoint, investing in fossil fuels is indefensible; we now know it means commitment to planetary destruction.

As they vote for their tax scam to destroy the few untouched places remaining on earth to appease their fossil fuel donors, a greed-driven Greg Walden plus the entire GOP and White House are revealed as immoral buggy-whip investors.

If we care about our children, our parents, and the continuation of all life on this little earth we cannot continue to vote for fiscally ignorant, immoral destroyers who operate solely from greed.

Lee Lull

Talent

What people need to know

Here’s what people need to know about the Trumped Up Tax Cut. It reduces taxes by $1.5 trillion over 10 years and in order to pay for itself it will need to stimulate the economy by more than that amount. No one knows whether or not that will happen but frankly there’s little evidence that it will and no real-world measurement will ever either be able to authentically confirm or deny.

So let’s move on to the issue of where this $1.5 trillion goes. Rounding U.S. population to 300m million, this means the “average American” will get a $5,000 tax break over the next 10 years (though in reality this is simply a $5,000 IOU that the economy needs to pay off). But the claim is being made that the top 1 percent will enjoy 80 percent of these reductions. I have no way or either proving or disproving this, but presuming it to be true, here’s what that means.


The top 1 percent will have a per capita tax break of $400,000 over the next decade.

The remaining 99 percent will have an extra $1,000 to spend.

Yup, the rich will benefit at 400 times the rate of the masses.

Dennis Q. Murphy

Ashland