To the editor:

Regarding the lead editorial on Sept. 3 on the national debt: There is no doubt the U.S. has a substantial national debt. We should also keep in mind that U.S. productivity (GDP) is big. Debt is useful for buying things which enhance the economy such as good roads and other necessary infrastructure. We can afford our current level of indebtedness, but we should be wise about paying for it. Paying our debts (as well as current expenses) is too often looked at emotionally rather than rationally. Income and wealth are unequally distributed in the U.S., where 40% of wealth is held by 1% of our citizens and 70% of our wealth is held by 10% of our citizens.

Tax rates on corporations and wealthy individuals are at historic lows. It is common sense to raise revenue where the income and wealth exist. There are two myths that get in the way of sensible taxation. One myth is the economy grows faster when tax rates are lower. Careful study of historical data disproves that idea. A second myth is that wealthy people will stop working hard if their taxes are higher. Historical data also disproves that myth. The bottom line is the U.S. has a strong economy and can afford the current level of debt. However, hard-working Americans should not be duped by corporations and the rich with the argument that making the rich richer is the road to prosperity. The road to prosperity is making sure all Americans get a fair share of economic output.

Mark Brakke

Coon Rapids

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