Dear Jay Ambrose (his op-ed opposing tax increases)

The following link is an op-ed, by Jay Ambrose, that recently appeared in my local newspaper, the Press-Register, on the topic of opposing tax increases. Click on the link to read his essay “Ambrose: The hokum argument for tax increases”. I’ve recently come to my own conclusions about taxes, tax policy and our attitudes towards them. Mr. Ambrose’s piece gave me that opportunity to express those thoughts, see below. On Sunday night, I received a response from Jay. His reaction follows mine, on page 2.

(Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at



September 26, 2010


Your essay, opposing tax increases, appeared in my newspaper, the Press-Register, today. I’ve come to conclude that Americans who oppose taxes and raising taxes are no different in their thinking than Islamic terrorists. Both groups are being irrational. All have been programmed or brainwashed into believing in some notion that simply isn’t true.

During the years of prosperity under the Bush Administration, we cut taxes. The rich and the super rich saw their income and net worth grow disproportionately under these unrealistic and unsustainable policies. All that economic growth has evaporated and now these unfunded tax cuts have kept the federal government from collecting $3 trillion.

Americans seem to be convinced that any tax increase is a sin, is stealing. We demand the highest standard of living, the lowest tax rate and yet we seem to be pretty unhappy as a tribe. With future unmet obligations, coming due soon, on our biggest social programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — what gives?

The baby boomers are coming, but the U.S.S. America has already sunk. When do we, the have-nots, start collecting from the haves? Our federal treasury needs money to fund the government. If we don’t live within a balanced budget and we don’t tax during times of prosperity or during a recession, then when?

Maybe our logic is all wrong. Could it be that less is actually more? Is man, is this nation better off living in a smaller natural state than this artificial one with its economic balloons that rapidly expand and then burst?

Ted Burnett
Daphne, AL

September 26, 2010

Re: Jay Ambrose’s response to my comments.

In your view, then, half the economists in the country are terrorists. They can tell you the evidence of history, which apparently means zilch to you, is that raising taxes when recovering from a recession is a pretty sure recipe to get you back into it. I would try to explain to you, but you didn’t even read my column well enough to know that the top five percent of income earners in the country now pay half of all the income tax. Time to start getting them to do their share? Good heavens, they’re paying many times their share right now. And by the way, you are also unbelievably ignorant in saying how low our tax rate is compared to other countries. It isn’t. The answer to prosperity and relief is to cut spending, as even Obama knows. It can be done. Yes it can.

Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. “Dear Jay Ambrose (op-ed opposing tax increases)” by Ted Burnett.

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