To the editor: 

Impeachment proceedings were not designed as a test of popularity. They are meant to constrain out-of-control elected officials. But, as a political process, it may be influenced by popularity.

President Trump continues to mislead his supporters, especially the working class. He uses attacks on immigrants and social assistance programs to keep their support. A look at the actual economic effects of the Trump administration shows they are giving the wealthy and corporations all the benefits while making the lives of the working class worse.

Armed with deductions and loopholes, America’s largest companies paid an average federal tax rate of only 11.3% on their profits last year, roughly half the official rate under the new tax law — the lowest effective corporate tax rate in more than 80 years. Ninety-one corporations paid no taxes and 10 of those had a negative tax rate!

The results of corporate tax cuts has shifted the federal tax burden to individual taxpayers. From 2012 through 2017 corporations contributed about 10% and individuals contributed 80%.

Since then corporations contributed about 6% and individuals contributed 86%. That is a 40% decrease in taxes collected from corporations. The stock market is doing well because much of this “tax dividend” is being used by companies to buy their own stocks which drives up prices.

That is part of the reason tax breaks for the rich never pay for themselves through a more robust economy. What has increased is the number of U.S. counties designated as in poverty.

Another indication of moving wealth to the rich is a comparison of workers' compensation versus their productivity. It would be fair if productivity and compensation went up together.

From 1948 to 1979, productivity went up 108% and compensation went up 93%. But from 1979 to 2018, productivity went up 70% and compensation went up 12%, a 6 to 1 ratio. We need economic policies that bring fairness to working people. 

For the good of our democracy and 99% of its people, we need an impeachment trial which examines the actions of President Trump and allows Americans to hear the testimonies of members of the White House. Please make your voice heard.

James Vokac

Willow Springs

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