Your Aug. 10 editorial “100B tax cut for top 1 percent?” is misleading in suggesting that the 2017 tax cuts led to lower revenues and a higher deficit. While it correctly cited lower corporate tax receipts, total collections including personal income taxes have grown by $31 billion in the fiscal year that began in October, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
This isn’t surprising; history proves that tax cuts work in raising revenue. President John F. Kennedy’s tax cuts increased revenue by 62 percent over seven years (33 percent when adjusting for inflation), while President Ronald Reagan’s cuts lifted revenues by 54 percent over six years (28 percent when adjusting for inflation), according to the Heritage Foundation.
Newsday is wrong to blame the tax cuts for the growing deficit. The real reason is excessive spending. Had federal officials not rammed through a record $1.3 trillion budget, we would see a lower deficit, thanks to the tax cuts.
The tax law’s cap on deductions for state and local taxes is flawed, but we can’t ignore that local sales tax receipts are higher than projected due to the hot economy, or that the wealthiest Americans are now accounting for a higher percentage of tax payments. Data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, reported in The Wall Street Journal, show the share of income taxes paid by the top 1 percent will reach 43.3 percent this year, compared with 38 percent last year.
Steve Levy, Bayport
Editor’s note: The writer, a former Suffolk County executive, is executive director of the Center for Cost Effective Governance, a public-policy organization.