2017-11-30 / Letters

Ivanka Trump visit to Biddeford stirs resident

To the editor:

President Trump recently reminded us that supposedly a picture is “worth a thousand words.” By that standard the Courier, in its Nov. 16 edition, devoted more than 5,000 “words” to the pseudo-event lately staged at Volk Packaging in Biddeford, my home town. When I was a boy, growing up here, the nation’s top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent and corporations paid one out of every three dollars collected by the federal government. Workers made enough so that one person could support a family, and Elvis (despite his high-tax bracket) could buy a pink Caddy whenever he got the urge.

Somewhere along the way elected officials apparently decided that the rich and the corporate should be largely excused from paying taxes. Back then workers had enough power to maintain a progressive tax regime, but as their power declined under Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson (“Slick Willie”) Clinton, the wealthy and the corporate decided to turn back the clock to the 19th century Robber Baron days.

Somehow, despite Facebook, other antisocial media and the assertions as to their liberating and democratizing potential, things just get worse. Volk’s “packaging” the Ivanka Trump sell-job to an “invitation-only” crew of true-believers was only the most recent event marking American political /economic decline.

The folks frozen-out of the spectacle, holding their signs on the cold and windy industrial park curb were unmentioned and un-pictured in the Courier piece. The comfy crowd inside the TIF-recipient’s building were sheltered from not only the elements, but also from any history or discomforting questions as they enjoyed another telling of their favorite fairy tale: that cutting income tax rates on the rich and their corporations benefits society and its people. Sadly there’s no evidence for that proposition, but in the once-upon-atime land of the VolkerStan compound fantasy reigned. The celebrity worshippers and the media, eyes-wide-shut, doggedly enthused that wishing could make it so.

As we say out here in the backwoods, however: “That dog won’t hunt.”

Richard Rhames Biddeford

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