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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: On the Lack of Accuracy in Magalios’ Critiques of Biden

November 16, 2023

To the Editor:

 

I have subscribed to The National Herald for many years. Upon receiving the paper, I turn immediately to the editorial and opinions pages. The latter are highlighted with thoroughly analytical and factually supported columns by Professor Alexander Kitroeff, Ambassador Patrick Theros, and noted journalist Andy Dabilis. Other periodic contributors generally add to the quality of the page. For several weeks, there have been weekly columns by one Vasileios Magalios. His writings are criticisms solely of President Biden’s administration and lack accuracy. Permit me to focus on one of his principal Biden critiques, the national debt. Magalios lays the $33 trillion national debt on Biden’s lap. President Trump took office with the national debt at $19.95 trillion. Four years later upon the end of Trump’s term the national debt stood at $28 trillion, an increase of 39 percent. It is true that Trump, like Biden, was confronted with extraordinary costs, e.g. the costs of the pandemic. However, the major cause of the increase was enactment of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Corporate taxes were reduced from 35 to 21 percent, the intent being to stimulate corporate expansion and increase jobs. The result was different. Corporate investment was reduced with the funds going mainly to maintenance of exorbitant corporate salaries, buyback of corporate shares, and increased dividends – the majority of which are paid to more affluent shareholders.

What was the impact on taxpayers? Those earning less than $50,000 gained fewer refunds, valued 2.7 percent less. Those earning $50,000-$100,000 received an increase of 2.5 percent refunds worth 1.8 percent less. Those earning $200,000 received 45 percent more refunds worth 203.4 percent more. Those earning $1,000,000 or more received 216 percent more refunds having a value increase of 394.3 percent. The overwhelming beneficiaries of the tax cut were an infinitesimally small percentage of the population. Had the tax cuts not been enacted, the refunds would have been available for critical program needs of the Trump and Biden administrations.

What have been critical Biden programs? The $284 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which is creating jobs to restore such national infrastructure as highways, bridges, airports, etc. Another is Biden’s $1.9 billion American Rescue Plan meeting needs caused by the pandemic. There is Biden’s $5.3 billion Chip and Science Act to begin manufacture of computer chips for automobiles and electronic devices in the United States and discontinue current reliance on China. Another major Biden accomplishment is the Inflation Reduction Act, producing such results in health care reform as a cap for prescription drug costs paid by persons on Medicare, and $369 billion to combat climate change. I would guess Magalios does not agree with the occurrence of climate change, notwithstanding unprecedented floods, fires, extraordinarily high temperatures for prolonged periods, and the melting of Greenland which is raising ocean levels. Already island nations are shrinking dramatically.

These are expensive programs. However, they strengthen this country economically, environmentally, and health wise. For example, the Infrastructure Bill increases the earnings of major construction and related corporations. As noted above, it creates high paying jobs. These earnings and wages will produce increased tax revenues.

The Chip and Science Act frees us from dependence on China and creates a critical and major new corporate industry. No longer will thousands of newly manufactured automobiles sit on manufacturers’ lots awaiting delayed production and delivery of chips necessary to the operation of modern vehicles. No longer will the availability of appliances, electronic instruments, and related wares be scarce resulting in consumers paying very high prices.

Clearly Mr. Magalios has written an article which is not supported by facts and reality. It is political rather than factual. I understand that Mr. Magalios is a sports writer in Greece who has started producing these purely political articles. It is apparent he has a lot to learn about the workings of the American economic system and the politics affecting it.

 

Phillip T. Frangos

East Lansing, MI

Northwestern University B.A. and J.D. degrees.

Retired Chief Deputy Secretary of State, Michigan Department of State. Past Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA

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