Tax-raising ‘experts’ don’t play with real-world numbers | Letters

The Star-Ledger recently published a guest column (“Raise income and corporate taxes”) by two New Jersey economics professors encouraging Gov. Phil Murphy to raise taxes to overcome the revenue shortfall our state is facing, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

Alan S. Blinder and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers wrote that raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 would bring over $1.5 billion of much-needed revenue to help low-income residents and those who lost jobs due to the pandemic.

The problem with “experts” and professors is that they make a living at looking at statistics, analyzing papers and adding numbers. They have no experience in running a business. 

I hope these professors are aware that an income of $250,000 income is barely enough to make ends meet in New Jersey, considering we have the country’s highest property, and the highest costs in the nation for pretty much everything else.

I am a small-business owner. My economic knowledge comes from being in the trenches every day, and having to make tough decisions regarding salaries, benefits, and just to be solvent and able to pay my bills. 

My own economic expertise has taught me that the best way to create economic growth and highly paid jobs is to lower taxes for small businesses, giving them an incentive to hire workers, pay them well and give them benefits. 

When playing with numbers, the experts should notice that owners of small businesses will go out of their way to cap their income at $250,000 to avoid a tax increase. That could mean cutting salaries, reducing purchases and perhaps moving their businesses to a less expensive place.

Aurora DeJuliis Carluccio, Montclair

Freeholders vote remotely to make others show up in person

This paper reported on Aug. 14 that freeholders in Morris, Cape May, Ocean, Sussex and Warren counties passed resolutions opposing the mostly mail-in ballots that New Jersey is using for the upcoming general election.

I listened to the recording of the Morris County freeholder board meeting held on Aug. 12, when its resolution was passed. This meeting was held online, obviously because of concerns related to spreading COVID-19.

So, while the freeholders were careful not to take any risks with their own health, they passed a resolution stating that Morris County voters and poll workers should have to risk theirs in order to have regular in-person voting.

I am concerned about the health risks for the elderly poll workers who would be working a 14-hour shift on Election Day. Also, I have to wear a mask when I grocery shop. Should we mandate that anyone who votes in person must wear a mask? What if someone refuses to do so? Should we deny them the right to vote?

To avoid all the inherent risks and troubles that voting in person would bring this year, it is best to vote by mail. Even if there are increased costs, ensuring the health of our poll workers and voters is worth it.

Joseph Balwierczak, Madison

Mulshine virtually unreadable

Paul Mulshine wrote in a recent column that the “Dems virtual convention is virtually unwatchable.” I strongly disagree.

I found the political figures who spoke to be informative and factual. I was happy to see that so much time was given to regular Americans who had stories to tell about how they have been negatively impacted by our last four years of failed presidential leadership.

I also felt uplifted by the talk of the Democratic plans for the future concerning health care, our environment, job creation, infrastructure spending and using science to beat down the pandemic.

What I do find to be virtually unreadable are Mulshine’s columns.

I really wish the Star-Ledger would hire a conservative columnist who would accurately represent the GOP values that the party once proudly stood for before the coming of Donald Trump.

Carl F. Young, Clark

Which one was the shooter? The victim?

News outlets, including NJ Advance Media, routinely use the terms “officer-involved shooting” or “police-involved shooting,” especially in headlines, to describe instances where police officers shoot civilians.

These terms are vague and confusing, keeping the identity of the shooter and victim unclear. Worse, though, they simply accept the law-enforcement authorities’ versions of events, setting them in stone before all the facts are known.

I urge NJ Advance Media to remove this term from usage.

Peter Chen, Newark

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