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Letters to the Editor

November 10, 2012

'Redistribution of wealth' is misnomer

Mr. Baum, in his recent letter, decries the so-called taxpayer subsidy of the big oil companies — a rather myopic view. 

Oil companies are publicly traded, as is Mr. Obama’s darling, GE, which paid squat in taxes last year. These companies’ stock is owned by millions of individuals and a myriad of mutual funds.They appreciate in value and pay dividends. These funds are, in turn, owned by countless pension funds. Better retirement benefits bring better-qualified people to any given job. 

So in the big picture, the more robust and profitable are these companies, so do millions benefit. These companies provide jobs in the hundreds of thousands, plus those necessary to service the industry. Where do these employees live? It’s oversimplified, but you get the picture.

To say our tax money subsidizes “big oil” is analogous to saying that when I write off a business expense, someone else has to pay more tax. It’s a disingenuous argument and patently untrue. Furthermore, like any business, when I employ someone, I write it off. However, I provided employment for someone, purchased materials,  and did other things to stimulate the economy. So the wealth is being redistributed all the time already. Not quite the same, though, as big government taking my money and handing it to someone else. They should try spending less of it. If I want to give my money away, I’d give it to a place like Heart of the Catskills, and do.

Mr. Baum is entitled to run his mouth about the redistribution of wealth and potential shortage of free money, while I likewise can run mine about the government taking my money to redistribute it. My advice to him is: get a job.

Gary Caso


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