To the editor:
In the heat of the campaigning, I keep hearing the claims that we have lost our way as a Christian nation, that redistribution of wealth is un-American, and the government has failed to restore jobs.
All three claims conveniently ignore all the history that refutes them. Working backward, research of all the recessions in the industrial age shows that the stock market recovers in three years, housing in five years and employment in seven years with about six months variation and totally independent of what political actions are taken.
Job recovery is still three years away, regardless of who is in charge.
Second, redistribution has been going on since colonial times. Property taxes are redistribution — property owners pay for public services, schools, county homes and hospitals and roads and non-owners use them. The first income tax implemented by the Republicans for the Civil War was very progressive. So was their revival of it in the 1890s.
The current income tax has been very progressive since 1918 until the Reagan and Bush tax cuts favored the wealthy.
Finally, the Founding Fathers did not want the new country or its states trying to impose the religious intolerance and social straightjacket of the Puritanical Christians in particular or any other religion on the entire population.
Today, we still have that problem in spades. The Taliban in particular and other fundamentalists want to cram their definition of family values on everyone else. I hope and pray we middle-of-the-roaders prevail in this election and put a stop to the divisiveness and roadblocks of the extremists, both left and right.
It would be great to learn from our history instead of repeating its disasters.