Letters to the Editor. Reagan's legacy
``Ronald Reagan heritage: greatness or not?'' [Aug. 22], by Douglas MacArthur II, states that our country's federal debt problem is critical and something must be done about it by Congress and the White House. He implies that certain special-interest groups, such as social-security recipients, need to bite the bullet and accept reductions in their payments. However, what is not mentioned is that some special-interest groups, such as US corporations, are no longer paying their fair share in federal taxes.
Between 1960 and 1984, corporate tax revenues have decreased from 25 percent to 8.5 percent of all federal revenues. Because of the ``accelerated cost recovery system'' and the ``investment tax credit'' programs, $65 billion a year in corporate revenues are lost to the federal Treasury. If nothing is done to change these ``loopholes,'' by 1990 the federal government will lose $121 billion yearly in corporate taxes.
Before poor people and the elderly are asked to make sacrifices, corporate America should kick in its fair share. Steven Soifer Plainfield, Vt.
Initially, MacArthur earned my favor when he implied there is something wrong with the trend in government spending. Yet regarding ``supply side'' economics, he states ``[the] supply side economic theory has proved a devastating and costly illusion.'' Beginning in 1981 -- when tax cuts were enacted -- through 1984, we witnessed annual growth of GNP at 6.4 percent in the first seven quarters of the 1983-'84 recovery vs. 5.5 percent for the same period in the five previous recoveries; an increase in busin ess investment by 1.7 percent of total growth rate vs. an average of 0.6 percent in the past; a nonresidential investment of 16.0 percent of real GNP in plant and equipment from the fourth quarter of 1982 to the second quarter of 1984. Have tax cuts proven to be devastating when business grew, employed more people, and increased GNP?