WE THE PEOPLE: Week of November 10

Raising Cain

Presidential candidate Herman Cain said that he is the victim of asexual harassment witch hunt. The comment was sparked byaccusations that he sexually harassed women who worked for him. Hestated, I have never sexually harassed anyone.

However, his business reportedly paid two female subordinates hushmoney to settle complaints during the 1990s. Those women have notbeen released from the confidentiality agreements which went alongwith the money. Attention to the prurient peccadillos of nationalpolitical figures is a thing to be expected.

Mr. Cain espouses federal income tax simplicity. Our 75,000-pagefederal tax code is a burden upon citizens and businesses whichmakes the proposal popular. He could simplify the harassmentsituation by releasing his accusers from the agreements ortestifying about the claims under oath like PresidentClinton.


The Occupy Wall Street protesters are given ideological credence bythe fact that under federal tax-cutting measures, wealth hasbecome more concentrated in fewer hands. We cannot ignore that thewealthy are paying more taxes than the poor but paying more taxesdoes mean they enjoy fewer rights than the poor.

In 2009, one percent of taxpayers (with adjusted gross incomes of$325,000) paid more than 36 percent of all federal income taxes.Any system of taxation will, to a degree, redistribute wealthbetween people who have more to people who have less. In oursociety, these wealthy individuals with the tax burden have stillaccumulated more wealth than ever despite this burden.

We have eliminated estate tax and reduced capital gains tax underRepublican administrations and the revenues lost were replaced withincreased federal borrowing. Simplified tax proposals wouldeliminate deductions for local taxes which would devastatetax-paying salary earners in high tax states like New York andfurther reduce federal tax revenue.


New York City is vying to get Cornell or Stanford to create agenius campus on Roosevelt Island. The universities are ready tocommit billions to create a school which would be an engine forinnovation and economic activity.

Our private universities have hundreds of tax-exempted billions intheir endowments which should be directed to stimulate the economy.If $50 billion was wrested from current defenses appropriations,$25 billion could retire federal debt and $25 billion could spawn25 genius medical campuses to provide medical care and trainmedical doctors to serve the American public.

Americans should not be bullied or pressured to accept more taxcuts which really are future tax increases for the nextgeneration. New York’s millionaire tax is a part of the state taxstructure which provides the revenue to run the state. It should betweaked instead of abandoned so that we do not have to raise othertaxes to make up the lost revenue.


On Veteran’s Day remember the sacrifices made by our soldiers andsailors because they made possible the free debate we enjoy today.We should also remember State Senator Christopher J. Mega. He diedlast week and is remembered by those privileged to have known himas an intelligent and compassionate gentleman who discharged hisduties as an attorney, law maker and jurist with honor. He will bemissed by his family and the entire community.

Brian Kieran is a community activist who works for the State of NewYork and is a Democrat.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.