This idea will thwart the investment we need

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

Regarding "Tax Writers Eye Surcharge on Rich" (July 9) to pay for health care: This is a disastrously bad idea in the depths of a recession. It torpedoes the investment needed to increase employment.

The average American works with at least $60,000 worth of capital that he/she didn't have to supply (e.g., office buildings, stamping presses, delivery trucks, etc.). If you're driving the delivery truck and it wears out, hopefully someone will invest in a replacement, or you'll soon be unemployed.

Most of us don't have the income to permit any substantial level of savings after we've paid our bills. Only a few high-income families -- the "rich" -- can afford to set aside substantial sums. But they don't bury it in jars in their back yards; instead, they invest it ? ultimately in new plant and equipment (and delivery trucks).

When we tax these investor families, they have two options: They can (1) cut back their lifestyles to maintain their previous levels of savings and investment, or (2) cut back their investing to maintain their lifestyles.

It's painful to cut back your standard of living. So their investing -- which might have saved jobs or even created new ones -- will get cut back instead.

We want the best of health care at minimal cost to ourselves. So our politicians will want to promise that. But we need to ask, "Are our medical bills such a burden that we're willing to lose our jobs to avoid them?"



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