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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Fight the coronavirus recession with a minimum-wage increase

Trump and Mnuchin
President Trump, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, talks to reporters about the coronavirus after meeting with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

To the editor: There is nothing that will stop the oncoming recession. Airline profits are already in free fall. Related travel businesses are being similarly hit. Worst of all: Costco is running out of toilet paper. (“How not to protect the economy from a coronavirus downturn,” editorial, March 12)

The one solution that will at least lessen the blow of the recession for our poorest and most threatened citizens is to raise the minimum wage. This puts money into the hands of people who will spend it, since they already spend everything they earn.

This does not raid the U.S. Treasury or the Social Security Trust Fund. In fact it puts more money into the U.S. Treasury and Social Security, as both will reap taxes on the new income.

Republicans and businesses will cry foul that these actions will only worsen our problems. They claim this every time the minimum wage is raised, and their dire predictions are always wrong. It’s time that we face the facts and do something that actually works.

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Paul Weissman, Pasadena

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To the editor: President Trump’s proposed payroll tax cut, supposedly to help employees and small businesses affected by the coronavirus, is simply a cruel sleight-of-hand trick.

It doesn’t take a tax expert to know that a payroll tax cut will not help someone who was laid off because of the virus. If one is laid off, obviously there is no tax to cut.

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Even more insidious is that his proposed cut will benefit corporations that will no longer have to pay their half share of the payroll tax. Still worse, the tax cut would drastically affect Social Security.

Much greater and targeted impact would come from using those billions instead to fund paid sick leave, free virus testing and treatment and subsidies to small businesses whose revenue has been affected by a drastic loss of customers.

Ken Goldman, Beverly Hills


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