Tax the rich — that’s where the money is

To the editor:

Regarding the Monday editorial “Eat the rich”: What a bunch of baloney. Politicians don’t sit around trying to figure out how much money to leave rich people with. They are trying to figure out solutions to providing for hundreds of millions of people.

Almost everyone in the United States will get government services at some point in their life — whether it’s government medical assistance for children, school loans and grants for young adults or Medicare and Social Security as we enter old age.

Government spending is not arbitrary, it is in direct response to what people ask for. People want a good national defense system, help in putting their kids through school, and help as we age. We are now asking the government to revamp our health care system because it has gotten so expensive that it is beyond the reach of large numbers Americans and businesses.

I don’t agree with class warfare but the vast majority of the assets of our nation are owned by less than 10 percent of the population. As the government needs more money to provide for the masses, they are going to take it from the people who have it. Throughout most of the past century top tax rates for the wealthy were between 70 percent and 90 percent. Top tax rates are currently about half that.

If the rich truly want to pay less taxes there is a simple solution: Work to dramatically bring down the cost of health care and defense. Without significant reforms, the wealthy will continue to pay more taxes, ad infinitum.

gerry hagema


The rich taste good

To the editor:

Your July 13 editorial, “Eat the rich,” leaves out many other facts that should be mentioned. You state the top 5 percent of wage earners pay nearly 60 percent of total income taxes and the bottom pay virtually zero. The other 40 percent must come somewhere from the middle class down to the bottom.

You failed to mentioned that various sources state the top 5 percent of wage earners hold 40 percent to 60 percent of the income in America. Sen. Bernie Sanders has said the richest 0.1 percent earn more than the bottom 50 percent and the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

Warren Buffet himself, using no accountant or tax havens, says he pays 17.7 percent on his payroll and income tax compared to 32.9 percent for his secretary who makes $60,000 a year. Various blogs have been posted of others finding the same when compared to their employees.

These facts are all important and without them it sounds like the rich are being attacked when they are not. A simple example would be taking someone making $100,000 a year taxed at 10 percent ($10,000) versus another making $10,000 a year and taxed at 50 percent ($5,000). The higher wage earner can claim he paid 66 percent of the taxes when compared to the other but some people would claim he hasn’t paid his fair share.

The percentage of earned income the middle and lower tax brackets pay compared to the rich gets even bigger when we start looking at sales tax, gas tax, vehicle taxes, etc. that we all pay on a daily basis. We haven’t even mentioned all the various deductions the rich receive after the 36 percent to 39.6 percent income tax is applied which brings those figures down lower than they would appear.

I’d appreciate it if in the future when the Review-Journal made such claims they gave us a full picture versus one so slanted it makes the rich look like victims.

Martin Benes


A billion here …

To the editor:

Congratulations are in order. For the past 40 years — although we have spent considerably less on the military than on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — Democrats have complained only about military spending. (Funny thing: It’s the only expenditure, of the four, that the Constitution actually authorizes.) Since Democrats have gained control of the White House and both houses of Congress, we now have one more thing we spend more on than the military: the interest on the national debt (Review-Journal, Tuesday).

More than $400 billion yearly. And if you think, like I do, that this is crazy, they aren’t done yet. We now hear some Democrats want another stimulus package. They also are going to try to push national health care through before voters can realize what the actual cost will be.

The yearly deficit will be about $2 trillion by the end of the year. I can hear Congress now: Hey China, can you spare another couple hundred billion?

Robert Gardner


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