I must respond to a letter from Mr. Polk in the Dec. 19 editorial page. Before I address that, though, I wish to correct my response to his letter of Oct. 24. I quoted “Need to Know” on PBS; it read “Corporations making over a million receive 40 percent less in taxes, so they can create jobs.” It should have been “people making over one million are paying 40 percent less in taxes than they did 30 years ago,” again for the jobs.
That out of the way, let us take a look at his most recent opinion on how to fix the economy. He called us (liberals as I take it) in so many words Obama’s 98 percent and then later in the letter the 47 percent. First of all, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement was about the 99 percent against the 1 percent, but I will cede that margin of error.
He stated he hates the “overworked tag.” I have not the space to list all of the friends I have who are working six to seven days a week, eight to 12 hours a day. Why do the corporations not hire some more help and reduce the 47 percent and erase the “overworked” tag? That would increase the income taxes.
Before being disabled, I never paid less than 28 percent in income taxes (federal, state, county and local) and never made more than $23,000 a year, including overtime. Romney said he paid 13 percent on $200 million; only he knows what he has hidden in offshore accounts. That is a 15 percent difference in rates and I made .000115 percent of his income. Is there something wrong with this picture?
If we subtract the 8 percent who are unemployed (it is impossible to pay income tax when you have no income), that reduces the 47 to 39. Let us not forget the disabled and elderly who struggle to survive on their Social Security, and how that decreases the percentage of non-income taxpayers. Many of whom paid into the system before they were no longer able to work, or retired and face the brunt of the “fiscal cliff.”
It must also be noted that even the 47 percent pay taxes for many necessities and even some enjoyment in life. From taxes on gas (car and home), electric, water, sewage and telephone, toilet paper, soap, tooth paste and shampoo, not to mention beer, cigarettes, or an occasional a meal out.
If you pay rent, you can rest assured the landlord includes property tax in the price of the rent. And if you want to have reliable TV (oxymoron), you have to pay taxes on even the basic cable television.
I could go on and on, but it seems to me the more you make the more you should pay. They (the wealthy) have had all the breaks in the last 30 years. They have profited beyond the dreams of the 47 or 99 percent. If you cannot pay 30 or 40 percent taxes on $200 million a year and not live comfortably and enjoy the American dream, I have no pity.
Michael J. Ward