Your Opinion: Taxing argument and IRS figures

Dear Editor:

The IRS has released data on percentages of federal income taxes paid by various income groups for the 2008 tax year and they are: the top 5 percent of wage earners pay 58.7 percent of taxes; the top 10 percent of wage earners pay 69.9 percent of taxes; the top 50 percent of wage earners pay 97.3 percent of federal income taxes and; the bottom 50 percent of wage earners pay 2.7 percent of income taxes. Some have said that “the rich need to pay their fair share.”

The figures given out by the IRS indicate that the “rich” are already “giving” quite a lot. I would not call it giving, but the government “taking.” We are already paying enough taxes and do not need to pay more.

If we consider IRS tax data we see that the wealthiest 2 percent, about 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 and that’s about 7 percent of all returns. These individuals paid about $522 billion in income taxes or about 62 percent of all federal receipts. Let’s not stop with that, but let’s confiscate 100 percent of all the income above $500,000, after all who “needs” that much money anyway. We would give Congress an extra $1.2 trillion in revenue.

Not much when you consider that the government will spend more than $4 trillion this year. Now if we confiscated all income above $75,000, then we would get about $4 trillion, almost what we will spend this year. There are really people that espouse taxing the rich even more rather than reducing government spending. Just go into work tomorrow and demand your boss give you an 8 percent increase as your spending has increased automatically and you have to have more income?

As I read some of the letters to the editor, I am reminded about what my grandpa often said: you can fool all the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. I know my grandpa was not the author of this saying but it is applicable. He also stated that if you tell a lie often enough and long enough, some people will start believing the lie. He also stated “figures don’t lie; liars figure.”

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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