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Your Opinion: Response to Givens on tax code

Your Opinion: Response to Givens on tax code

December 8th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The tax code is really not so complicated unless you are Dennis Givens who would rather distort and politicize it.

First off, I doubt that Givens and most of the Fair Tax crowd prepare their own tax returns. If they do, it is probably a 1040EZ. Or if they have money, they ship everything off to an accountant or show up at a Block office. I have worked for H&R Block. I have done my own taxes for 30-plus years. You can put the tax code on a note card. It's the exemptions that fill thousands of pages.

It's an error for Givens to allege federal tax rates of 60 percent. This year the highest rate for income above $379,000 is 35 percent. Furthermore, a billionaire pays the same rates as you or I through the five different brackets. In other words, a billionaire pays 28 percent on income between $83,600 and $174,400. The entire issue over the Bush tax cuts is what the rich will pay on the margins. The margin is what they might owe over $250,000 or any other ceiling. The Bush tax cuts lowered the top bracket on big earners from 39 percent to 35 percent on the margin. That 4 percent difference is called socialism by the current crop of Republican politicians.

Mr. Givens has boldly suggested a 20 percent "fair tax" across the board. You should like this idea if you are very rich. Journalist Tim Dickenson in a recent article on how the Republican Party became the party of the rich says the tax cutting binge started in 1997. (Remember Newt Gingrich's Contract on America?) Since then average Americans have received a wage increase of $1.50 an hour. The very upper 1 percent, actually the 0.01percent, has received a wage increase of $10,000 an hour. This is completely outrageous, yet conservatives want to give them even more.

I support more taxes for those who can most afford them. No, the rich do not work harder than rest of us. Many of them have inherited their money. And almost half of the 0.01 are Wall Street speculators. We bailed them out. In fact, Bloomberg News just reported that our Federal Reserve gave these people almost 8 trillion in loans (the public's money) at a rate of .01 percent while citizens were being forced from their homes. Where can I get one of these loans? That's virtually free money. Tax them!