People who net $20M a month should have to pay more in taxes
Don Cazer [Nov. 18 letter] made a staunch defense of the rich as far as taxes are concerned.
As has been proved, percentages can be used and misused, and they do not necessarily divulge the true facts. The fundamentals of fairness in taxation can only be examined using discretionary income, not gross income.
Discretionary income is after-tax income less the amount necessary to meet current expenses. If one nets $3,000 per month and pays $1,200 for rent, $300 for auto, $1,000 for food and utilities, and other expenses, he has about $500 per month for all other expenditures. That comes to $6,000 per year! If his income taxes are $6,000, then his real tax rate is 100 percent.
The top 400 taxpayers in 2009 had an average annual income of $344,831,528. Their average tax was $57,242,034, or 16.6 percent of gross. If these 400 had to pay at the same rate as the top 5 percent of taxpayers, or 20.9 percent, then each one would pay an additional $14,827,790 in taxes, leaving them a monthly gross income of $22,730,145. With expenses of $2,730,145 per month, they still have $20 million per month, compared with $500 per month.
The additional income tax on those 400 people would be an additional $5.6 billion annually and would hardly disturb their standard of living. Using the discretionary income model I have suggested, their tax rate would be 26.5 percent vs. 100 percent from above.
There is a difference between soaking the rich and having them pay more for the privilege of getting more every year. I believe that the threshhold for defining the rich should be moved from $250,000 to a more realistic $6 million per year.
In today’s environment, $250,000 is the level at which accumulation begins. Individuals at this level should not be restricted in their ability to economically advance. These are the people, not the mega-rich, who spur employment and create new industries. The argument that the top people will stop investing if taxes are raised is beyond ludicrous, No one is going to put $10 million to $20 million a month under a mattress. It will be invested as always.
Enhancing the ability to improve one’s standard of living and provide for adequate education of one’s offspring is a reasonable goal of taxation. Coddling those for whom a maximum standard has been reached or exceeded is false logic and poor policy. Mr. Cazer asked, “What is a fair share?” I do not know, but I know we have not arrived there yet.
Jumping the gun on Black Friday sales gone too far
As if Black Friday wasn’t enough, we now have to contend with Greedy Thursday. Why wait till 8 p.m.? Why not just stay open all day so no one gets to spend the day with their family!
The poor workers have to cut their time short with their families to be mistreated by pushy, greedy shoppers. What is the matter with everyone that we can’t just put one or two days aside a year — out of 365 days — to just enjoy our families and friends, and sit back and relax without having to worry about being at work or getting the best deals?
What’s that, you say? Those who are working should be grateful? Well, they are — and they would like to show how thankful they are with their families!
You know, if no one showed up to these sales, all the stores would just stop ruling our lives with their manipulating ways. Remember when you go to the early sales, they are manipulating you, taking apart a great tradition in this country and making it just like any other day.
Please keep Thanksgiving a family day.
Floodwater not too tasty a topping for pizza
What’s wrong with this picture?
Years ago, I owned a pizzeria on High Bridge Road in Rotterdam. My son now owns it. I never had a problem with water, but times have changed. Whenever there is a storm, the water runs right over the road and through his front door!
He notified the town of the problem and they said, “It’s the county’s problem.” He notified the county and they said, “It’s the town’s problem!” So he decided to see where the problem was.
Originally there was a natural outlet for the excess water. It used to run its natural course under Sartoli Road, which is off Kings Road, then enter a watershed area. But someone created a dam by dumping tires and whatever, blocking the water.
Both the town and county have bulldozers. I guess what they don’t have are drivers! In that case, my son can drive one!
Pleasant blast from the past in ‘Scrapbook’
A mysterious stranger left an unsigned letter in my mailbox. In opening the letter, a happy ghost of the past (30-plus years) delighted my day.
The Nov. 12 Gazette Scrapbook printed a 1969 photo of a 25-plus singles club I created. My accomplished passion for a singles social club became a reality.
The Gazette Scrapbook always evokes cascades of unforgettable friends and laughter memories.
No, I never married and never regretted my decision.
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