Wealthy can carry more of tax load

Wealthy can carry more of tax load

March 4th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Wealthy can carry more of tax load

Taxes are too high! Need more tax breaks for the rich? Tax history suggests something different.

Married filing jointly in 1945 with income less than $2,000 taxes were at 23 percent, or $460. The top income group, over $200,000, was taxed a whopping 94 percent. Twenty years later, the lowest tax in 1965 was 14 percent on earnings of less than $1,000. The highest tax rate was 70 percent on earnings of $200,000 or more. The tax rate really dropped around 1990 when the lowest tax rate was 15 percent on an income of less than $32,450, while the top tax bracket dropped to 28 percent if you had income of more than $32,450. That was a dramatic drop from the rates of 90 percent or higher just 45 years before.

In 2010, the tax rate for the lowest wage earner is 10 percent on income less than $16,750. Contrast that with the "wealthy" with incomes of at least $373,650 in 2010. Their income tax would be $130,778 (35 percent rate). At the 1945 rate, their taxes would be $351,231.

These statistics suggest that if the "wealthy" were paying more of a fair share of their income in taxes, perhaps we would not have the national debt issues we see today. It's a bit strange to hear Congress wanting to cut income taxes for the wealthy, rather than thinking that perhaps the wealthy could carry a fairer share of the tax burden. Then we wouldn't need to cut our domestic spending as deeply as Republican House members proposed.

-GLENN VANDEN BOSCH

Monteagle, Tenn.

Lower, don't raise, tax on gasoline

(Re: editorial "Right time for energy tax?" Feb. 26).

So let me get this straight. Creating a new $1 tax on a gallon of gasoline is going to spur the economy. Huh? Why not lower the federal tax on gasoline? Let the oil companies drill for oil in America, effectively increasing the oil supply without having to import it from our enemies. The lower gas tax will put more spending money in the consumer's pocket, which would in turn spur the economy. In the meantime, we can work on inventing cleaner, affordable alternatives to oil, alternatives that today do not exist.

The increase in gas prices will only cause me to pay more. It will not make me cut back on the gas I use. The same gallons of gas will be needed to get my children to school, no matter the price. The increased tax will not make the trip shorter. And believe me, there is no alternative to driving my car, not one that I can afford. I rely on my car to support my family, and an increase in the gas tax will only hurt my family.

-DOUG HAMMONTREE

Dalton, Ga.

Tell your desires to government

Politics now, "By the people," is the only thing that can save our country.

Lukewarm thoughts of a great America are not going to save us. The fringe groups of both parties have driven us into a chasm.

Our time as the people is now!

So now where do we turn? What is truth? What is right?

Search your heart, my fellow citizens. What is your choice for a greater America?

Do you choose a government that provides all for us at the expense of others?

Maybe you choose us, the people, providing for others through our own loving hearts?

How much longer will we listen to the rhetoric of people who only want to gain from controlling the weak?

Where are the leaders who serve those who want to better themselves?

Where are the leaders who proclaim "Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?"

Wake up, America! You cannot trust a government in Washington elected by special interest.

Speak your desires, and they will listen. Those in Washington have not heard our voice.

We can bring America back to greatness. We the people can!

-MARK HOLLAND

Soddy-Daisy

Sprinkler proposal unfairly targets few

The Chattanooga City Council's attempt to require selected clubs to install fire sprinklers looks like a veiled attack on music and drinking. Why else would it specifically apply to places with live entertainment, serving alcohol after 11 p.m.?

If this were really about public safety, then we would focus on real danger by implementing things like mandatory driver's education, tougher DUI enforcement and gun control. If it's about protecting Chattanooga from financial liability as claimed, then the city can afford to subsidize these sprinkler systems at taxpayer expense and consider it a good investment.

The one prior incident being cited by the council is a 2003 Rhode Island fire wherein a band playing in a firetrap of a nightclub set off some fireworks onstage and burned the place down. One hundred people died. The two causal factors were (1) firetrap and (2) fireworks. Music and alcohol were incidental, yet these are the key criteria targeted by this proposal.

Why are some of our City Council members going after music lovers, drinkers and musicians? If Chattanooga establishments need fire sprinklers to make patrons and firefighters safe, then let's be fair and make everyone do it, including restaurants and churches.

-RICK GEHRKE

U.S. government squanders money

Suggesting that taxpayers (Times editorial, Feb. 26) giving more money to the federal government with gas tax increases - the same government that has spent us into $14 trillion plus national debt, and rising - as "sensible" and "practical" is, frankly, unbelievable. Maybe you should put Bernie Madoff in charge of accounts receivable at the Chattanooga Times. I mean, if you just want your money squandered.

-MURRAY LEROY WALKER

Dalton, Ga.

Theater offerings are outstanding

Fortunate Chattanoogans, last weekend we could enjoy two outstanding theater offerings, "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "The Laramie Project," 10 years later. Both were deeply moving and skillfully presented for discerning audiences.

Cheers for these high quality productions.

-JEAN DOLAN

Signal Mountain

Play production superb in all areas

For those who missed the play at MACC on Signal Mountain Saturday night, I want you to know you missed a jewel. The Signal Mountain Playhouse presented the play "Leading Ladies," which was the funniest play I have ever seen.

David Wood directed the very talented group of actors to perfection. Don Strickland and Eric Shubert were hilarious in their roles as men/women. The rest of the cast was spectacular as well.

The evening was delightful from the time you entered the door, with a volunteer welcoming you, and directing you to the cafeteria for a delicious dessert and coffee, and then back to the auditorium for the best entertainment you could ask for. Unfortunately, this was the last performance for the play, but I can't wait for the next production.

Thank you, David Wood, for giving us your time and talent to put on such a wonderful play.

-BETTY EWING

Signal Mountain

ObamaCare not like car insurance

Forced by law, Obama-Care is to pay for other people's problems that we didn't cause, unlike car insurance. Many people can't understand the freedom to buy or not buy socialized insurance.

-BOBBY STANLEY

Hixson