We are right to question the reasoning behind the current disparity

Dear Editor:

On June 27, I attended a town hall meeting featuring 8th District U.S. Congressman ‘Chip’ Cravaack. Someone in the audience pointed out that the more recent wars have contributed heavily to the national debt. Mr. Cravaack brought up one of the many charts and graphs he used to make his points. It showed a spike in spending during WW2 and he stated proudly that “we” provided the funds for that war, through war bonds and other fund raising here at home. He then stated that the more recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not funded the same way by us, but partly by borrowing, thus explaining the cost

What he did not mention is that a significant portion of money was raised, during WW I & II, Korean and Vietnam wars, from a drastic increase in income taxes on both the individual and corporate levels. That makes me wonder: what, then, is the big deal with acceding to our wish to have the wealthiest merely pay the same percent of their income as the rest of us?

We are right to question the reasoning behind the current disparity. I don’t believe there can be any justification. He wanted to confuse the real issue by repeating the total tax dollars contributed by the wealthy, making that sound more impressive, rather than as the percentage of their income, which highlights the problem.

To illustrate my objection, imagine two people in line at the checkout, both holding the same item to be purchased. Having casually overheard what the first customer paid, the second customer is asked to pay a little more for the same item. When questioned, the sales clerk states that customer #1 makes a higher income, so pays a lower sales tax. Would we not be irate over that?

Connie Walker-Pearson
Cambridge

  • Eli

    This lady needs to get her facts straight before she just starts telling stories that are simple not true. On the federal level if you make more you will pay more as a percentage. From 0-$8,375 you will pay 10%, $8,375-$34,000 you will pay 15%, $34,001-$82,400 you will pay 25%, $82,401-$171,850 you will pay 28%, $171,851-$373,650 you will pay 33%, above $373,650 you will pay 35%. Minnesota taxes follow the same trend. You make more you pay more. It is sad that the harder someone works for what they have the more people like Connie want to steal from them. Keep up the good work Chip!

    • Connie

      My facts are directly from the MN Department of Revenue’s 2009 Tax Incidence Study, Table 3-3, 2011 effective tax rates. The same study for projected 2013 rates are close to the same figures. The top income levels do not pay more, they pay less. If you have an issue with the figures, talk to the Department of Revenue and question where they go their numbers.

    • Lane

      Despite the progressive nature of income taxes, the wealthy are not shouldering their fair share of the tax burden when we look at percentages of income paid in total taxes by those in different income groups. The fact that the wealthy coughs up a lot of tax dollars is more due to the sheer size of their rapidly accumulating wealth at the expense of everyone else including the rapidly disappearing middle class that at one time provided the bulk of tax revenues with that wealth not necessarily earned through “hard work.”

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