Reality, not scapegoats

Dear Editor:

To see where class warfare is really coming from, we need a holistic view of reality.

In the United States the overall tax burden for the rich is lower than the burden for the poor. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, for example, a Minnesota family making $10,000 a year spends over 20 percent of that in taxes. A family making over $450,000 a year spends less than 9 percent of that in taxes. Not only is this unfair, it is a form of class warfare.

Even focusing on federal taxes, income from capital gains is taxed at a lower rate than income from labor. This is how Warren Buffet and other billionaires are able to pay a smaller percent of their income in federal taxes than the middle class. With Mitt Romney calling for an elimination of the capital gains taxes, Herman Cain calling for new taxes that will be paid for by the poor more than the rich, and Rick Perry suggesting a flat tax which will lower the taxes for the rich and raise them for the poor, one really has to look the other way to not see class warfare.

To look the other way, many use illegal immigrants as scapegoats. But doing so ignores many facts including the fact that illegal immigrants pay sales and property taxes. It also ignores the fact that most illegal immigrants use falsified Social Security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers for employment. This means they pay income and payroll taxes but are ineligible to collect Social Security and other services that requires a valid SSN.

If we are to find the truth, we must see the whole picture—not just that information that is convenient.

T.J. Green, Cambridge