I have a few thoughts about the Opinion Letters of Feb. 7.
The first one, “Why work when state will provide?” is easy: The Soviet Union was communist.
Hard to take anything else said seriously when that basic fact is neglected and/or misrepresented.
The second, “Your fair share,” is more in need of clarification and exposition to explore its topic. For example the first sentence says the “top 1% of taxpayers earned $480,930 each.”
A correct sentence would read, “To be in the top 1% one must earn at least $480,930.”
On the other end of the spectrum the author writes, “The bottom 50% of workers still earned $39,275 (average) each … “ The actual earnings of the bottom 50% were all under $39,275.
One final note, these numbers are from 2015.
While these clarifications drastically alter the writer’s thesis, it is his later statement “It is stupid to recommend tax rates of 70% or more” that needs the greater context.
I think it important to make the reader aware that this proposal is for a top rate starting at the 10 millionth dollar one earns.
That individual pays the same 10% on the first $9,525 as the individual who only makes $9,525. The same is true as one progresses up through the brackets until one reaches 37% on $500,000 through $10,000,000.
The writer then states “All that does is make investors stop investing here … “ I hate to break it to him, but the US taxes foreign investment earnings.
Also, a lot of the writer’s point is moot since capital gains are taxed at a maximum of 20%.
As to the comments on FDR, I’ll just leave this here. The policies born of the Great Depression and WW II led to the greatest expansion of a middle class in our history.
That middle class has been sinking since the 1980s.
Michael Nicholson Palm Valley