December 18, 2012

Letters to the editor: Any reason not to hike taxes on the rich?

The wealthy are taxed 10 percent on the first $8,700 dollars of taxable income, the same as a person who makes only $8,700. For each tax bracket, millionaires pay the same amount of tax as everyone else. A person earning $1 million in a year, even though his tax rate for everything earned above $388,350 is taxed at 35 percent, pays 32.3 percent overall.

John Boehner
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House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders have resisted tax hikes on wealthy Americans. A reader says the rich wouldn’t feel the pinch.

The Associated Press

These people aren't being taxed unfairly, unless you think that all tax is unfair -- in which case you need to pitch a tent somewhere and stop using roads, to name just one of the most obvious ways tax dollars benefit you.

If you think the rich will be soaked by the tax increase the president proposes, do a little arithmetic.

The increase will be 4.6 percent. Someone who earns $1 million next year will have to pay $34,500 more, $46,000 for each additional million.

Put in a way those of us who get paychecks can understand, the person with a taxable income of $1 million would have a take-home pay of $740,462. The take-home pay for each additional million will be $604,000. Anyone who can't get by on that should consider buying fewer new houses.

Mort Mather

Wells

Social Security is not part of the federal budget. If you were to cut monthly amounts to $100 per person, this would not solve the "fiscal cliff" at all.

It's time to stop being gullible on this. Whatever programs our national government needs to cut, Social Security is not one of them and would make no difference.

It has its own funds -- that we put there -- in its own account. Yes, government has borrowed from this. Yes, every year, money is spent repaying loans, with interest ... to China as well.

Our elected officials have got to address the reality of collecting enough revenue to cover the expenses. So they must make changes to revenue and expenditures. The largest budget item -- 50 percent -- is for the Pentagon, where expenditures go to military procurement, personnel and a whole list of related costs.

The only bipartisan budget agreement has been the allocation of $681 billion, an easy Senate vote to support the Pentagon. Did anyone ask to see an audit?

Good thing, because there is none. The Pentagon, unlike every other federal agency, has not been audited. Did anyone read its budget to see what they do with $681 billion in a year's time?

Why can they allocate half the federal budget so easily, yet go through all this rhetoric and debate about providing some health care for old people?

Or some food stamps to the people who lost their jobs and can't find new ones and can't feed their kids?

Grace Braley

Portland

It is time for Republicans to realize that their plan to avoid the fiscal cliff or to realign our financial situation is not what the majority of Americans believe is the answer.

President Obama has successfully won his second term because he has the support of many Americans. It is expected of all lawmakers to join him in his approach to righting our ship.

The last four years of partisan opposition have only produced terrible results, and many things that could have and should have been accomplished were not, because of irrational stances and a commitment by many in the Republican Party to deny the president the respect and bipartisanship that the people expected.

We are sickened by Republicans who will not bring to the table a plan that will increase taxes on the megawealthy, but continue to insist on further damaging those Americans most at risk.

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