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LETTERS

October 24, 2008

Wealthy already pay lion's share of taxes

In his column "It's a 30-year sneak attack in America's class war" (Oct. 19), Dan Rodricks continues the propaganda of misinformation by the media and Democrats that suggests the wealthy are not paying their fair share of taxes.

According to the Tax Foundation, in 2006, taxpayers with incomes of $153,000 and greater (the top 5 percent of earners) paid 60 percent of all federal individual income taxes. The top 1 percent (with incomes greater than $388,000) paid 39.9 percent.

Contrast these percentages to those in 1980, when the tax burden for the top 1 percent and 5 percent was 19.1 percent and 36.8 percent.

Also, contrary to what is often advertised by the media, the total tax burden on the top 5 percent of wage-earners has increased during the Bush administration from 67.3 percent in 2000 to 70.8 percent in 2006.

Under Sen. Barack Obama's wealth redistribution plan, the continued attack on America's most productive workers would ultimately destroy the American way of life.

The solution to our budget woes is not more taxes but less government spending.

Steve Williams, Towson

Rodricks ignores the real tax gap

I will not accuse Mr. Rodricks of inciting "class warfare" in his two columns regarding income disparity ("Well-to-do go to war over the U.S. income gap," Oct. 21, and "It's a 30-year sneak attack in America's class war," Oct. 19).

However, it would be beneficial to readers if Mr. Rodricks would point out that according to the latest IRS data, the top 1 percent of taxpayers earned 22 percent of all reported income but paid 40 percent of all income taxes.

This same top 1 percent paid 25 percent of all taxes in 1990 and 37 percent in 2000.

Paul N. Jackson, Hunt Valley

Unjust that profits get lower tax rate

We have seen a 30-year sneak attack in America's class war ("It's a 30-year sneak attack in America's class war," Oct. 19).

The injustice of being taxed less when my money makes money than when my labor makes money makes me cringe.

I thank Dan Rodricks for saying so in print.

Joe Stocks, Baltimore

Willful ignorance puts nation at risk

Kathleen Parker misreads the reason so many have conveyed contempt for the angry audiences who gush over Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin ("Can the mainstream media win back middle America?" Commentary, Oct. 17).

First, she misidentifies Mrs. Palin's fear-mongering with the views of "flyover country."

I spent a total of 17 years living in Alaska, Kansas and Arkansas. During that time, it was my great pleasure to know many thoughtful men and women. So there's no contradiction between being both totally down-home and smart. On the other hand, there is plenty of ignorance on the East Coast.

No one should be proud of being ignorant, yet that's the mood that seems to be gaining ground among some Americans, especially those attending rallies for Mrs. Palin and Sen. John McCain.

If, for example, I went around proclaiming Mr. McCain to be a Hindu, contrary to all evidence, why should my opinion be respected?

Those who continue to believe that Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist sympathizer (ignoring for a moment that the two are not synonymous) should expect no better.

Ignorance is no virtue, and when we start putting contempt for the intellect on a pedestal, we need to worry as a nation.

This is why so many thoughtful conservatives as well as liberals have been critical of Mr. McCain's and Mrs. Palin's tactics.

John C. Hilgartner, Towson

Don't delay statue Schaefer deserves

Last weekend, we attended a wedding at the Hyatt Regency hotel near the Inner Harbor. Looking out the window, we remarked that this beautiful view would have never happened except for the efforts of William Donald Schaefer.

So we were surprised and delighted to see the article "Schaefer statue back on track with new sponsor" (Oct. 22).

Mr. Schaefer richly deserves this honor.

We only hope that political animosity will not stop the city from approving this statue while Mr. Schaefer can enjoy it.

Anthony Kurek Annunziata Kurek, Baltimore

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