Writer fails to consider growing income inequality

April 12, 2011

Steve Williams' letter slamming Thomas F. Schaller ("Raising taxes not the answer to the deficit," April 7) is so full of distortions that it demands a rebuttal. First, he claims that wealthy folks are paying too much taxes and cites the fact that the top 1 percent of wage earners share of taxes rose compared to the rest of the earners and are now paying 38 percent of income taxes.

The explanation is simple and does not support his position: Wealthy earners pay a higher share of taxes because their income in the past decade has increased dramatically while earnings of the rest of the country have languished. According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 1 percent of earners held about 36 percent of national wealth while the share of the bottom 90 percent fell to 27 percent.

This unprecedented inequality between rich and poor is growing and is a threat to our national well-being. The increase in federal spending that occurred under President Obama was due entirely to the need to stem the financial collapse caused by the Bush Recession. Without TARP and the stimulus measure, the recession would have become the Bush Depression and unemployment would now hover around 15 percent, an outcome that even Mr. Williams would not favor.

Jack Kinstlinger, Balimore

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