The rich should pay their fair share

April 18, 2011

I guess Ron Smith believes that taxing the poor that will get us out of the mess we're in ("Don't think taxing 'the rich' can get us out of this bind," April 15).

Why do conservatives like Ron Smith like use figures describing the "tax burden" to support their ideas? Because if they used net worth figures it wouldn't look like such a problem.

In 2007, the total net worth of the top 1 percent of this country was about 34.6 percent of the country's total wealth. The net worth of the next 19 percent totaled 50.5 percent.

That means that the wealthiest top 20 percent owned 85 percent of the country's total net worth. The rest of us — the other 80 percent of the population — had just 15 percent.

Therefore, a fair tax burden on the wealthiest should be 85 percent — not 69 percent, as Ron Smith so indignantly declares.

Howard Calk, Baltimore

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