One rarely spoken truth is that many poor people who are patriotic Americans who would love to be able to pay more taxes. Many wealthy people love our nation and gladly pay income taxes because they believe it is important to do so.

In a March 16 letter, “Nothing fair about progressive income tax,” Frank Tingley names hypothetical twins as “Average” and “Industrious.”

“Industrious” works 65-plus hours per week and “Average” works only 40 hours per week. But many people work just one job for many reasons, including contributing to our society by being a volunteer firefighter, Scout leader, athletic coach, or a working mother raising her children.

We constantly hear that the wealthy are the job creators and that if we cut their taxes they will gladly pour that excess money back into the economy. The reality is that most all of it will go into their stocks, not into the local economy. Those that claim the “free market” drives an economy should admit it is consumer demand, not any individual, that creates jobs.

Many people think they are entitled to have a better deal than others, and that is why we have income taxes. In states where there is no income tax, the bottom 20 percent pay 9 percent to 13 percent of their income in taxes while the wealthiest pay just 2 percent to 2.4 percent. Do we want to be like Florida, which has the second-most unfair tax system in the country?

This vilification of lower income Americans is a “sleight of hand” trick: Watch my left hand, while my right hand is doing something you don’t see. We should ignore extremists who use hatred and sleight of hand to justify gifts and favors for those who are the real takers of society.

Brad Sherwood


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