I wish to thank Augusta Sen. Roger Katz for so much enlightenment in his commentary on “high” tax rates (“Roger Katz: Column misstated position on budget,” June 13). I never knew that those making $200,000 to $1 million a year were struggling so hard to get by. It must be terribly hard for them to come up with the money for an $1,100 car repair bill, an $1,800 monthly health insurance bill, $20,000 for one year’s college tuition, an $18,000 mortgage payment, a $2,800 heating bill.

Until Katz told me how hard it was for them, I had no compassion for them. Now I’m so, so sorry about their predicament.

But, on the other hand, I thought of all those making $70,000 a year. Now $70,000 is not exactly poverty level. If those earning $70,000 a year had the same expenses, they would have $6,500 left over for food, electric bills, phone bills, clothing, car payments, home repairs and maintenance, dental bills and dozens of other personal expenses we all have to endure. Anyone making a minimum of $200,000 would have $136,000 available for those same expenses. Not too shabby.

Under the law that the people voted for last year, no one will even pay a nickel extra in taxes on their first $200,000. They will only begin the surcharge on the excess.

I remember when the state first started mandating certain school operations. At that time, the state promised to fund 55 percent of the schools’ operating costs. That never happened. The excuse was always, “Where will we get the money?” The people have spoken and told legislators where to get the money. It is time for our legislators to put up or shut up.

If you think you are middle class and that the wealthy are not hurting you; think again.

Peter P. Sirois

Madison


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