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Tax laws coddle the rich

A few economic facts from the last 30 years of supply side dominance that Mr. Sullivan appears to have forgotten in his defense of the Bush tax cuts (Letters, May 3):

The top marginal tax rate when Ronald Reagan took office was 70 percent on unearned income and 60 percent on earned income.

In 1979, the top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers received 8 percent of the total income. As of 2007, this top 1 percent receives 18 percent of total income (23 percent if you include investment income). Would you expect them to pay a smaller percentage of the income tax?

The ratio of income of the top 1 percent to those in the median (middle class) was 8 to 1 in 1979, and is more than 20 to 1 today.

The only countries in the world with a greater income disparity are Mexico and Turkey. Starting to get the picture yet?

The 50 percent that Mr. Sullivan claims pay no taxes are, indeed, paying taxes: payroll taxes, sales taxes (on food and health care insurance premiums in many states), as well as property taxes. Facts are hard things, Mr. Sullivan. You should try to remember them sometime.

Jim Wavada



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