The Spokesman-Review

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History of taxing the rich

Rob Leach asked (Nov. 28) if someone could defend taxing the rich more. Here’s some history.

Post-World War II was a time of incredibly vigorous growth in America. President Dwight Eisenhower pushed infrastructure. Public college education was cheap. Both investments paid for themselves many times over. The rich paid more in taxes. But all boats rose because of the government investments. The earnings of low-medium income workers grew faster than that of the wealthy, fueling growth.

That has turned around completely in the last 30 years. The poor and middle class have seen their income grow between 10 and 50 percent. But most of that came from working more hours or jobs, while actually losing benefits. The top 1 percent have seen their income grow over 250 percent. The top one-tenth of that group skyrockets off the charts.

That did not happen because the wealthy worked harder. They manipulated the political system while demonizing government and taxes. It’s social engineering and entitlement at its finest.

As for the 47 percent who “rely on other people’s money to survive,” they own about 0.05 percent of the nation’s wealth. Most of them work harder to survive than the privileged ever dreamed of working.

Larry Winters

Cheney



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