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Letters to the Editor

Mon., Dec. 3, 2012, midnight

Taxation explained

Rob Leach said at the beginning of his Nov. 28 letter: “Can someone explain to me …” and then asked about raising the tax rate on the rich and why it was “the right thing to do.” I am taking him up on that invitation, which is daunting in 200 words or less. Many issues come up, but I have time to focus on only a few.

First, 87 percent of people paid taxes (sans sales taxes, where it is probably 100 percent) but, in the recession year of 2009, 47 percent paid no income taxes. Most years, it’s usually around 38 percent. Of those 38 percent, you have the elderly, those with disabilities (such that they can’t work) and mostly working poor whose deductions are more than what they owe because they make so little.

The public sector is where we help people because they are fellow Americans. It is not Wal-Mart’s job to take care of Americans; it is their job to take care of Wal-Mart. I think it is the right wing’s argument that if Wal-Mart does well, we all do well. To some extent this is true, but it is limited, and thus we have taxes and government. More later.

Rick Cote


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