Originally Published: July 6, 2014 6 a.m.
The following statement is from Bob Lynne's letter on June 27 ("Trickle-down theory has never worked"): "Do we want to continue giving tax breaks to the rich knowing that nothing trickles down to the rest of us?" He also wrote he wants "the top I percent to pay their fair share."
As a group, the top 1 percent earned 19 percent of adjusted gross income reported in 2010, but paid 35 percent of all federal income taxes. Many faced a higher tax bill starting in 2013 thanks to drastic measures in the fiscal cliff deal and Affordable Care Act. The top income tax rate increased from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Itemized deductions are restricted at high-income levels. Medicare tax rose on wages over $200,000 ($250,000 for couples). And for the first time ever, investment income - including capital gains, dividends and interest - could be subject to the Medicare tax. All these recent tax increases on the rich do not indicate we "continue to give tax breaks to the rich," as Mr. Lynne claims.
Regarding Mr. Lynne's statement that "Conservatives are calling for the demise of Social Security and Medicare," this is not true. It would be political suicide for any politician to suggest this. Social Security and Medicare are here to stay. Only minor revisions can be expected such as again raising the Social Security retirement age because people are living longer.
Mr. Lynne's closing statement claims liberal Democrats must remain in power to avoid things getting worse. America became the world's greatest capitalistic economy because of limited government and a two-party system, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. This keeps our economy from getting too far out of balance. We've have had enough off-balance liberal thinking to last for quite awhile. It's time to rebalance in the next elections by regaining Republican conservative control and a return to prosperity.