To the editor:
There has been much in the news about Romney's taxes. An Obama ad states that Romney paid 14 percent federal taxes in 2010. The ad states the percent is probably less than you pay. Romney's federal taxes were 17.58 percent of his taxable income. I believe the comparison to who paid what percent should be made on the basis of taxes paid as a percent of taxable income. Your taxable income is the amount determined after itemized deductions and personal exemptions are deducted from your Adjusted Gross Income. You use those same reductions to reduce your taxable income. Romney is entitled to the same consideration. Using the 2010 instructions for filing a federal tax return a single person with no dependents taking the standard deduction could have earned more than $47,000 AGI before paying more than 15 percent federal taxes on their taxable income. A head of household with one child taking the standard deduction with two exemptions and a child tax credit could have earned more than $75,000 AGI before paying more than 15 percent federal taxes on their taxable income. A married couple filing a joint return taking a standard deduction with two exemptions could have earned more than $95,000 in AGI before paying more than 15 percent federal taxes on their taxable income. For most of you, the AGI on your tax return is made up of wages, taxable interest and any taxable tax refund. I would suspect the vast majority of the taxpayers in The Messenger area, the state or even the country, earn less than the AGI in the above examples and would thus pay a much lesser percent in taxes on their taxable income than Romney.
In 2010 Romney gave $3 million to charities. I doubt that Obama, Biden, Reid, and Pelosi combined gave more in contributions and donations than Romney did.
There are a reported 23 million people that are unemployed or underemployed. If just half would magically become immediately employed and pay $10,000 a year in federal taxes, they would pay a combined $115 billion in federal taxes, which would reduce this administration's projected $1.3 trillion in deficit spending this year by just 9 percent. While such employment may be possible, but not very probable, it is important to note increased taxes alone would not get the deficit under control.
Which entitlement program, defense or education expenses would you cut?