To the editor:
There has been much in the news about the rich (by whose definition?) paying their fair share of taxes. I want to focus on the dollar amount, not the percent, the rich pay. In this letter I use the word "you" referring to the vast majority of readers. I would guess the rich pay significantly more, several times more, in federal taxes than you do. Do the rich get any better federal government services than you do? Does the military protect the rich any better? Do the roads provide the rich with any better transportation? I would guess the rich pay more in Iowa state taxes than you do. Do the rich get any better state government or public services than you do? I would guess the rich own more expensive homes and pay higher property taxes than you do. I would guess the rich buy more expensive jewelry, clothes, vehicles and other expensive items (and more often) and pay a great deal more in sales taxes than you do. Those greater amounts of federal, state, property and sales taxes don't really get the rich any better federal, state, county, or city services than you get. The rich get no better police protection, they get no better fire protection, they get no better teachers in the public school system than you do. But they contribute much more than you to support those government services you also enjoy. In the context of taxes paid and the amount of services received the rich already contribute more than their fair share.
The rate at which Obama wants to tax the rich (again, by whose definition?) is estimated to provide an additional $8 billion annually. The White House estimates the federal deficit will increase $1.3 trillion in this year alone ($6 trillion in the last four years). Every day the deficit increases $3.6 billion. The $8 billion from taxing the rich more would have resulted in a reduction of just over two days of this year's deficit spending. Expenses then would have had to have been cut by a whopping $1.292 trillion for just this one year to have created a balanced budget. Obama is promising to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. What he doesn't tell you is that is over 10 years, $400 billion a year. That is 1 step forward ($400 billion reduction) but then three steps backward ($1,300 billion deficit).