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Hodgkinson letters: ‘I have never said life sucks, only the policies of the Republicans’

Congressional shooter named as 66-year-old man from Belleville

Belleville News-Democrat reporter Kelsey Landis was outside the Belleville home of James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter in the congressional shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. Hodgkinson, 66, lived with his wife on Rolling Hills Lane. President Donald
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Belleville News-Democrat reporter Kelsey Landis was outside the Belleville home of James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter in the congressional shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. Hodgkinson, 66, lived with his wife on Rolling Hills Lane. President Donald

James Hodgkinson, the Belleville man who was killed after police say he shot at congressmen and aides during practice for a congressional baseball game Wednesday, wrote a number of letters to the editor of the Belleville News-Democrat.

In them, he often railed against Republicans and tax policies, and at least once advocated for legalizing marijuana.

Following are the letters:

Sept. 12, 2012

The path out of our deficit

The best book I’ve read in a while is “Aftershock” by Robert B. Reich. He explains that the lowering of taxes on the richest Americans was a major cause of the Great Depression. He also states that it is a major cause of the Great Recession, which started in 2007.

He states that the year before the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Recession were both peaks of the incomes of the top 1 percent at more than 23 percent of the total income of the country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Federal Reserve chairman, Marriner Eccles, brought us out of the Great Depression by raising taxes on the rich.

During the 1920s three Republican presidents lowered tax rates leading up to the Great Depression. In 1931 we had 23 tax brackets from 1.5 percent for incomes up to $59,000 adjusted for inflation (which covered more than half of total population) to 25 percent for income over $1,476,000.

In 1932 we had 55 tax brackets from 4 percent for incomes up to $65,500 up to the 42nd tax bracket of 50 percent, which was equal to the top income of the previous year. Then the added tax brackets kicked in. Fifty-one percent to 56 percent were brackets increasing by approximately 1 percent for every $40,000. Brackets 57 percent to 60 percent were for income increases of approximately $1 million. Brackets 61 percent to 63 percent were for income increases of approximately $4 million, topping out at 63 percent for income over $16,378,000. Now that is what we need today.

Aug. 28, 2012

An idea worth repeating

Letter writer Roddy Riggs reminds me of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, but I’m sure he doesn’t bring in the millions of dollars those two do. They speak their lies and hatred and misdirection to anyone who will listen.

If I seem to be a broken record, it is because of the simple facts that need to be understood by everyone of voting age. I just want to let everyone know that income inequality was a factor in the causes of the Great Depression as well as the greed of Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon under the Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

Mellon was the third richest man in the country. This millionaire persuaded the presidents and Congress to lower the top marginal tax rates, from 73 percent to 58 percent, to 50 percent, to 46 percent, to 25 percent and finally 24 percent in 1929, the year of the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression.

This is what the Republican Party wants to do today.

We need to bring our country out of today’s recession by raising the number of tax brackets from six to 20 or more and the top marginal rate of 35 percent on $380,000 to 60 percent on $20 million or more. In 1938 we had 33 brackets from 4 percent for most of the country to 79 percent for income over $79 million.

I believe anything near these rates would be fair and balanced. In rebuttal: I have never said “life sucks,” only the policies of the Republicans.

Aug. 17, 2012

Income inequality is risky

The right-wing writer Dennis Rodenhofer has twice enough hate to go around since he is beside himself to cut down my sources of the causes of the Great Depression.

I named the economists of the Austrian School Economics, and they are Waddill Catchings and William Trufant Foster. He can’t believe anything on Wikipedia, so I followed up with Waddill Catchings’ biography on to get that site’s opinion. They are identical.

The income inequality was a major cause of the Great Depression, in that the production of the country was full blast but the common worker couldn’t afford to buy the same goods that they were producing.

If Rodenhofer doesn’t see this as a major reason for the causes of the Great Depression, he has his head in the sand.

I don’t believe all of the messages on Fox News but I still think they get some of it right. Change channels to MSNBC and get a better, balanced opinion.

As for my loving President Obama, I say when people look at the other side, the choice is obvious. I don’t want a president who won’t even keep his money in American banks. I don’t want a president who will lower taxes on the rich and raise them on the other 99 percent.

I don’t want a president who wants to lower the number of tax brackets when everyone with a brain knows we need more tax brackets in order to reach all classes of income.

July 29, 2012

Trying to buy tax breaks

One of my favorite TV shows is “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC.

On a recent show she stated that 17 very rich men are supplying the Republican Party with more than 60 percent of their campaign contributions.

These men are trying to buy our country. You know they expect something for all this money. That something is that Mitt Romney and a Republican Congress won’t raise their taxes. We all know that the rich don’t pay enough taxes.

In response to letter writer Roddy D. Riggs calling me ignorant and making up facts, I say: Look up “Causes of the Great Depression,” on Wikipedia. Income inequality is on the list. This theory was held by economists Waddill Catchings, William Trufant, Rexford Tugwell, Adolph Berle and John Kenneth Galbraith and influenced Franklin D. Roosevelt.

It held that the economy produced more goods than consumers could purchase because the consumers didn’t have enough income. In the productive 1920s, the mechanization of industry caused layoffs and unemployment started a steady rise but the rich got richer.

If the rich paid their fair share of taxes today, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. We need to vote all Republicans out of Congress. We need to demand Congress add 10 or more brackets to the existing tax code. We need 20 brackets to $20 million, and a 60 percent top marginal rate.

We can get our country back if we all vote the right way.

July 8, 2012

Obama’s for U.S. workers

I can’t believe how many people are upset with our president. You’d think that the world was full of rich millionaires. Why else would these people talk badly about a guy who has their best interest at heart?

I read the other day about a man blaming President Barack Obama for food stamp recipients going up from 26 million to 46 million. Anyone with a knowledge of the facts would know that this is because of former President George W. Bush, and his ruining our economy. He got us into two wars that we couldn’t afford and gave all his rich friends tax breaks.

If people would check the causes of the Great Depression, they would find that income inequality was one of the major causes. Because of this fact, President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress raised taxes back up to what they were before the Republican Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge and tax cuts of 1921, 1924 and 1926, leading to the Great Depression.

If we don’t want another Great Depression, we should re-elect the man who is working for the working man. President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” policy did not work, and never will.

A strong middle class is what a country needs to prosper. The only thing that has trickled down in the last 30 years came from Mitt Romney’s dog.

Let’s vote all Republicans out of Congress, and get this country back on track. We need 10 more tax brackets for income over $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million and $10 million.

April 18, 2012

Maybe next tax day

I’m still convinced that the major change that we all need to push for is a change in the federal tax code. We need more brackets to reach all classes of people.

We need a much higher bracket that actually reaches into the rich and super-rich incomes. I wish everyone would check out, so they could see for themselves and not just believe me as to how the leaders of the past reached all classes of income. They would like you to think that there is a lower class, middle class, and upper class. This is just not so.

In 1938 we had 33 tax brackets to reach all classes of income. These brackets ranged from 4 percent for income up to $64,000 (adjusted for inflation), all the way up to 79 percent for income over $79 million.

If we had anything close to the way our great leaders of the past set up the tax code, we could eliminate 90 percent of the country’s problems, pay down the debt and get the country back in the black in no time.

The income inequality of the 1920s was a major contributor of the Great Depression, and if we don’t raise the tax brackets to reach the rich we will never get out of this Great Recession.

I would wish all people under an annual income of $1 million to get behind the 99 percent, and back the push for tax reform. My motto is: “Tax em like 1938.”

God bless the 99 percent.

Jan. 29, 2012

News overtook opinion

Letter writer Edward Nowak should understand that when I stated that the House Republicans were blocking what the Senate had passed, that is exactly what they were doing. I simply didn’t get around to canceling my opinion after dropping if off to the Belleville News-Democrat before they published it. Nowak should know the letters may not get published for a week or more after submission.

It wasn’t until three or four days later when the House Republicans saw the mistake they had made was going hurt them that they voted to pass a two-month extension.

I wonder what rock he was under when the “party of no” was voting the first time, before they changed their mind. By the way, I’m an independent also. Long live Bernie Sanders.

Jan. 24, 2012

Money-making ideas

I believe to stimulate the economy, it is time to legalize or at least decriminalize marijuana use.

Also to fund the government deficit I hope the Obama administration raises the income tax rate for the rich to 70 percent or more. If a person has an annual income of more than $10 million, he should be proud to be an American and proud to live in a country that would allow this kind of income, and proud to pay his fair share of taxes.

Jan. 20, 2012

Taxes in perspective

In the 1920s President Coolidge’s Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon cut taxes across the board. In 1921 we had 56 tax brackets from 4 percent to 73 percent.

By 1925 Mellon and Coolidge lowered the brackets to 23 and the top marginal rate to 25 percent, with a bottom bracket of 1.5 percent. Still the top rate of 25 percent was more than 16 times the bottom rate of 1.5 percent.

Lowering the rates across the board started a decline in revenue for the government, and the only reason that revenue finally went up in 1928 was the stock market bubble and the IRS coming after tax evaders. Because of this second fact, the rich were slightly more honest on filing taxes.

By 1929 the richest 1 percent owned 40 percent of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 93 percent experienced a 4 percent drop in income over the decade.

Many economic professors state one of the main reasons for the Great Depression was this imbalance of income. Sound familiar?

President Kennedy cut taxes from 90 percent to 70 percent, which is higher than the 60 percent I advocate. We now have a measly six brackets topping out at $379,000.

We need to get back to the Kennedy era rates that letter writer Roddy Riggs advocates, when we had 25 brackets from 14 percent to 70 percent and a top marginal rate of $1,424,600.

Dec. 28, 2011

Greedy instead of grand

There’s a new version of what GOP stands for. It’s not the Grand Old Party anymore. It’s the Greedy One Percenters.

This latest show of power in the House by the GOP would have cost the average family more than $1,000 in taxes next year. The Republican-controlled House wanted the average worker to pay $1,000 more per year, but they wouldn’t even consider that their millionaire and billionaire friends contribute a higher rate of income tax.

I sincerely believe in the way Congress taxed the country for more than 70 years. We used to have more than 30 tax brackets and the top marginal rate was more than 70 percent for many years. President Reagan dropped the top rate from 70 to 50 percent, which started the slow decline of the American middle class.

I wish everyone could see how by changing the tax code, more than 95 percent of this country’s problems could be solved.

We need to vote all Republicans out of office. Let’s work to get this country back. Let’s all push for 20 brackets to $20 million with a top marginal rate of 60 percent.

Dec. 13, 2011

Just looking for tax fairness

News-Democrat letter writer Roddy D. Riggs must be one of the one percenters. He doesn’t want the rich to pay anymore taxes than they have to, being that their wealth is going to trickle down to us commoners any day now.

I have never advocated a 90 percent top marginal rate, as he states. I merely stated that the tax code has been 94 percent for the top marginal rate for the years 1945 and 1946 and dropped to 91 percent for the 18 years following, from 1946 to 1963. I also want to add that every one of these years we had more than 20 brackets.

How can anyone revere Calvin Coolidge by mentioning the “Roaring ’20s” when it was 1929 when the Great Depression started, just five or six years after he lowered the tax rate.

I believe in 20 brackets to $20 million, with a top marginal rate of 60 percent. This is an average of the first 78 years. Our great leaders of the past knew how to balance the budget and pay the bills without borrowing from China.

Capital gains are an income, and as such should be taxed like any other income. It’s income whether you break your back for it, or simply push buttons on a keyboard to make it.

Republicans are always crying about the poor not paying income tax. I say start at 3 percent for earnings of zero to $20,000, and go up in 3 percent increments to 60 percent for income of more than $20 million. Now that is a fair tax code.

Nov. 29, 2011

Go ahead, tax the rich

The no-tax pledge that Grover Norquist had the majority of Republican congressmen sign is an un-American joke. On “Meet The Press” he used the analogy of the government as Lucy moving the football when Charlie Brown was attempting to kick it, saying that if the rich would pay their fair share, the government would only use the funds for entitlements for the poor, and not pay down the national debt

I believe the comparison should be to the “Little Rascals” and their “women haters club.” Everyone can see through this farce.

It’s time for the Republican congressmen to grow up. Maybe if they weren’t so full of hate, they could see what they are doing to this country - selling it to the Chinese just so they can keep more of the millions. China is buying up our debt because the government can’t pay its bills. This means that China owns more of our country every day.

The rich have been given a free ride for more than 30 years. Following the Great Depression and two world wars, we had more than 40 tax brackets and a top marginal rate of more than 90 percent.

I believe it’s time for the 99 percent to demand that our Republican congressmen tax the rich like our great leaders of the past. Let’s take back our country.

We need 20 brackets to $20 million and a top rate of 60 percent.

Oct. 9, 2011

In fairness, tax the rich

I love seeing the protesters in New York, Boston and other big cities get their voices heard. This should have happened sooner.

The media say they aren’t organized with specific voice or agenda, but the agenda is clear to me. They are tired of our do-nothing Congress doing nothing while our country is going down the tubes.

If the media needs specifics, how about this: Change the tax code to tax the rich at a higher rate than the working man. Twenty brackets to $20 million, with a top marginal rate of 60 percent or more. Remove the corporate tax loopholes. Raise the capital gains tax to equal that of any other income. Change the import tax to better balance the imports and exports, even if it means paying a little more for goods coming in from China and other countries.

I’ve heard that we tax incoming goods from China at 2.5 percent, while China taxes goods coming from ours at 25 percent. I believe we should narrow that margin.

The leaders of the past knew how to create work and jobs. They knew how to take care of all of our citizens, not just the top 1 percent who donated to their re-election. They had at times more than 40 tax brackets and a top marginal rate of more than 80 percent.

They knew what had to be done to get this country moving, and they didn’t let partisanship get in the way.

July 8, 2011

Try these tax brackets

I don’t know why the Democrats don’t propose a specific change to the tax laws to get the ball rolling. Maybe they don’t care about the working man either.

The whole country knows that the only way out of this mess is to go back to the way they did it in the “good old days.” In the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s we had more than 20 brackets and the top marginal rate was more than 80 percent.

I believe that the six existing brackets are a good start, and they simply need to be extended to include the millionaires and billionaires. These six brackets top out at $375,000, which is still middle class - upper middle class, but still middle class. They need to add six more to tax the millionaires.

I propose adding: $375,000-$500,000 at 38 percent; $500,000-$1 million at 40 percent; $1 million to $2 million at 42 percent; $2 million to $3 million at 44 percent; $3 million to $4 million at 46 percent and everything earned over $4 million to be taxed at 48 percent. This is simple and straightforward. I think someone needs to propose it in Congress.

Let’s get this country back in the black. We don’t need to borrow from China when there is a very simple solution. Vote all Republicans out of office and add six more brackets to the existing six.

May 25, 2011

Use 55 tax brackets, not six

IT IS A shame that Democrats won’t attack the Republicans over the minuscule and lopsided tax system with only six brackets, ranging from 10 percent to 35 percent. It looks like the super rich have bought their vote as well. This recession was started years ago when congressmen found out they could make money by accepting money from the super rich in the form of donations, by simply changing the tax laws and putting more of the burden on the working man.

You see, we have always had a progressive tax system. In fact, in 1932 we had 55 brackets ranging from 4 percent to 63 percent. Everyone paid 4 percent for the first $4,000 income, which would amount to more than $50,000 today. The top marginal tax bracket was 63 percent for all income of more than $1 million, which would amount to more than $12 million today. Now I think everyone would like to see the rich and the super rich taxed at a higher rate.

The argument today is taking away the Bush tax cuts or not, which would add only 4 percent to the top marginal rate. The argument should be to rewrite the tax laws as they were in 1932. We need 55 brackets ranging from 4 percent to 63 percent. Anyone can look up the history of federal income tax rates on the Internet. Check it out.

These guys are cheating everyone in this country while telling us all the time that they are broke when it is the super rich with all the money.

April 30, 2011

Tax proposal falls flat

I have to give my rebuttal to your editorial on April 23. I don’t believe that this “flat tax” that you are a proponent of is worth a damn.

In the first place, we have always had a progressive tax system. Our past tax laws ranged from 20 to 40 brackets or more because our politicians knew they couldn’t tax the guy earning $50 a day at the same rate as the guy earning $300 a day or the guy earning $3,000 a day.

Our politicians wrote the tax code to tax the little guy at 1 percent or 2 percent for his little bit of income, tax each bracket at a little higher rate, and tax the millionaires at the same 1 or 2 percent for their first few thousand, 3 percent or 4 percent for their next few thousand, and so on, until they reached the top marginal rate of 60 or 70 percent on all money earned over $10 million. This is the only fair way to tax.

We need to get back to the good old days. We need 20 brackets to $10 million.

The multimillionaires who own this newspaper would like the multitude of lower income earners to back them when anyone knowing the tax laws of the past would see right through this charade.

Don’t slap in the face our great leaders of the past by letting this idea of the super rich (flat tax) get a second thought.

March 4, 2011

The rich can save U.S.

I truly believe that all the members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, know that the only way to straighten out this country’s problems is to tax the rich just like they did for the first 60 years of the income tax era. From 1918 to 1978 there was never a year that had fewer than 23 tax brackets, and most topped out at $1 million for the top marginal rate.

They are all aware of how the top marginal rate used to be more than 70 percent and even reached 91 percent for any money earned over 1,000 times the national average. The top marginal rate came down under President Reagan’s first term, from 70 percent to 50 percent. Everyone in power said it was for the good of the country. They all knew that it was for the good of the rich.

Today Congress has put so much burden on the middle working class by lowering the top marginal rate to 35 percent and only $375,000 that we are in a recession and on the verge of a depression. This is just not American.

We, the people, need to demand that Congress rewrite the tax laws to 20 brackets to $10 million and a top rate of at least 60 percent. This is the one and only way to bring us out of this mess.

Let’s get back to the good ol’ days, when our representatives had a backbone and a conscience.

Jan. 16, 2011

Progressive tax needed

The state of Illinois should have gone with a progressive tax system as the 34 other states that have adopted such. If our state would realize that if you let low-income and middle- income people retain a little more of their earnings, it would stimulate the economy. By imposing this flat tax, they are in reality imposing a regressive tax.

The take-home pay of someone earning $50 a day differs enormously of that of someone earning $5,000 a day. Because of this, our state should have a progressive tax system. If they would simply charge 3 percent for the first $200,000, 4 percent for the next $200,000, and 5 percent for all earnings over $400,000, our state could get back into the black without adding to the recession and stagnating growth.

Our state government should try a little harder at helping the working people.

Oct. 26, 2010

Waste began with the GOP

Glenn McCoy draws editorial cartoons of wasteful government spending. Too bad he wasn’t as quick to make fun of the administration when the Bush/Cheney administration was in office.

They sent us into wars in countries that we didn’t need to be in (they should have gone after Osama bin Laden and a few of his cronies only). They lowered taxes for all their rich base multi-millionaire friends, and left office leaving this country in nearly double the debt that it had when they came to power.

Since 1978, Democratic presidents have kept the national debt in check or only let it raise by 4.2 percent. Since 1978, Republican presidents have raised the national debt by 36.4 percent.

We have always has a “progressive tax system” that was “fair and balanced,” to use their own words, but they (Congress) have progressively put the burden on the middle working class by changing the laws every few years to lower the tax burden on the super rich.

We need to get back to the good old days when there were more than 16 brackets to $3.4 million. This simple move would solve more than 90 percent of our country’s problems - first by balancing the budget, second by giving the government money to put people to work.

Did you know that in 1981, when the beloved Ronald Reagan was president, we had 16 tax brackets spanning from 0 percent to 70 percent, and if adjusted for inflation, would today be 0 percent tax for up to $54,000 income up to 70 percent tax for income over $3.4 million.

It kind of makes you mad to see how crooked our politicians really are.

Aug. 29, 2010

Tax and prosper

Letter writer Paul Mohme is completely wrong. Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge led us into the Great Depression when they lowered the top marginal tax rate to 25 percent from 1925 through 1930. Herbert Hoover came after these “clowns.”

All three of these presidents had a secretary of treasury named Andrew Mellon. This man did more to bring us into the Great Depression than anyone.

Hoover had to struggle to solve the fiscal problems created by the two presidents and secretary of treasury before him. This is similar to the problems we are facing today after Republican presidents gave all their rich friends tax cuts, and the Obama administration is left holding the bag.

The two-party system is arguing over 35 percent or 39 percent as the top marginal rate when in fact they should restructure the whole system. We should extend the tax brackets from six to 12 and extend the top marginal rate from a mere $357,000 to $12 million.

This country was always prosperous after a few years of taxing the guy making $1 million a year at a higher rate than the guy earning only $357,000. Anyone earning $12 million a year should be taxed at a higher rate on that last $2 million than the guy earning $10 million a year.

Restructure and extend the system to bring this great country back to greatness. “12 brackets to $12 million.”

Aug. 26, 2010

Progressive tax best

A simple solution to Illinois’ fiscal problems is creating a progressive tax system like other states. I suggest 3 percent for income up to $1 million, 3.5 percent on the next $1 million, and 4 percent for all income over $2 million. This simple solution would be the easiest and fairest solution for all the state problems

May 14, 2010

More brackets needed

Letter writer Roddy D. Riggs missed my point completely. Although he did whine about not taxing the rich any higher or they might leave the country, my answer to him is that they have already outsourced many jobs and keep their money in offshore accounts. What difference could this really make?

Whenever we were at war in the past, our government had enough sense to raise taxes across the board to pay for the war. The main difference was that there were a lot more tax brackets to raise. For most of those years there was more than 23 tax brackets.

We have always had a progressive tax system, but now it tops out at $357,000 and only six brackets. It should extend with at least 12 brackets to $12 million.

I don’t envy the rich; I despise the way they have bought our politicians and twisted our laws to their benefit. In the past, government taxed according to ability to pay. While most of the country works hard to earn $100 to $400 a day, many people make $100,000 to millions a day. By changing the income tax brackets to 12 brackets and to $12 million, we will be less dependent on China, help offset the bonus policies of many corporations, create more jobs, lower the crime rate, help the economy, and get back some of the American pride. I recommend 12 brackets to $12 million.

March 21, 2010

Look at brackets

I read recently that the current jobless rate is 12.6 percent, which is the highest since 1984 when the rate was 13.1 percent. That is the year Ronald Reagan was president.

I don’t ever again want to hear how great a president he was. All he did was give tax breaks to the rich and put the rest of the country (or at least 13.1 percent) out of work. To think the Republican Party can call this man their idol is un-American. It’s all about the money.

The Obama administration should bring back the tax laws as they were for most of the years they have been in existence since 1913. There were more than 23 tax brackets most of those years, sometimes more than 50, ranging from 0 percent if you earned less than $4,000 to more than 70, 80, or even 90 percent if you earned more than $5 million.

From 1982 to 1986, the top bracket was 50 percent. Since 1987 the top bracket has been below 40 percent. This hurts this country more than anything.

“You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip,” so my grandma used to say. If this country needs money, and we all know it does, the politicians have to change the tax brackets back to the standards we had in “the good ole days.”

I recommend a national movement get started to “12 brackets to $12 million.” Get the ball rolling by calling our congressmen and telling them that we want the tax laws changed.

Jan. 24, 2009

Money-making ideas

I believe to stimulate the economy, it is time to legalize or at least decriminalize marijuana use.

Also to fund the government deficit I hope the Obama administration raises the income tax rate for the rich to 70 percent or more. If a person has an annual income of more than $10 million, he should be proud to be an American and proud to live in a country that would allow this kind of income, and proud to pay his fair share of taxes.

July 12, 2008

Traitor defined

I believe that anyone who increases his wealth in time of war is a war profiteer, and as such should be brought up on such charges. I also believe this includes President Bush, Vice President Cheney, most of their cabinet, all the people of Halliburton and anyone in the oil business. These people should pay for the crime of war profiteering and being traitors to their country.

March 25, 2008

Kerry looks good now

I wish John Kerry would have won the 2004 election. I could afford $3.50 for a bottle of catsup; I just can’t afford $3.50 for a gallon of gas.

March 16, 2008

Tax the rich please

In response to Gerard Luebbers’ comments that we shouldn’t raise taxes on the rich, I must give my opposing viewpoint.

If Luebbers would check our federal income tax history, he would find that during and following both world wars, our tax rates went up to bring the country back. These rates went up slightly for the bottom bracket and dramatically for the top bracket.

By my calculations; for 1918 through 1923 and 1940 through 1950, the average tax for the bottom bracket was less than 12.5 percent, while the average tax for the top bracket was more than 80 percent. This is precisely what needs to be done now. We need to lower the tax on the lower brackets and raise it on the upper brackets.

The inequality of the tax system started in the late 1980s with the Reagan administration. They raised the lower bracket from 11 percent to 15 percent, while lowering the upper bracket from 50 percent to 38 percent. The “Trickle Down Policy” started by the Reagan administration didn’t work. It merely set up a chance for our jobs to be shipped overseas to factories in Third World countries.

Give the rich a break on their taxes and they invested in other countries. It trickled down to the $1 an hour worker in India and China.

This country is in need of a major change in more ways than one, but let’s start with the federal income tax rates.

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown briefs the press on the on-going investigation of the shooting at the GOP baseball practice early this morning in Alexandria, Va. . A witness recounts the scene where Majority Whip Leader Rep. Steve Scalise, c

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