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Letter: Middle class in this country is shrinking

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am

A business must set aside a certain percentage of money for its infrastructure. Otherwise, it will fall apart.

The U.S. economy can be viewed as a business, and each one of us is a part-owner, whether we are a worker or a businessman. The money we set aside for the infrastructure is called taxes. It goes to building and maintaining roads, bridges, schools, education, defense, the safety net, etc. These things are vital if we are going to have a strong economy.

The common wisdom was that a progressive tax system was best. The more you made, the higher percentage you paid. I am talking about the effective tax rate, which is the actual money paid.

The right wing propaganda machine has turned that around, and what used to be common wisdom is now considered radical.

The poster boy for this change was Mitt Romney. The one year he showed his tax returns, it said 13.8 percent (actually 9 percent amended) on $20 million. A small businessman whose adjusted income is $100,000 will pay 15 percent FICA, 28 percent federal and whatever state taxes are owed. He is generally on the hook at about 50 percent. Outrageous if you ask me.

The very rich in this country have conned everyone to believe that if the rich do not pay taxes, they will create tons of jobs. They own the media and this is the line.

Actually, customers create jobs. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the effective tax rate for the very wealthy was between 50 percent to 60 percent. The economy boomed because workers and small businessmen had more disposable income, and spent most of it.

The very wealthy and corporations are welching on their obligation to pay their share for the very infrastructure their income depends on. Their propaganda machine, bought politicians and lobbyists have made a mockery of tax fairness. It is shameful and immoral. The middle class is being obliterated and we are on our way to becoming a third world country.

Billionaire Nick Hanauer explains it much better than I can at

John Lucas


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