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Letter: Republican's idea of average income misses mark in Hall
Kevin Hassett 2017
Kevin Hassett

As the Republicans silently debate their tax reform in Congress, a couple of letters in The Times provided some open and honest discussion on the future for the country under the once-secretive proposal. I respond, not to those letters or the partisan work of Republican Rep. Doug Collins. I target Kevin Hassett, Republicans’ chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Hassett recently authored “The Growth Effect of Corporate Tax Reform and Implications for Wages.” He boldly proposes a conservative increase of $4,000 for average households in 10 years. He weasels a bit in his paper. He writes about households earning $83,143, his chosen average income. He adds a caveat on the type of income earned, over 20 percent of that $83,143 comes from non-wages. I’ll be more plain. His average household earns 20 percent of its income from something other than wages or salary. Hassett’s average family earns $351 a week from things like stock options and capital gains. Let’s translate that to the average family in Hall County. 

The Census reports median household income for us at $50,853, some $33,000 less than Hassett calls average for all Americans. So we need to make 60 percent more to meet his standards. A long stretch for Hall County firefighters and police officers and bank tellers.

But, those wage earners must supplement their paycheck with $11,000 in other income to be Hassett’s average type of household. I didn’t make $11,000 last year on stock options, capital gains or something called a “bonus.”

I predict that in 10 years, the average Hall County household will have less purchasing power than today. I predict the Hall County Republican Party will refuse to support raises for county and city employees. 

So who in Hall County living in the average household will get Hassett’s $4,000 increase in their income? Ask a Republican. They know.

Michael W. Parker

Flowery Branch

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