Paul Barnes wrote a letter to The Times published Sunday. He was upset by how Democrats are treating the middle class and a few other things, but mostly how the Bush tax cuts, which automatically expire, should be made permanent. If the tax cuts expire as required, he sees this as the Democrats raising taxes on the middle class.
There are a few facts missing in any discussion of taxation or tax cuts. The personal income tax isn’t enough money to fund the entire federal government. In 2005, it was enough to pay the budgeted defense spending and the off-budget spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. The leftover after national defense couldn’t pay the interest on the debt.
In our country, the most powerful nation in the world, 67 percent of all taxpayers live on an average income of $21,000 before taxes. That totals about $1.8 trillion for 67 percent of our country. The richest 2.7 percent of taxpayers have to make it through a year with just $2.1 trillion. That’s an average of more than $600,000 per taxpayer.
After taxes, that same group has just about as much spending money as the "other" 67 percent of Americans. (Source: 2005 data from the Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Web site, www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/05in11si.xls).
Let’s sum that up: 2.7 percent of Americans have nearly $1.8 trillion to spend after taxes.
Another 67 percent also have roughly $1.8 trillion to spend after taxes. Which group is the middle class? The 67 percent making between $8 and $12 an hour.
What does that group have in common with the other group, which is making $300 per hour? Nothing.
The real questions are: Why does the group making $300 an hour need an increase in take-home pay? Why is our government, which is $9 trillion in debt, cutting taxes at all, let alone for people making $300 an hour?
For that 67 percent of Americans ignored by Paul Barnes, the Bush tax cuts never provided enough "tax relief" to buy a trip to a dentist.
I respect the hard-working middle class trying to make ends meet at less than $12 an hour. I respect them for getting up every morning, working two jobs and hugging their children every night.
I won’t cry any tears for the family trying to make ends meet at $300 an hour.
Nor should any Democrat borrow more money from China to provide "tax relief" for the ûber-rich.
National defense and national security have a price. The personal income tax barely provides for that and not much else. Proudly pay your fair share.
Chicken Little environmentalists are out to destroy our economy
I saw two photographs of the Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, Mass. One was reportedly, but not authenticated to be, taken May 30, 1868, and the other on May 30, 2005. The trees were bare of leaves in the earlier one and in full leaf in the recent one. The purpose was to graphically portray global warming.
There is no argument concerning global warming; the argument is in the cause of it. In 1850, a warming trend began after 450 years of cooling. Since then, the world average temperature has climbed one degree. There has been no change in the last seven years. The ocean temperatures have not risen at all. Over the next 300 years, it will probably go up two degrees.
Carbon footprints are a big issue for the environmental Chicken Littles. Nature and the air you and I exhale emits more CO2 greenhouse gas than any other source. One volcano eruption emits more pollutants than all of industry and vehicles.
Paul Ehrlich wrote in 1969, "Hundreds of millions of people will soon perish in smog disasters in New York and Los Angeles ... the oceans will die of DDT poisoning by 1979 ... the U.S. life expectancy will drop to 42 years by 1980 due to cancer epidemics."
I am for conservation and recycling, but these environmental Chicken Littles are out to destroy world economy. Are we the people going to let all this to happen? I hope not.
George C. Kaulbach