Thursday, September 23, 2021
Sept. 23, 2021

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Letter: Wealthy pay their fair share


To demonize the wealthy, Greg Jayne cherry-picks facts and a few extreme examples (“Inequality real risk to capitalism,” The Columbian, June 13). The political cartoon showing the income tax burden being borne by the middle class is dead wrong. CNBC and reported the latest IRS income tax data from 2018:

  • The share of federal income taxes paid by the top 1 percent since 2001 has increased from 33.2 percent to 40.1 percent, the highest share ever.
  • Their share of federal income taxes (40.1 percent) was greater than the bottom 90 percent combined (28.6 percent of all federal income taxes).
  • Therefore, the top 10 percent pay 71.4 percent of all federal income taxes.
  • The top 1 percent paid an average rate of 25.4 percent, more than seven times that of the bottom 50 percent (taxed at an average rate of 3.4 percent), whose share of total income taxes was 2.9 percent.

Looks like the wealthy are paying more than their “fair share.” And Jayne hasn’t mentioned the number of billionaire pledges to give most of their fortune to charity.

I have no stake in defending them. But I don’t like bias, the politics of envy or Americans turning on each other.

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