Reader confused about tax dodgers

Letter writer Ed Konecnik complains about the delusions of the left. It is obvious to knowledgeable readers that his flawed bullet points come from right-wing media and talking heads.

A steady diet of this bunk makes one angry, disrespectful and hateful of those who do not look like you. These folks work hard at distorting the facts to further their agenda.

Take one of Konecnik’s points, for example, that “almost 50 percent [the actual figure is 47 percent] pay no income tax.” On the surface, it looks like those 47 percent should be arrested by the IRS and have their wages garnished and piggy banks emptied.

The intent of the statement is to make readers angry at those no-good tax dodgers.

Let’s look at the 47 percent and see why they fall into this category. Twenty percent of the 47 percent pay no federal income tax, but they do pay payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. Most of this group qualifies for enough deductions, earning less than $26,400 a year, to push their tax liability to zero.

Ten percent of the 47 percent are elderly and retired and have limited incomes. Seven percent of the 47 percent are households earning less than $20,000 per year and are not required to pay federal tax, but a majority of Americans still pay state and local taxes.

In conclusion, they are not tax dodgers. Nearly half of all Americans have less than $500 in savings, and two-thirds of us live paycheck to paycheck.

You want to know who the real tax dodgers are? How about the 10 largest corporations that pay no income tax and get millions in tax rebates, while we pay $3.85 a gallon at the gas station? Corporations pay a federal tax rate at an average of 13 percent, only about a third of the statutory rate because corporate tax deductions and loopholes are everywhere.

The top-earning Americans have hidden more than $4 trillion in tax shelters overseas to dodge their full tax liability shifting the burden to honest taxpayers at home.

We should close these loopholes and make them ante up their fair share like everybody else. Beating up on the poor makes no sense.

Tyler Cassell


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