Ms. Marcus, your column written in response to Governor Perry’s remark on the supposed fact that “one-half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax” was in our local paper recently. There was a lot of information in your piece that I agree with but there are also important facets of our income tax dilemma that you fail to mention. For example, the Tax Center’s report on the young married couple that pays no taxes doesn’t explain that the same couple would get an additional child tax credit of $ 2,000 and an Earned Income Credit of $ 4,000 this year. They will be getting an “entitlement” of about $ 6,000 or almost 30% of their income! There are many other such entitlements buried within our terribly complex tax code. The question of whether the tax is sufficiently progressive (higher tax rates for higher incomes) or the degree to which other taxes need be considered for entitlements are only small parts of the equation. The Big Picture is lack of income in the face of overspending – it’s that simple. The cause of my disappointment in your article is that you spend three columns of your time on minutia.
This is not a defense of Governor Perry. He’s just another ueber-ego who is going to resort to bashing the other guy instead of devising practical solutions and let the winds of party loyalty and campaign contributions direct his course. Nor is my point in writing to challenge your facts. It’s to express a concern that many of our citizens seem to have and that is that our country is in deep trouble and our representatives in Washington are unable to come to grips with solutions and are instead mired in a political cesspool. Their major concern seems to be over how to become elected, remain elected, and prevent someone else from being elected or have their party outnumber the other party.
The mission of our armed service men and women, and our police and firemen and women is to move into danger; expose themselves to threats to their lives while protecting the rest of us. Our politicians behave in just the opposite fashion by being unable or unwilling to offer their political lives in order to save our country by acting reasonably to solve its problems. I wish members of the media – radio, television and print would concentrate on this failure of our government and do so relentlessly. Thank you for your attention.
Reinhold Klein, Wausau WI