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Vilifying the wealthy accomplishes nothing

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A letter in the Dec. 30 RDR “Wealth inequality…” was answering my letter of Dec. 28 concerning the recent tax bill reducing taxes. The writer seems to have a serious misunderstanding of facts.

That writer needs to give his sources for the numbers he proclaims. What book or website tells us 80 percent of the recent tax cuts go to the top 1 percent of our taxpayers?

The writer states, “The greatest threat to our nation is the existing wealth and income inequality.” Is that really a bigger threat than terrorism and aggression by Russia, China, and militant Muslim organizations? Is it really a bigger threat than disease, famine, and natural disasters? Is it a bigger threat than our declining morality?

The writer must understand: We have always had rich and poor, and those words have always been relative. The richest people in some times and places might seem poor in other times and places. Some of our poorer people in Roswell have automobiles, TVs, computers, and cellphones that were not available to anyone 130 years ago.

If someone uses his business, athletic, or entertaining talents to acquire vast wealth, should we confiscate anything more than X amount? What is the value of X? Should we require that anyone making over say, $5 million a year must have everything beyond that amount confiscated? Is that what the writer has in mind?

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At cnn.com, we find that the rich are paying their share of taxes. From 1986 to 2010, the top 10 percent of our taxpayers have increased their share of taxes paid from 54.6 percent to 70.6 percent. In that same time, the bottom 90 percent of our taxpayers have had their share of the tax burden reduced from 45.3 percent of the total to 29.4 percent.

He also complained that during the Reagan administration, taxes were reduced from 19.1 percent of GNP to 17.6 percent. If we go to cato.org, we find that the tax cuts stimulated the economy so well that the revenues into the Treasury Department actually increased. It was profitable to open or expand business. We saw many new jobs created.

We must permit private enterprise, and we must reward productivity. Envying and vilifying the rich will get us nowhere.

Russell A. Scott
Roswell

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