Readers React

Taxes and the 1%

To the editor: Michael Hiltzik's column on the tax break for 1% of the population should be required reading for the taxpaying public and should be adopted by the Democratic Party as a major platform to scrutinize and modify. ("Here's how Obama's capital gains tax plan hits the 1% where they live," Jan. 19)

It is unconscionable for the very wealthy to leave tax-free legacies to their children and grandchildren who had little or no part in creating that wealth, forcing the burden of supporting our country on the middle class.

It is the middle class, the workers and others who helped make it possible for the wealthiest of our country to be where they are today. The 1% should pay their fair share, especially those who are inheriting what others have earned.

Gary Goff, Brea

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To the editor: Although I will never have to worry about the proposed increase on capital gains taxes for the wealthiest 1%, I felt a great deal of unease reading Hiltzik's article and his eagerness for taxes to be raised on the successful, as if they had done something wrong.

Hiltzik's apparent bias against success and his evident joy at seeing it punished was summed up in one line wherein he described why he finds the plan to increase the capital gains taxes on the successful so appealing: "The beauty of this proposal is that it's aimed surgically at the wealthiest taxpayers."

I would ask Hiltzik: Other than paying an outsized share of the total taxes collected by the federal government each year, what did these people do to deserve this?

Steve Vien, San Pedro

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