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Who’s He Calling Rich?

There are some astonishing and misleading statements in George White’s article “Senior Surtax” in the tax supplement of the March 5 Sunday Times.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Oakland) says: “It’s a very few rich Americans--those who will pay $600 or $700 (in Medicare fees) a year who are complaining.”

Either Stark is not familiar with the terms of the legislation he so vigorously supports or he has coined a new definition of being “rich” in America.

The fact is that a single person with a taxable income of $22,550 will pay $600, which is 15% of his $4,001 income tax. Is that person “rich”?

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White says the maximum surtax of $800 “will typically be paid by older taxpayers with incomes exceeding $70,000.”

The fact is that a single person with a taxable income of $27,300 will pay $800, which is 15% of his $5,331 income tax.

The argument that the “rich” are the ones who pay the $800 tax is wrong because they pay no more than the middle-income taxpayer, which, in fact, is a considerably smaller percentage of their total income.

CHARLES R. CHAPPELL

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Pasadena


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