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Why are Democrats fighting for a tax break that benefits mostly the rich?

Why are Democrats fighting for a tax break that benefits mostly the rich?
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) speak at a news conference on the Republican tax proposals in Washington on Nov. 13. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

To the editor: The Democrats are desperately fighting the GOP tax plan for one reason: These tax breaks will severely jeopardize their designs on picking up seats in Congress in 2018. (“Here are the 5 major differences between the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax plan,” Nov. 10)

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation states that the elimination of deductions for state and local taxes, or SALT, would predominantly affect the top 5% of earners. The average California family, according to the assessment, would receive almost $3,000 in tax relief.

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So why are the Democrats fighting a plan that provides the least amount of benefit to top earners? First, those earners come from high-tax states like California that use the current system to subsidize their own tax increases. Second, any success from this bill in terms of tax relief and increased wages will spell doom for them in 2018.

All of which results in the ludicrous sight of Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) bemoaning the higher income taxes that many rich people would have to pay. Of course, Schumer lowered his taxable income by almost $58,000 using his SALT deductions, so he has room to complain.

Joseph Schillmoeller, Gardena

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To the editor: This article asserts that “a key” to tax simplification is “shrinking the number of brackets.” Only someone who has never actually filled out a 1040 form would subscribe to the idea that filing taxes would be easier if there weren’t so many pesky brackets.

By the time you get to the point where your bracket comes into play, you are essentially done with doing your taxes. The hours of work, the consulting of impenetrable Internal Revene Service rules, the purchasing and study of tax books, the pulling out of hair — all that is finally behind you.

You enter your hard-won number into line 43, “Taxable Income,” you glance at a table in the instructions to see where the amount you just entered falls, and you get a number to enter in line 44, which is the line for “Tax.” Boom, done.

Actually, you still have to take the time to sign it.

Rich Eames, Los Angeles

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