Letters to the Editor: High taxes on the wealthy are the price of income inequality
To the editor: Columnist George Skelton makes some compelling arguments against proposals in California once again to raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest people. He is correct that our current system is broken, but not about why.
Rather than relying on 1% of our earners to pay 46% of our state income taxes, we need to create an economy in which the other 99% have increased incomes, sometimes even just livable ones, so that they can contribute more to government revenues.
As long as the bulk of the money stays in the hands of just a few, these one-percenters will have to shoulder an additional burden by paying the most in taxes.
Janet Henry, Rancho Santa Margarita
To the editor: While I am nowhere near the income tax brackets that would be affected by the proposals in Skelton’s column, I do think there is a general sense of tax fatigue among all earners in our state.
This isn’t the time to slaughter the fattened pig in an effort to balance the budget. Enough already. When the state is able to return to some normalcy, increasing spending and earning by the wealthiest Californians will help stimulate the economy.
Filling the state coffers isn’t going to help anyone around my neighborhood. Yep, even this liberal says get your hands out of our pockets.
Dean Katz, Hollywood
To the editor: Two of my friends work for the state of California. They will both get a 10% pay cut for the next two years. Their salaries range between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.
They are being told to, in effect, pay a temporary but necessary tax. Other Californians are similarly forced to make sacrifices by receiving reduced levels of service. And let’s not talk about those at the very bottom of the economic ladder who, unlike my two friends, have also lost their jobs.
Asking the wealthy to pay a bit more in this time of crisis is more than fair. Their lifestyles won’t be affected at all.
California is burning, hit by fires and the pandemic. The wealthy should volunteer to contribute more in taxes to do their part in getting us out of this crisis. It’s in their interest as well.
Domenico Maceri, San Luis Obispo
To the editor: When I was a kid, California was building excellent, affordable universities, and the federal government was building our immense interstate highway system. The top federal income tax rate then was above 90%.
There weren’t many millionaires back then, and the rich few could find (or make) rules to avoid paying that much.
Today our universities are unaffordable, our highways are crumbling, and Skelton rouses the old tax-and-spend shibboleth against a proposed state income tax increase, which would bring the top combined rate to 54%. We now have multitudes of millionaires, not to mention billionaires, who should be paying most of the freight for the universities, highways and power that fuel their wealth.
Tim Clark, Los Angeles
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