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Wednesday letters: Tax rate facts
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Wednesday letters: Tax rate facts

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Tax rate facts

A few facts to bear in mind with regard to the debate over making the rich pay their fair share of federal income taxes:

The "rich" (defined as the top 1% of income earners) currently earn approximately 23-25% of the income and pay approximately 38-40% of the federal individual income tax as compared to 18% of the income and 24% to the taxes in 1980 (prior to four decades of Republican "tax cuts for the rich"). Additionally, approximately half of all federal income tax filers currently pay no federal income tax.

In 2017 (the latest year data is available), the average pre-tax, pre-transfer payment household income for the bottom 20% was $21,300 and $309,000 for the highest 20%. After adjusting for income taxes and means-tested welfare income transfers (food stamps, earned income credit, Medicaid, etc.), those averages were $35,900 and $229,700.

Final question, if President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are committed to making the rich pay more, why are they trying to eliminate the $10,000 cap on state and local income tax (SALT) deductions — a limitation that has resulted in a major tax increase for the top 20% of federal income taxpayers?

David Gellatly

Winston-Salem

Redistricting … again

Good news: North Carolina will add another congressional district. Bad news: Even before all the census data is released, some Republicans are claiming the new district as theirs. Not hard to see the result of that will only be more court cases paid for by you and me — the taxpayers.

But there could be a different result if legislators would agree that districts should be drawn to benefit the people who live in them, not the legislators who run in them or the political party that gets the most votes in them. Rocket science mentality is not needed to draw maps that are fair. What’s needed are legislators who agree to use census data, not robot-driven algorithms; who will put aside partisan objectives, who will schedule open and timely hearings for meaningful community input and give it serious consideration before the maps are drawn. There should be no off-camera consultations, and any experts brought in to assist must be vetted to be impartial.

Ultimately the answer is to establish an independent redistricting commission as many other states have done. Such a commission would include an equal number of representatives from both major parties and non-political people. Major donors and lobbyists would not be allowed on the commission. If we want the outcome of gerrymandered districts and more court cases to stop, we have to change the process for redistricting.

Visit ncleg.gov to find phone numbers for your legislators. Call them. Tell them we must have fair maps this time!

Lois Roewade

Pfafftown

Again

I saw where House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “100%” focused on stopping the Biden administration and I thought, “What, again?” Why is it that all Republicans can do is try to stop the Democrats?

All President Biden has done so far is try to stop COVID and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. McConnell is against that? He wants to stop that?

Even if McConnell disagrees with Biden’s political philosophy, Biden won. Can’t McConnell just work with him? Can’t he just be polite? All he knows how to do is this “we’re going to stop whatever it is the Democrats are doing” business.

Lonnie Kirkman

Winston-Salem

Losers

When little boys lose a game:

They change the rules.

They won’t let some players play anymore.

They get Mama to help.

They turn over the game board.

They move the goal posts.

They try to change the dice.

They get Daddy to fix it so their team will win.

They fling a tantrum.

They cheat.

Florida, Texas, Arkansas — we see exactly what they’re getting their mama to do.

Dell James

Winston-Salem

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