LETTER: Proposal to raise taxes on rich is reasonable

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 5:53 p.m. CDT

The stability of any nation depends largely on the existence of a prosperous, large middle class. Preferably, it should grow. Instead, the number of poor is growing. Since the 1980s our progressive income tax brackets have been altered and the upper brackets were removed.

This removal favored the rich. Between the years 2001 and 2007, the top 1 percent of our taxpayers accounted for two-thirds of our income growth. One-tenth of that 1 percent earned as much as the bottom 120 million taxpayers combined.

Those making $250,000 annually are in the top 3 percent of American households, which amounts to more than four times the national median income. The gap between $250,000 annually and $2 million daily is huge. New income brackets must be added to address this distance between the current highest bracket and our top incomes.

During World War II, the top bracket under FDR was reported as 94 percent. He reasoned that since so many men had given their lives for this country, none should get rich on war. This attitude should prevail today.

President Obama's request that those making more than a quarter-million yearly be taxed as they were before 2001 is pretty mild compared to what our national debt will require in the coming years. As taxpayers, we should educate ourselves on how our progressive tax brackets work and how much fairer they are when all levels of income are progressively taxed.

Carolyn Doll is a Columbia resident.

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