Rich need to pay their fair share

To the editor:

We have all heard that 40 percent or so of Americans cannot sustain a $400 emergency. We also know that the 1 percent has as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

What part of their wealth do they need to live even a lavish lifestyle? What happens to the rest of the elite’s money? The answer is that it earns interest year in and year out. The rate at which their money doubles can be calculated.

Since the tax cuts were initiated, Mitch McConnell is talking about cutting entitlements like Social Security and Medicare that many Americans depend on. In addition to the ways these cuts will affect people, a large number of our citizens are demanding single payer health care which would, by the way, save the government money.

How do we pay for better roads, schools and other things like college tuition to improve the state of the majority? A few years ago when California had grave economic problems, Jerry Brown raised taxes, and shortly they were considered one of the strongest states in the country.

The rich need to pay their fair share! We had steady growth from the 1930s to the 1970s. At that point the top tax rate of up to 90 percent was lowered and our standard of living has decreased ever since.

Besides raising income taxes on the rich, French economist Thomas Piketty offers an additional answer which would help balance income inequality. He suggests a wealth tax graduated from about 1 to 2 percent for the very rich.

Why should trillions sit in offshore accounts gaining interest year after year when the majority could live more meaningful lives? Haven’t we been taught that greed is bad and we should think of others?

Allan Baker

Houghton

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