Richard Kohler: Liberal play fast and loose with tax facts |

Richard Kohler: Liberal play fast and loose with tax facts

To the Editor:

Once again your Opinion section of Jan. 25 provides a great example of a liberal running fast and loose with the facts.

In promoting his view that the Republicans want to “restore failed policies,” Glenn Bakken demonstrates his misunderstanding of the facts, in particular his comment: “Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year.”

This wrong in two ways:

A single individual earning $26,000 taking a standard deduction will pay $1,873 in taxes (per TurboTax), which is a tax rate of about 7 percent, not the 22 percent that Bakken implies.

That billionaire likely received most of his income from dividends and capital gains. Assuming that income came from a corporation, the corporation paid 35 percent tax on its income before the remaining 65 percent was passed on to the owners (the billionaires), and then the billionaires paid their 15 percent tax on the 65 percent of the income that remains. So, in total, they really paid closer to 45 percent on that income. If state income taxes were included, the total would probably be an effective tax rate of more than 50 percent.

Here’s a questions for liberals: What percentage of income is the government entitled to? Isn’t 50 percent enough?

Richard Kohler

Winter Park

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