Opinion » Letters

Call me Ms.

Arroyo Grande

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Alexander Ward, in his response to my letter in the New Times (“Change the tax structure,” Aug. 14, 2008), calling for a change to the present tax structure, covers the page with “data” from this administration’s Congressional Budget Office to “prove” the taxes of “the middle class” have gone down while the taxes of “the rich” have been reduced by only 2.4 percent (“Check the numbers,” Aug. 21, 2008), thus supporting his thesis that there is, in fact, a progressive tax which falls heavily on the upper 5 to 10 percent of our tax-paying population.

What he does not mention is that those in the middle quintile derive most, if not all, of their “income” from wages which, in my case, are taxed at an average of 32 percent, while most of the income of the very rich is derived from dividends and capital gains, which is taxed at 15 percent since the Bush “reforms.” And don’t even ask about the deductions available to corporations and other businesses, which are not available to the middle-class wage earner who has, in addition, had his payroll taxes doubled since the Reagan era.

This, coupled with his changing my gender and insulting my intellectual capacity (the decline of which is, according to Mr. Ward, a direct result of my being a [gasp] liberal), saddens me. It would be nice to have a rational difference of opinion without being subjected to name-calling and personal attack. However, these last decades of partisanship have eliminated the civility with which thinkers once treated one another. Let us hope a new era of thoughtful debate is on the horizon.

-- Istar Holliday - Arroyo Grande

-- Istar Holliday - Arroyo Grande

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