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We need to invest in the country's future

San Luis Obispo

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Greg Larson may not be a Republican, but his July 14 New Times letter (“We don’t have enough rich people to fix our problems,” July 14) does somewhat read like a libertarian source. Sounds like Greg believes hedge fund manager John Paulson should continue keeping after-tax incomes like his 2010 $4.2 billion ($4,165 million in other terms—11 times the largest lottery winnings: $380 million shared by two winners at $190 million apiece) that he made on his $4.9 billion 2010 earnings. Hedge fund managers earn roughly 20 percent of the profits that they gain for their clients. Hedge fund managers do not pay income tax on their earnings, they pay the 15 percent capital gains tax, so on $4.9 billion, Paulson paid $735 million and keeps $4,165,000,000.

Mr. Paulson’s income helps to explain how the top 1 percent paid more in income tax than the rest of us 99 percent taxpayers. Also when one considers the total federal taxes paid by the top 1 percent—which includes payroll, excise, corporate, and income—the 1 percent paid only 22.7 percent in 2010. Take a look at a reliable tax-reporting source: the Congressional Budget Office (cbo.gov) or factcheck.org.

Under Reagan, the national debt nearly tripled. Savings dropped, personal debt increased, moms and dads both had to work, poverty levels increased, the rich grew richer.

Yes, Greg, I agree: War is costly, wasteful. Certain government waste exists. However, we are a community of people, and we need to invest in the country’s future, not in the wealth of a very few.

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