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posted: 12/9/2012 4:40 AM

Rich already pay their fair share

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I see that our president is running around the United States again, expressing his opinion that the "rich" don't pay their "fair share" of the tax burden.

Let's see, according to the latest IRS data, which takes into consideration all forms of federal taxation, the top 5 percent paid 40 percent of all federal taxes despite earning only 26 percent of all income. Further, the top 1 percent paid 22 percent of federal taxes while earning just 14.3 percent of household income. As you can see, it is difficult to comprehend how anyone can conclude that the wealthy aren't already paying a disproportionate share of the taxes in our country.

Now let me address the concerns of the Warren Buffetts of the world, who lament that their federal tax rate is lower than their secretary's: again using the latest IRS data, people who make $1 million or more had an average tax rate of 20.4 percent in 2010; filers who earned $30,000 to $50,000 had an average tax rate of 4.8 percent; and those who made between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 7.7 percent. These figures show that the more you make, the more you pay -- exactly the result our tax system is designed to produce.

Lastly, as our leaders in Washington negotiate the "fiscal cliff," your readers should keep in mind the following: Regardless of the outcome of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, starting in 2013 "wealthy" Americans are guaranteed to pay higher taxes. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) contains tax increases that trigger on Jan. 1, 2013 for single taxpayers with incomes over $200,000 and married couples filing jointly with income over $250,000. Somehow these tax increases have been omitted from the discussions regarding the "wealthy" paying their "fair share."

Stephen W. DeFilippis


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