$20,456 is not enough to pay the rent

Posted11/9/2017 12:01 AM

I read with curiosity, Walter E. Williams' column of Oct. 18, deploring the unfairness of America's federal tax system which has those with the top 1 percent of income paying 39 percent of the total individual income taxes.

I investigated the latest IRS release of summary income and tax filings at IRS.gov to find that there are 1,326,000 returns in the year 2015, reporting $500,000 or greater AGI (income). Their average AGI per tax return is $1,548,385 and their average after tax income is $1,127,707. They comprise .88 percent of all individual income tax returns.

Whereas, those Americans filing tax returns with $50,000 of AGI or less, comprise 61.4 percent of all tax returns filed. Their average after tax income is $20,456. According to those people moaning about the heavy tax burden of those who's AGI comprise 19.7 percent of America's total income, we should raise taxes on those with an income of only $20,456.

Or, I say, that a fairer and more just approach is to raise the minimum wage to a level which provides a family with enough income to pay the rent and buy food and clothes, because $20,456 does not do that.

Tom Teune


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