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A taxing debate about income taxes

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POSTED August 9, 2012 11:54 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Judging from the letter which appeared in the Your Views section on Aug 8 (“More Worried about how Obama spends taxes”), it seems some people are more than a bit confused about the call for Willard Romney to release his tax returns and even less informed about who wants to tax who.

Aside from the confusion the writer shows, suggesting we should not focus on the upcoming holiday season because of the election being “..the biggest Presidential vote in our history..”, apparently forgetting the election is weeks before Thanksgiving, so I would doubt anyone is shopping for the perfect turkey just yet. The writer suggests the call for Willard’s tax returns is because of claims of alleged tax evasion on Willard’s part. The writer defends Willard against such charges, citing what Willard would be risking by doing so and the fact that he is too smart to do such a thing.

This couldn’t be more true but that’s not the reason for the interest in Willard’s tax records.

The simple fact is, nobody is accusing Willard of tax evasion. The accusation is that Willard paid little or no taxes on his millions of dollars in income, especially 2008. Having paid little or no income taxes does not mean he did so by cheating, only that, like many other wealthy individuals who make their money in the same manner, he simply used the many tax loopholes that are available to them.

The whole idea of bringing this up is to shine a brighter light on the need for tax reform and how it favors the very wealthy. That and the fact that Willard doesn’t want that information made public, saying, “You will just have to trust me”. Yeah, right...

Now it is fair to say, not many people who work for a living or have a small business have anything in common with Willard on how they pay their taxes. Willard doesn’t work for a living. The bulk of his income is from investments and the tax code is written to favor those who make their money in that manner, which obviously are mostly very wealthy individuals.

The reason there is so much interest in the year 2008 is because in the tax returns for 2009, the only full year Willard has released, in which he paid 13.9% in taxes, the return shows a deduction which was brought forward from 2008. This would indicate Willard didn’t need that deduction in 2008 and that would seem to suggest that was because he was already showing a zero balance in taxes owed for 2008.

Now to clear up who is wanting to tax who. An independent study conducted by an independent group, the

Brookings Institution and the Tax Policy Center, not FOX News or MSNBC, has crunched the numbers of Willard’s tax plan and has found that his tax proposal would force a $2,000 tax hike on average middle-class families with children, while the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans — including Romney — would get a tax cut of $87,000.

President Barack Obama’s tax plan, by contrast:

•          Calls on Congress to immediately prevent a tax hike on the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000. A typical family of four would otherwise see their taxes go up by $2,200 a year.

•          Cuts the deficit by more than $4 trillion through spending cuts and reforms and ensuring everyone pays their fair share, while still making investments that strengthen the middle class and grow our economy.

But don’t take my word for it, look it up, it’s a 10-second search...

Now I can understand the confusion shown by the writer. After all, it’s not easy to see very clearly when you have all that Trickle-down Fairy Dust being sprinkled all around you.

Larry Baca

Manteca

Aug. 10, 2012

 

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