I write to contest Keith Hansen’s editorial in the Sept. 10 Dispatch in which he concludes that taxing those who make over a million dollars a year on 100 percent of their income would not appreciably reduce our federal deficit. He was using Paul Ryan’s figures, based on IRS statistics in 2008 which, applied then, would have created a surplus of $370 billion.
Even though taxing the wealthiest at 100 percent sounds outlandish, a historical study shows we have been close to that. It was 92 percent during the Republican Eisenhower years of 1952 and 1953, shortly following World War II, 91 percent from 1954-1963, then dropped to 50 percent from 1982-1986, to 39.6 percent from 1993-2000 and 35 percent from 2003-2012.
The fallacy in both Hansen and Ryan’s thinking is their support for “trickle-down” economics. That has never worked. We must support “middle-out” economics, where the middle class income grows, increasing consumer spending and bringing greater prosperity to all.
The issue is that of simple fairness. The wealthiest should be taxed at a higher rate than those in the middle.
Pastor Don Utzman, retired