Class warfare wrongheaded, destructive

Jay Collett's letter regarding who pays taxes in America (Dec 8, "Don't we care about the less fortunate?") is documented proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Mr Collett states that the "rich," although he fails to define that term, pay 39 percent of the taxes and that the poor and middle class pay the other 61 percent. He could not be more wrong.

According to the National Taxpayers Union website, in 2008 the top 10 percent of earners in America, those making more than approximately $113,000 per year, paid roughly 70 percent of all income taxes -- 69.7 per cent to be exact -- while the bottom 50 percent, those making less than $33,000 per year, paid about 3 percent. Many of those, in fact, paid nothing and still received refunds thanks to a government welfare program known as the earned income tax credit.

Mr Collett also stated that because the "rich" grew in numbers from 1980 to 2006, naturally they paid a larger percentage of the tax. Growth in the number of so called "rich" people does not affect how much of the total taxes they paid, since what is being measured is not how many individuals are "rich" but rather how much of the total taxes were paid by individuals in a specific income bracket.

The rest of his letter goes on to deal with illegals and their desire to come to America, the "greatest country on Earth," and how we should not turn them away but allow all who wish to come to do so without restriction. He claims that this is the only humane thing to do.

While he is correct that we are truly blessed to live in this wonderful nation, coming here is not a right; it is a privilege that can be earned, but nowadays is being hijacked by individuals who disregard our laws and customs.

Compassion for these unfortunates is not a good enough reason to condone anarchy.

Democrats and President Obama have spent the last three years or more stoking the fires of class warfare. To his obvious chagrin, Obama has been hoisted on his own petard as the fringe left he radicalized with his rhetoric has now turned on him.

These are troubled economic times, and I suspect things will get worse before they get better. Let's set aside all the class warfare banter and work together to solve our financial woes. Working together is our only hope. As Ben Franklin once said, " If we do not hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately."

Louis M. Pedraza

Martinez

Don't we care about the less fortunate?

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