Top earners won't miss a few billions

Letter writers are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts ("Biggest taxpayers are the job creators," July 21).

Facts from the IRS: For the latest reporting year, 2008, in tax returns for individuals , the top 1 percent paid an average tax rate of 23.3 percent and took in $444 billion more than all the rest of the top 5 percent. The top 1 percent got to keep more than 75 percent of the $444 billion, or about $333 billion.

The top 5 percent paid an average of 20.7 percent in taxes. The top 10 percent claimed 45.7 percent of all income in America; paid an average tax rate of 18.7 percent; and took in $361 billion more than the income of the next 40 percent.

Think about that for a second: The top 10 percent have almost half of the total income in the United States and took in $361 billion more than the combined income of all the taxpayers from 11 percent to 50 percent, and they got to keep 80 percent. Those are facts, not opinion.

If we're going to contain costs, reduce the deficit and maintain our promises to our poor and elderly, we need cost reductions and increased revenue, not just cost reductions. Do you really think the top 1 percent would miss 2 to 4 percent of $333 billion?

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