Letter to the editor: Talking about tax rates
In a democracy, if you do income taxes at all, you had better make them steeply progressive. A hundred years ago, before World War I, the lowest bracket was at 1%, and the highest was seven times higher, at 7%.
During WWI, when the government needed cash, the highest rate jumped to 77%. The rich paid their share.
Calvin Coolidge, the Republican friend of the roaring rich in the Roaring Twenties, lowered the max rate from 50% to 40%, and then again to 20%.
WWII shot the max rate up to 94% on incomes over $2.5 million in today’s dollars. That rate affected the equivalent not of our 1%, but our one hundredth of 1%. Today, instead of handing over $2.3 million of their $2.5 million to the government like they did then, our .01% often pay effectively zero percent, let alone the top rate of 37%.
The top tax rate in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s never dropped below 70%. But then America’s new oligarchic class called a halt to all the money bleeding, culminating in a top rate of 28% in 1988.
Rich Republicans and Democrats alike today take the Bible verse in Mark 4:25 as their mantra, “For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”
(Note: the Bible quote refers to spiritual wealth, not financial wealth)
Woods Cross, Utah
Arlon DavisCitizen We thank thee Lord for putting us in charge. We’ll take it from here. We thank thee Lord... read more