LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Save your pity for the 1 percent


An answer to my letter "Get corporations, super-wealthy off our backs" wrote it off as "class warfare." Read on and decide who is the victim.

The tried and not-true "the 1 percent and corporations are the job creators" was paraded again. Have you noticed many jobs being created lately, even though the super-wealthy and corporations (many pay zero federal taxes on billions in income) have had big tax breaks since 2002?

The Wall Street Journal, no lefty rag, noted a number of the largest U.S. corporations have cut 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. in the last decade while hiring 2.4 million people overseas.

The upper 1 percent has seen its share of collective U.S. income quadruple between 1979 and 2007, according to the Christian Science Monitor. On the other hand, the middle class has lost 40 percent of its wealth since 2007.

The next "fact" is that the top 1 percent pays 38 percent of federal taxes and the bottom 48 percent pay no income taxes at all. There is a "yes, but..." answer to this other than the fact the top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the nation's wealth.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes: The downturn has made the lower 48 percent poorer. Many of the 48 percent are elderly, disabled or students (who will pay taxes later). There are many other taxes. The lower half pays federal payroll taxes, gas excise taxes, etc. In fact, those households making between $20,500 and $34,300 paid 10.4 percent of income in federal taxes. The 48 percent pay state and local taxes, which takes a much higher percentage of their income than is the case with richer Americans.

Many Americans realize "the fix is on." The Supreme Court has compounded the problem with Citizens United allowing unlimited expenditures for political ads for corporations and the wealthy, who hope for "the best Congress money can buy."

Ayn Rand's philosophy that selfishness and greed are the highest goods are values shared by few Americans. Besides, America is less and less a Horatio Alger meritocracy.

Unchecked, the majority of corporations and the 1 percent are going to continue to send money and jobs overseas, try to depress wages, keep tax cuts for the wealthy and make sure businesses, from banks to chicken farms, have the least possible regulations, even if those regulations are necessary to protect the vital interests of the 99 percent regarding their health, wealth, safety and well being.

Norm Osterman
Walla Walla


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