Don't suck up to the rich, tax them

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I agree strongly with Dan Haley's June 11 column, "Bricks over bucks." Catering to Whiteco (Trader Joe's) eventually killed two indigenous grocery stores and weakened the two Oak Park business sections that they anchored, which Haley could have mentioned. The Lake and Harvey yuppification subsidy may also be a market threat (and an insult) to Fair Share, my favorite Oak Park business.

Healthy societies survive and thrive via healthy economies, a point illustrated in any study of successful and unsuccessful communist movements. Our trustees seem to think that Oak Park's businesses will thrive if government flirts with rich people rather than taxing them: They'll share their money with us voluntarily? That's how they got rich? They'll take care of us if they end up in bankruptcy court?

In healthy economies, affluence is approved, but every person's personal income must be taxed progressively each year to deter greed and to finance our social welfare. One hundred years ago, our 16th amendment became law and forced the (U.S.) Supreme Court to stop blocking income taxation. Some 20 years later, President (F.D.) Roosevelt had to yell at the 1930s Supreme Court to stop blocking New Deal legislation designed to share and circulate our wherewithal. As the only child of the fabulously rich Sara Delano (Roosevelt), FDR knew how to take rich peoples' whining about taxes, but he once said it took him 10 years to persuade Congress to institute the progressive income tax (top bracket over 90%) that enabled us to finance our recovery from the Great Depression, WWII, the GI Bill, the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, postwar U.S. prosperity, affordable health care, the Great Society, revenue sharing for affordability in public and higher education, mental health care, and new community colleges such as Triton (plus lots of things left out).

One of today's problems comes from having quite a few Republicrats in Oak Park, Springfield and Washington D.C. who don't seem to know how to yell or when.

Gary Barnes

Oak Park

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Posted: August 6th, 2014 3:52 PM

Tax law is way to complicated. There are too many corporate shelters and write offs that are allowed under current law. Individual income and business income taxation should be kept strictly separate. Write offs should be minimal and non deductible after a certain income level - eg: if you make over 1M a year - you get no write offs and are taxed on everything at the highest rate. Same with corporations - set a profit ceiling and tax the rest. It's not that hard. It's also non-partisan.

Nelson Taruc from Oak Park  

Posted: June 19th, 2014 9:47 PM

If well-to-do liberals feel strongly that the government needs more money for our economy to thrive, start leading by example. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service is always ready to accept "Gifts to the United States" to help them out. Why wait for higher tax rates? Write a fat check TODAY to the Bureau and help our economy grow. But until I see liberals actually back up talk with action, this discussion about higher taxes is pointless.

Elephants Memory from Oak Park  

Posted: June 19th, 2014 8:32 AM

People love to remember the famous 90% tax rate, but forget that the IRS definition of taxable income was completely different then. Back then, there were no rules limiting losses from tax shelters, no AMT, no taxability of executive benefits like cars and homes. The two highest tax collection years in history were 2007 and 2012. The key to tax collection is economic prosperity, not high rates.


Posted: June 18th, 2014 10:13 AM

Our problem is with how our local politicians define rich. Senator Harmon thinks income over $12,500 should be taxed higher. Madigan thinks it's $1M (but that was just a veiled attempt to bypass the IL constitution). Others think income over $100K is considered wealthy. Any idea what non-deductible school debt is incurred to achieve $100K? What do I consider rich? Someone pulling over 6- figures in non-taxable pension every year.

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