Letters to the Editor

Don't distort facts to prove your point

It's often useful to omit inconvenient facts when discussing complex topics, such as taxes and spending. This helps simplify things so that you can get your point across. This principle was evident in a Dec. 31 letter to the editor.

When discussing the relative tax cuts for those in various brackets, the writer asserted that the Bush tax cuts resulted in a cut of 33 percent for the lowest bracket (from 15 percent to 10 percent) and only a 13 percent cut for the highest. What was omitted was that the 15 percent bracket (less than $45,000) before the cuts became two brackets; 10 percent (less than $12,000) and 15 percent ($12,000 to $45,000). What this means is that for a taxpayer at the midpoint of the original 15 percent bracket, his tax before the cuts was $3,375 and after the cuts $2,775; a cut of 18 percent. But it sounds better to say that those in the lowest bracket got a cut almost three times bigger than those in the highest.

Likewise, the figures purporting to show a large increase in tax revenue following the cuts aren't quite so impressive when using inflation-adjusted numbers; an increase of $200 billion over the eight years versus the claimed $580 billion; pretty anemic by historical standards.

The wealthy may be paying more, but they're getting more, too. The income gap between rich and poor is at an 80-year high, so it's hard to feel sorry for those at the top.

Mike Robinson

Hilton Head Island