Stats Don’t Add Up | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Stats Don’t Add Up 

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I appreciate that everyone has his or her own point of view. That is fabulous. However, Kyle Wulle and his take on unions are comical [Five Spot, Nov. 19, City Weekly]:

“The working class pays 85 percent of all taxes. That’s 90 percent of the people.” It reminds me of a great quote. “Forty-two and seven-tenths percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.”—Steven Wright.

The worst part is that there are people who read or hear that and take it as fact. After doing a Google search, I couldn’t find one source that supported Wulle’s figures. I did find these:

  • The top 50 percent of income earners pay a whopping 96.5 percent of federal income taxes, while the lower half pay just 3.5 percent. The top 25 percent pay 83.88 percent of federal income taxes
  • The top 10 percent pay 65.8 percent (these are people with an adjusted gross income of about $95,000 or higher)
  • The top 5 percent pay 54.4 percent
  • The top 1 percent pay 34.3 percent (these are people with an AGI of about $300,000 or higher)

While I don’t claim to be intelligent, I do know this. I have no employees. I don’t pay anyone’s wages. I don’t sign paychecks, and I have never had a poor man sign my paycheck. A fair/flat tax is the fairest system being bandied about.

I am unemployed, with no health insurance, and have a wife with chronic medical issues. Besides the IRS, there is not one government bureaucracy that is run efficiently. Every single program is full of waste, fraud and abuse. I need less government intervention and a chance to provide for myself and for my family. For some reason, that is viewed as greedy.

But as I said, I’m just not too intelligent.

Vern Fitzgerel
Salt Lake City

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