Wealthiest Americans | Rant Control | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Wealthiest Americans 

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A battle has been brewing on our Letters pages these past weeks about the tax burden levied on the wealthiest Americans and whether they pay a “fair” share.

Follow the weeks of debate on CityWeekly.net, but here we’ll cite only the most recent shot. On Dec. 30, letter-writer Jim Conforti [see “The Rich Do Pay”], citing Internal Revenue Service data, claimed the top 1 percent of Americans pay about 40 percent of federal income taxes but only earn about 22 percent of wages, so “maybe it’s time for the class warfare mantra to stop?”

Online commenter Sonny gave just one good reason to continue the battle. Sonny linked to data from Citizens for Tax Justice that finds the bottom 99 percent of Americans pay 29 percent of their income in local, state and federal taxes each year, while the wealthiest 1 percent pay almost 31 percent. That’s hardly fair, since 29 percent to a middle-class person might be the difference between affording health care and not, while the wealthiest 1 percent might have to forgo their birthday ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s “David” featuring a vodka-pour penis, like the one capitalist leach Dennis Kozlowski got his wife.

Let’s turn this a bit. Rant Control wants defenders of the wealthy to answer this question: What is the social value of income inequality? Since obviously some can pay more, why shouldn’t we make them? In a state where the poor aren’t provided dental care, who has the guts to defend Stolichnaya-pissing party décor?

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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