Taxes, Wealth And Patriotism



I read Jim Gier’s recent 700-plus word response to my letter in the Payson Roundup with some interest. He states that I believe “the accumulation of wealth is akin to rape: immoral, unethical and perhaps should even be illegal.” That’s quite an indictment from a stranger …

The hardest part to understand is that while Mr. Gier defends the wealthy, he states that he owns a one-man business, cleaning chimneys.

Unfortunately, he missed my point entirely. My message is about nothing more than tax fairness and equality.

Mr. Gier mentioned America’s Lions of Industry: Henry Ford, Louis Chevrolet and Walter Chrysler. Does he know how much income tax they paid? He might be interested to know that they all paid over 63 percent of their top dollars as federal income tax every year after 1932. And they did it unflinchingly, without complaint. I think that says something about their patriotism.

Until 1986, the top federal income tax bracket ranged from a low of 50 percent to as high as 92 percent.

What about today? According to the Congressional Budget Office, Americans average tax rate is now the lowest in the past 30 years. The top marginal income tax rate is currently 35 percent, unless you’re one of the Wall Street leeches with a top marginal tax rate of 15 percent. That’s because the tax laws made by their purchased politicians allow hedge fund and investment fund managers to declare all their income as long term capital gains even though none of their profits come from investing their own money.

The fact that it’s legal doesn’t make it fair or right.

Mr. Gier also talks about all of our wealthy legislators. You know why so many became so obscenely wealthy after they were elected to office? Unlike corporate executives and the financial industry that are forbidden to use insider information to their benefit, U.S. law states that the prohibition of using insider information to make investment decisions doesn’t apply to U.S. congressmen. Guess who made those rules? It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

No, Mr. Gier, I don’t condemn the wealthy. I’d like for both of us to join their ranks. However, unless and until people like you stop shilling for the deep pockets that use their wealth to buy the politicians that make the rules that benefit them alone, nothing will change.

All I’m asking for is a level playing field. And, until wealth is no longer able to buy our elections, it’s unlikely to happen. It’s too bad 99 percent of us can’t afford our own politicians.

Larry Brophy


Dan Haapala 4 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Brophy, the last half of your arguement is the most telling to me. We ( I think all) Americans would like to be wealthy. I believe those who came before and became wealthy, did so because of a belief that if the playing field were fair, they could succeed. It used to be fair but government changed that. Unbelievably they did it in the name of fairness. Are politicians bought? They may be but why are they? The ones who asked for fairness and "bought it" couldn't get it on their own in the free enterprise economy so they had to find a way to make a law and the Federal government helped. The way to make it fair again; The way to put everyone on an even playing field again; take away all the rules but one.....create no harm! All of what Washington has given us has created cheaters and liars and thieves. When a ruler sets the rules, everyone will find a way to cheat. When the free enterprise system is allowed to be free, the winner is the recipient of a product or service at the best price and does the job. Our "Government" is not smarter, more insightful, more inventive, more responsive to the needs of Americans than we Americans are. The sooner we make it smaller and take it back the better.


don evans 4 years, 6 months ago

Let's see here. Mr. Brophy want's taxation fairness. Ok, how about getting the 50 percent of useless flesh that pay no tax but live like parasites off of the rest of us to anty up. You know, dump all those gubmnt entitlements paid for by those who actually contribute to the economy by hard work, self initiative, and self reliance. If you have some tax guilt complex, you can always give some more to Obama. He will give it to failed green corporations.


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