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April 6 Letters to the Editor

Conflicting goals?

EDITOR: Can a progressive still be an environmentalist? Not if they live in Willits, it appears. Protesters want to stop the Highway 101 bypass in the name of the environment. OK, but where do all of the people go if progress is halted?

I am in favor of letting anyone, from anywhere, come to the United States, but if we halt any and all projects that deal with accommodating the people, then where will they all live? And how badly will it affect the environment wherever that may be?

We are growing whether some people like it or not. What is going on on the North Coast is what has happened all along. Face reality.

STEVE McLAUGHLIN

Windsor

Tax burdens

EDITOR: A recent letter said that the rich one-percenters in this country pay 37.4 percent "of all federal taxes," while the bottom 50 percent pay 2.36 percent "of total federal tax" ("The percent solution," March 29).

Actually, the writer misstated the facts. The federal tax he cites as "all" or "total" is only the federal income tax. He left out Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes and excise taxes, all of which are burdensome in their regressive nature on the bottom 50 percent. He also ignored the 20 percent capital gains tax rate, far lower for one-percenters than their top marginal federal income tax rates of up to 39.6 percent.

Why not consider the total percentage that taxes (federal, state and local) take from people's incomes? That's the real tax burden. People with average incomes of $13,000 pay 17.4 percent of their income in taxes. People with average incomes around $42,000 pay 25.2 percent, and people in the top 1 percent, with incomes averaging $1.3 million, pay 29 percent.


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