Letter - Where's protest over insurance?Despite a bombardment of nightly “news” stories to the contrary, I have no recollections of any recent federal or state tax increases. In fact, both nationally, under President Bush, and in Minnesota, under Governor Pawlenty, all I can recall are multiple tax cuts.
To the editor:
Despite a bombardment of nightly “news” stories to the contrary, I have no recollections of any recent federal or state tax increases. In fact, both nationally, under President Bush, and in Minnesota, under Governor Pawlenty, all I can recall are multiple tax cuts. I decided to check it out on a strictly personal level – our family taxes and those of my mother, reflecting two different tax brackets, since 2002 (our first tax year in Alexandria).
I discovered, amazingly, that while our income increased during that time frame, our state income taxes decreased by 14 percent (thus, contrary to the governor’s assertions, we do not have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem). Our federal taxes only increased by 3.7 percent during that time. Our property taxes increased 37 percent to make up for losses in state and federal funding (note the many letters to the Echo Press over the last year from out-state mayors).
Overall, our taxes (federal and state income, and local property), as a percent of taxable income, have only increased 1 percent. The numbers were similar for my mother, who was taxed at 50 percent less than we are.
In the July 20, 2009 Newsweek, Robert Samuelson, certainly-not-a-liberal columnist, noted federal taxes for the past half-century have averaged about 18 percent of the gross domestic product. Over that same period of time, total taxes as a percentage of personal income varied by about 3 percent – between 28 to 31 percent. In other words, tax levels over most of our tax paying lifetimes have remained pretty much the same.
Since 2000, private health insurance costs have increased 36 percent while average earnings only increased 12.4 percent. That begs the question: Why are tea-baggers protesting against government and not against health insurance companies?