back and forth, from the right of center

William Gill, Esq.
Montgomery, Alabama

There is no such thing as the "99%." Never was.

Here are the real life numbers:

54% pay all federal income taxes and most of the social security and medicare taxes that subsidize the 46% who pay no federal income taxes and little SS and Medicare taxes.

The "rich" pay the highest amount of taxes already. The top 1% pay 37% of all federal income taxes. The top 5% pays nearly 50% of all federal income taxes, and the top 10% pays over 70% of all income taxes. Plus those categories of income earners pay the vast bulk of all SS and Medicare taxes that help pay for everyone else's SS and Medicare.

Here is another number: the top 20% of income earners pay 80% of all federal taxes. 80%!

Hence, the whole OWS anarchist and envious socialist arguments are way off base. However, if they would simply come out and say raise the federal income tax on that 1% (or even top 2 or 3%) a total of an additional 5%, there would probably be no objection for wage earners in those categories. But the OWS anarchists and Marxists do not seem to be interested in that. They seem to have a much more far ranging agenda of a dark nature.

How about some more real numbers other than the fact that 46% are ungrateful that 54% support the entire country at the federal level:

40% of American chldren are born out of wedlock and this is the #1 cause of poverty in America. 72% black, 50% hispanic and 30% white are the sad illegitimacy numbers, and with the "free love" with no responsibility society America has these numbers are only increasing.

The divore rate is over 50% for first marriages and that is the #2 cause of poverty in America. Marital commitment means nothing anymore.

So, to the OWS crowd and their sympathizers, promoters and fellow travelors, let these REAL numbers sink in.

Disclaimer: I am not one of the "rich". I am just a reporter of historical facts. Do with them what ye will.

Michael Smith
New York, NY

To William Gill, Esq. from Montgomery Alabama: the only figures you left out were the percentage of the national wealth held by the top 1%, and how dramatically their wealth has increased over the last 20 years, and how their taxes, as a percentage of income, have dramatically decreased over the last 20 years.

If you are not one of the "rich", as you claim, but you nevertheless go around citing meaningless statistics about the amount of taxes paid by billionaires as opposed to amount paid by minimum wage workers, you are either a fool or a con-man. The facts that you selectively site are obviously set forth as a bogus attempt to defend the super rich and blame the poor for the sorry state that we find ourselves in this country.

You are either a fraud and are writing as a shill for the rich, or you are just a fool; my guess is the former. Such tactics may fly in Alabama newspapers, but not in the New York Times. So take your "historical facts" and shove them up your phony ye-know-what.

William Gill, Esq.
Montgomery, Alabama

To Michael Smith of New York, New York: nice ad hominem abusive. It is typical of liberal socialists and atheists like yourself to engage in anonymous online personal attacks and regional bigotry instead of just focusing on facts and logic. Not to mention spineless and cowardly. Truth hurts doesn't it Mr. Smith?

As far as the 1% goes, I do not covet them. As a matter of fact the Holy Scriptures have a commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's property. And as far as the wealth gap, as anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge and understanding of recent world history knows, it is because of globalism and the technological revolution that that 1% has become so rich, and they have created most of the jobs in the process and made everyone's live's better as a result. Again, I don't covet them. And I am sure they would not object to a reasonable tax increase. I notice you didn't even have the intellectual integrity of stating what amount of increase YOU are proposing for them. And you are futher dishonest about what amount of *income* taxes "minimum wage workers" are paying - virtually nothing with all the deductions and tax credits. They are part of the 46% who pay no federal income taxes.

You are a fool and a schill for anarchists, socialists and Marxists Mr. Smith. Plain and simple. Truth hurts and numbers don't lie.


As for William Gill, Esq., you seem to have less faith in capitalism than the OWS protesters do: they believe that our economic system can generate profit and productivity AND ensure a basically acceptable standard of living for everyone who lives in it, whereas you seem to be saying that the best we can hope for is to provide solely for the rich, shrugging and shaking our heads as the innocent children of whose birth conditions you disapprove sink into poverty through no fault of their own. I'm not willing to give up that easily.

William Gill, Esq.
Montgomery, Alabama

Rebecca, it is not the responsibility of people - or the government via forced redistribution of the wealth "to provide" for some kind of mythical "standard of living" for some other group of people. To think so is what is called socialism. Socialism is antithetical to Americanism.

Now, having said that, there undoubtedly ARE all kinds of corporate abuses that need to be fixed, but not in the way anarchists and socialists that permeate the OWS are arguing for. I am going to surprise you and the rest of the NYTs readership who are mainly of the "liberal" persuasion: I have enough centrist in me and life experience to know that all businesses, ESPECIALLY the finanical industry need some amount of regulation. I have said it here and I say it all the time over at the WSJ: U.S. businesses need less regulation BUT the financial industry needs MORE regulation. I continously argue for such things as follows:

1. Defend Sarbanes-Oxley.

2. Defend Dodd-Frank.

3. Ban financial derivatives.

4. Ban leveraged ETFs.

5. Require at least 50% or more of inverstors own money
with respect to commodities futures (significantly increase "margin" requirements).

7. Ban high frequency trading.

8. Impose a standard of true *fiduciary* duty on all investment brokers/dealers for their customers.

9. Reinstate Glass-Steagall to completely separate commercial and investment banking and insurance and brokerage/investment houses, and I mean not even allowing a common parent corp. whatsoever.

10. This one is tricky, but clearly many of the Fortune 500 companies have a racket going on the last 20 years whereby there is massive overlap of Boards and Executives and they are all taking care of each other thru ridiculous and exorbitant compensation packages (typically disguised as "stock option", and golden parachute severance deals). This is really the responsibility of Shareholders, but something has to be done.

Things all people should agree on, whatever persuasion.

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