- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
Tax story had misleading data
To the editor:
The Associated Press article on Census Bureau data ("Figures show income gap increasing") does not pass muster as journalism. Propaganda would be a more accurate description. Income figures reported by the Census Bureau are before taxes. Anybody who has ever tried to budget his income knows you have to use take-home pay, not gross income figures.
The lowest 20 percent of U.S. taxpayers have gone from providing over 2 percent of all federal income taxes in 1977 to less than 1 percent in 1999, while the top 20 percent has gone from providing 59 percent in 1977 to 65 percent in 1999. Actual disposable income figures would probably give a very different picture.
This promotion of the idea of two Americas is a disservice to your readers. Like it or not, we are in this together. If the top 5 percent of taxpayers are taxed out of existence or driven out of the country, the rest of us will have to pick up a 50 percent tax increase to make up the difference. Talk about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
JOHN FOLWELL, Cape Girardeau