Editor:

The concentration of wealth in the U.S. is causing concern to many people. The present Forbes list of 400 cuts off at 2 billion. It is not long ago that there was only one recognized billionaire in the country. What has caused this growth. One major stimulus has been that a person invents some gadget,the iPhone for example, and everybody has to have it. The cost may not be excessive but with millions of sales the money adds up. Many of these inventions are not essential but the public wants them and will forego necessities to have them. It has become easier with the welfare system which will supply necessities. Our government operates at cross principles. They want people to have savings but they also want the people to spend to keep the economy growing. The top twenty billionaires are probably in this group. Most of the rest come from natural growth and consolidation of companies and by buying and selling stock and companies

The wealth causes people to think the rich are not paying enough in taxes. A recent article by Walter Williams discusses this. The top 1% or about 900,000 earning over 500,000 a year are paying 39% of the total taxes. The top 10 % or about 9 million earning over 140,000 are paying about 70% of the total taxes. The bottom 50% who have earnings of 40,000 or less pay less than 3% of taxes and 37 million or 45% pay no tax.

If we look at these figures it becomes difficult to understand how any tax cuts can help the lower income people who pay no tax. Should the rich pay more taxes? There comes a point where people do not want to earn more when the government gets everything. At this point the poor begin to suffer because rich quit developing new jobs. Tax cuts for the rich can help the poor because when the rich receive more money they tend to invest it in projects which will create jobs.

DON THORSON, Newcastle

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