Tuesday, the Republican Congress passed a tax reform bill — a bill that will be viewed with skepticism by many Americans. And no wonder. Local newspapers around the country —including The Telegraph — have dutifully printed numerous editorials masquerading as “news stories” from the Associated Press, McClatchy, The Washington Post and The New York Times about the bill. These sources repeatedly describe any version of the bill in negative terms, often repeating the left’s claim that the bill will be a big shell game, ultimately providing big bucks for the rich and pennies for the rest of us.
These august news sources and newspapers, who used to represent the gold standard for journalistic integrity, have become little more than mouthpieces for the left. They dutifully cheer on the left’s mission of cobbling together political power by fostering envy and mistrust among numerous identity groups — men against women, black against white, rich against poor, etc.
A recent editorial cartoon in The Telegraph personifies the left’s attempt to malign high income earners. The cartoon depicts a urinal labeled “the rich” perched high on top of a “tax cut” platform. The liquid from the urinal is traveling down a pipe and filling a bathtub beneath it labeled “the middle class.” The obvious message is that the only “trickle down” from the rich will be toxic waste. Several days later a second cartoon had a hapless American janitor sweeping up dung from an elephant labeled “the rich.” One more group to envy and resent.
Here’s an novel idea. How about a local journalistic examination of whether or not the rich in America are paying “their fair share” of taxes based on actual statistics. The Telegraph doesn’t need The New York Times news staff to make that happen. A quick Internet search of the latest IRS stats would be easy to find and share with the readers. Hey, I’ll get it started.
The most recent IRS figures reveal that the top 1 percent of income earners pay just under 40 percent of all federal income taxes. Surprised? Here’s another shocker. The top 10 percent of income earners pay just under 70 percent of the entire income tax burden. Is that fair enough? How about this stat: the bottom 45 percent of wage earners pay no federal income taxes and families earning under around $30,000 receive generous tax rebates —though they paid no taxes in the first place! Don’t believe it? Take it up with the IRS — these are their stats.
To all the wonderful past and present Macon benefactors like Peyton Anderson, Beverly Olson, and the Redding family, I apologize for the smears that the left constantly use to describe you. You and numerous other local philanthropists continue to give so much to make Macon and Central Georgia a better place to live. (Readers are urged to read about some on them in the current Macon magazine.) Your gifts and generosity are not excrement for those in need! They are the congealed sweat of your labor, wrapped in love and concern for the less fortunate among us.
And while we are at it, let’s thank Andrew Carnegie for using his fortune to establish public and free libraries, Let’s thank the Kennedy family for establishing the Special Olympics, and let’ thank Harold and Alana Shepherd for building the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta. And how about some appreciation for Warren Buffett, who spearheaded the Giving Pledge for billionaires, Because of his efforts, a high percentage of American billionaires pledged to donate at least half of their fortunes to philanthropy. Instead of envying the rich, let’s endeavor to join them and add to their efforts to alleviate some of the poverty, suffering and misery in the world.
Rinda Wilson is a resident of Macon.