Letters to the Editor

Taxed too high? Take time to do the real math

I’d like to add to George Walter’s column in the April 20 Olympian, “To stay great, we can’t do things on the cheap.” Starting perhaps in the late 1970’s we got the idea that we were being too heavily taxed in all things. First of all, individuals need to get over the idea that government is going to spend every single dollar we send to them exactly the way that person wishes them to be spent. Our needs and desires are just too diverse to satisfy everyone.

Secondly, we need to realize what we do pay in federal income taxes. To get a better idea of your obligation take line 44 from your 1040 form and divide it by the amount on line 22, total income. This gives you the tax amount as a percentage of your total income. Now divide line 44 by line 43, your taxable income and you will see the percentage of income that is actually taxed. This year for me that meant 14.8 percent of gross income and 17.2 percent of taxable income. This is not a bad price to pay to live in such a wonderful place.

We used to do even greater things than we do today, mega-projects like exploring space, the interstate highway system, education, and other projects for the common good. Ask yourself, is the desire to do good still there and we only lack the revenue, or is the opposite true, or are both true?

Denny Johnston

Olympia

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