To the editor,

The Palladium-Times prints Wall Street Journal opinion pieces fairly regularly and Tuesday’s edition had a common theme.  

Readers should note that the Wall Street Journal has 42 million subscribers with an average household income of $242,000 and a family net worth of 1.5 million.  The average Wall Street Journal reader saw a tax increase two years ago when State, local and property tax deductions were capped at $10,000 per year which is well under their average property taxes paid.  They pay an effective tax rate of 20-23 percent after deductions.  Higher end subscribers pay significantly less when capital gains (such as stock options) income is added in.  The average Wall Street Journal reader has indeed “given at the office” but taxes aren’t the issue.  

The real issue is that greater than 20 percent of all wages in 2019 went to less than 1 percent of wage earners.  This also reduces the Social Security and payroll taxes on that total income when caps are reached on those higher earners.  

The average Palladium-Times reader making $30,000 in 1979 made less than $40,000 in 2017 and a top 10 percent earner making $82,000 in 1979 made $118,000 in 2017.  Compare that to the top 1 percent Wall Street Journal reader making $280,000 in 1979 who made almost $700,000 in 2017 or the top .1 percent Wall Street Journal reader with $622,000 in 1979 going up to $2.75 million in 2017.  

Regardless of being conservative or liberal the average reader of the Palladium-Times should recognize where they fall in this wage scale as well as who is actually taking their hard earned dollars.

Brian England

Oswego

(1) comment

LAW

This a well-written commentary and largely sound. However, England asks: "Compare that to the top 1 percent Wall Street Journal reader making $280,000 in 1979 who made almost $700,000 in 2017 or the top .1 percent Wall Street Journal reader with $622,000 in 1979 going up to $2.75 million in 2017." How? England does not provide comparable numbers for Palladium Times readers nor any reference for readers to access and decide for themselves. I suspect that, even with the considerable difference in local costs of living, the point England makes would be firmly established.

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