Misleading figures

And your statements about
the 46 percent who have no federal tax liability and the amount of
taxes paid by the top 1 percent, while true, are abstractions that make
good sound bites, but mean something much different once one looks into
them. Everyone who works for a job where he or she gets a payroll check,
or a Social Security check, has federal taxes withheld. The fact that
they may end up with no tax liability is simply because they don’t have
enough taxable income. These people pay all sorts of other taxes, so
they aren’t freeloading on the American economy.

top 1 percent may pay 37 percent of all federal taxes, but they have 35
percent of all the income and 43 percent of all the wealth (according to
Forbes magazine). I expect that someone with an average income
of $717,000 could live quite well and still pay a few percentage points
more in taxes.

And as for this myth about “job
creators”: People create jobs when there is a market for what those jobs
produce. If the market is unhealthy — i.e., if there is no demand to
satisfy — no jobs will be created. U.S. corporations are sitting on over
$1 trillion in cash. They aren’t doing anything with this cash that is
creating jobs, because the economy has currently achieved a sort of
equilibrium of supply and demand with about 8 percent unemployment. How
would giving them an extra trillion make them more likely to create

Oklahoma’s relatively favorable business climate
has everything to do with natural gas exploration, the significant U.S.
military presence in the state and the fact that housing is cheap
because we have a low population density.

—Jon Trushenski, Oklahoma City

Jon Trushenski

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