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Tax the rich: The numbers show why

Jonah Goldberg, writing recently in The Sun, argues that “tax the rich” demands are unreasonable because the top 1 percent of American earners already pay an astounding 37.3 percent of all income tax revenue (“Tax the rich demands are unreasonable,” April 15). A little research shows, however, that the wealthiest 1 percent of American households own 40 percent of the country's wealth, according to prominent economist Edward N. Wolff using data from the federal Survey of Consumer Finances.

So Mr. Goldberg’s figures actually support the demand to tax the rich more since, to be fair, their taxes should be closer to 40 percent. It is interesting to note that among rich nations, the United States stands out for the extent of its wealth inequality. The top 1 percent in the U.S. own a much larger share of the country's wealth than the 1 percent elsewhere. The American 1 percent gobble up twice as much pie (40 percent) as the 1 percent in France, the United Kingdom or Canada, and more than three times as much as the 1 percent in Finland.

Jack Kinstlinger, Towson

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