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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A Democrat solution to our deficit problems – tax the rich. That was easy – but not a way to create jobs. Most job creation comes from small business, the same rich that would pay the higher tax. Higher taxes on the rich equals slower job growth.

Dollars in the hands of the rich fund everything from job growth and investment to charity. Increasing taxes on the rich takes dollars out of productive hands and in many cases, gives dollars to bureaucrats for ineffective programs. Some of these programs encourage unproductive attitudes and behaviors, a further drag on the economy. Additionally, higher rates may not produce proportionally higher tax receipts, but rather produce tax avoidance activities, resulting in even more inefficiency.

Raising tax rates on the rich is counterproductive economically, but is sold as ” the rich need to pay their fair share” or “we should not balance the budget on the backs of the poor.” But consider a few facts from the Tax Foundation (with links to the IRS data for skeptics).

The top 1 percent of earners receives 20 percent of all income (AGI) and pay (38 percent) of all income taxes paid. The top 5 percent of earners receive 35 percent and pay 59 percent of taxes. The top 25 percent of earners get 67 percent and pay 87 percent of federal income taxes. The bottom 50 percent ($34,000 or less) earns 13 percent of all income and pay 2.5 percent of all income taxes.

The bottom half pay next to no income tax and the working poor often get refunds (Earned Income Credit). The rich (top 25 percent) pay almost 90 percent of all income tax. What is balanced on the backs of the poor is a federal tax burden of zero. It’s hard to understand how current tax rates violate American core values.

A better plan than raising rates, which could be sold across the political spectrum, would be to simplify the tax system, eliminate loopholes, exceptions, and deductions so that more people at the various income levels actually pay the published rate.

Roger Hoey

Glenwood Springs

In a letter titled “County caved in on health study” published May 28, Ed Colby attacks the county commissioners for cutting off funding for the Battlement Mesa HIA. The Colorado School of Public Health was hired to do a study of health impact on residents living near drilling operations.

A preliminary report was submitted along with a request for an extension and additional funds. The funds and extension were granted. As a result, another report was submitted with another request for an extension and additional funds. The commission acted properly in rejecting the second request after examination of the latest report failed to deliver significant information. The commissioners have no anticipation that additional time or funds would be productive. By their action the taxpayers actually were not committed to waste more money on a study that was not going to contribute to the health or welfare of county residents.

Mr. Colby resents Antero Resources being given an opportunity to review two drafts of the assessment. Where would he have the commission go to get better input than people who have actually set foot on the floor of a drilling rig? For Mr. Colby’s information the tobacco industry was allowed to review American Cancer Society studies and reports.

Finally, we have responsible companies in the area to develop our natural resources. Mostly it is small, fearful groups that want those companies to depart. Meanwhile, the rest of us don’t want our tax or personal money to go to support extreme studies which will prove the risk of health impact is too tiny to measure.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

My name is Emily Adams, and I just completed sixth grade at Basalt Middle School.

I would like to share with you how wonderful it was biking to my school last week. My teacher, Ms. Jennifer Kauffman, along with Community Safety Officer Michael Hutton, were so nice to arrange the entire biking experience.

There were 23 kids, two teachers and my mom along with Ms. Kauffman and Officer Hutton.

Most of us met in El Jebel near City Market at 6:50 a.m., then we rode our bikes on the bike path towards Willits, where we met the remaining kids and a teacher.

We took the bike path all the way to Basalt Middle School, and it was so cool riding under/over bridges, seeing the river and enjoying the early morning with everyone.

When we arrived at school Officer Hutton got all of us a treat at Midland Bakery, and that was really nice of him.

The best part of this entire experience is that we were exercising, getting outdoors and conserving energy in our community. Since that first bike ride many other kids have started to ride their bikes to school.

I want to give special thank-you to my teacher, Ms. Kauffman, and Officer Hutton for giving us a wonderful opportunity. They really care for kids and I hope we can continue to ride to school in the fall. Thanks.

Emily Adams

Age 12

El Jebel

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