I had a letter in the weekend WSJ responding to Rahm Emanuel’s article earlier in the week:

Not Every Quintile Pays its Fair Share

Rahm Emanuel is correct when he claims the Republicans have lost credibility on taxes (“Why the GOP has Gone Quiet Over Tax Hikes,” op-ed, May 17), but he perpetuates two tax myths of the left. The first is the failure to distinguish statutory from actual tax rates. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered the top statutory tax rate from 39.6% (married filing jointly) to 37%, but by limiting the SALT (state and local tax) deductions to $10,000 sharply reduced the largest deduction for most wealthy taxpayers, effectively increasing the actual taxes paid. Democrats arguing to restore the SALT deductions are now seeking to cut taxes for the wealthy.

The second myth is far more insidious: that we can support endless expensive programs by only taxing the top 1%. The math doesn’t work. The Europeans understand that broad social programs require much higher taxes on the middle class. The polls are meaningless. When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on Paul’s approval, but you cannot count on Peter to remain cooperative. Peter has options.

Henry Oliner

Macon, Ga.


The other letters on the article are also worth reading.