Each month, The Oklahoman's editorial board recognizes a contributor to Your Views for a letter to the editor that exemplifies a timely, fair, accurate and cogent viewpoint. Jim Spears of Oklahoma City is the honoree for letters that appeared in Your Views last month. His “Overtaxed reaction” letter was published May 27.
Meet the writer:
Jim Spears is a native of Oklahoma City and graduate of Central High School. Spears, 79, said his letter was prompted by rhetoric he's heard about raising taxes on the wealthy and his observation that the wealthy will do everything they can to avoid paying higher taxes. Prior to his retirement, Spears drove a city bus. Spears has two children, and he and his wife, Kathy, have four grandchildren.
The Obama administration wants wealthy people to pay their “fair” share. “Fair” hasn't been defined by him or anyone in his administration. However, we know it translates to paying more earned money to the federal government. Let's explore how wealthy people react to confiscatory taxes.
One Facebook executive had dual citizenship in this country and another country. Anticipating the initial public offering of Facebook, he renounced his U.S. citizenship. This move enabled him to avoid paying capital gains taxes to the United States. That was more than $50 million our government was unable to put into the treasury.
Basketball player LeBron James got to choose between playing for the New Jersey Nets or the Miami Heat. New Jersey has a high income tax rate. Florida has no personal income tax. He chose Miami and saved himself millions.
An estimated 200 people per day leave California and move to Texas. Texas has no personal income tax.
Rush Limbaugh moved his operation from New York to Florida and saved himself a fortune. In the process his staff moved with him, thus depriving New York of more tax money.
Several years ago, Colorado had a large influx of Californians. The high price of real estate in Colorado didn't deter them. It's still less expensive to live there and work from their computer than pay the high taxes in California.
These are just a few examples of how people react when governments seek to overtax their citizens. No sane person would react differently. Also, one must remember it was all done legally.