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California proof that taxing the wealthy doesn't work

Published: November 23, 2012

With his re-election, President Barack Obama is asking for increased taxes on the “wealthy” with the wealthy being defined as families or small businesses with earnings of $250,000 or more. He somberly tells the country the wealthy need to pay “their fair share.”

Oklahoma is solvent. California is in the process of going bankrupt. Most wage earners above the poverty level in Oklahoma pay 5.25 percent state income taxes. In California, those with taxable incomes of $55,000 pay only 1 percent state income tax. In fact, you have to have taxable earnings of $140,000 in California before you reach the same tax rate a person earning $15,000 in Oklahoma pays. Those earning more than $1 million in California pay a state tax of over 12 percent. So the state tax rate is geared to progressively soak the rich, yet they are bankrupt. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has a more modest rate for all taxpayers and is solvent.

The 2009 Census Bureau listed average household income in California as $59,000 versus $42,000 in Oklahoma. The average income in Oklahoma is taxed at 5.25 percent by the state while the average income in California is taxed at 2.6 percent by the state. California is hitting the rich with a much higher tax than the rich in Oklahoma pay. The average middle-class family in California pays less than half the state income tax rate the middle-class family in Oklahoma pays. Yet California is in bankruptcy crisis.

The president's logic is flawed.

Craig Blankenship, Edmond


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