Regarding the letter on April 15 entitled "When ideology trumps facts," I offer the following.
The total income earned in any given year in the U.S. is a finite amount. The top 1 percent of earners paying 40 percent of all income taxes in 2007, vis-a-vis 24 percent in 1986, is because their portion of income increased by 240 percent. From 10 percent in 1986 to 24 percent in 2007.
The bottom half dropping from 6.5 percent to 2 percent during the same period is because their portion of all income decreased.
The top 1 percent, actually a fraction of 1 percent, earning 24 percent of all income has happened twice in the last century or so: 1928 and 2007. In 1928, the Great Depression resulted. In 2007, the great recession. In 1928, there wasn't Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance. In 2007, there was. I suggest they may have helped prevent a slide into another Great Depression.
Taking place now is a slow economic recovery due to a lack of demand. The job creators, individuals and corporations will not invest their wealth into products for this reason. Demand must come first.
A corporation or individual will not invest capital in building or repairing roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, public schools, police and fire departments, armies, navies, federal and state parks, etc. It takes a nation, a country to do this through taxing authority. Doing so with tax rates determined by ability and means to pay, would create jobs, increasing income of the 99 percent, resulting in demand, being met by investors in products, earning them a return. This results in a positive spiral, up, in the right direction, increasing GDP.
To secure the shortfalls in the Social Security and Medicare programs, remove all income caps and means tests. Do this, not overnight, but over time. If one is blessed to be living in a nation where they wouldn't need these programs, they should be grateful to make this contribution to everyone's and the nation's welfare.