Son did his homework

Posted: June 24, 2013

D EAR HARRY: I think of myself and my family as middle-class Americans. We live in a rowhouse in the Northeast. I work in a factory, my wife cares for our home and kids, we belong to a church, I love to watch our sports teams, we pay our taxes without grumbling, we love our parks, we drive a Ford, we buy at Walmart and Macy's, our kids go to public schools. Our son came home from school last Friday with an assignment about the post-WWII history of the U.S. income tax. We always discuss our kids' homework with them, so we got into a good one on Sunday.

During the Reagan administration, the maximum rate was reduced from 70 percent to 28 percent. At the time, the newspapers said that it was a reduction of 42 percent (70 minus 28).

My son insisted that it was a 60 percent reduction (70 times .6, which equals the 42 percent drop). He was pretty certain that his was the right way to look at it. In view of all this, why are those at the top rungs of the income ladder claiming that we're playing "Robin Hood" with their money? He already handed in the assignment, but he suggested that I write to you, to see if he is right.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: He is right on his math. If we assume even a small $25,000 in the top bracket, the tax dropped from $17,500 to $7,000. That's a drop of 60 percent. It was a greater "gift" than most of us realized.


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

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