- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

At first, the 5.4 percent surtax for health reform doesn’t sound too bad (“House reform requires health insurance,” Page 1, Wednesday). After all, taking a little bit more away from America’s richest is unlikely to affect the standard of living for America’s wealthiest.

But when you factor in President Obama’s tax hike for the top income tax bracket to 39.6 percent, knowing that the surtax occurs before itemized deductions, with an average income tax of 6 percent across the states, with the increased dividend tax of 20 percent — we’re talking about a national effective tax rate of around 53 percent. We are talking about the highest taxes since President Carter.

President Reagan said that much of Hollywood went on vacation during the Carter era because work just wasn’t worth it. With all these tax increases, our only hope, and Hollywood’s, is for a new Reagan era to begin in 2012.

JACOB FELDMAN

Oak Hill, Va.

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