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Please don’t skew numbers

Reader Input
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Praise the conservative reaction in defense of the downtrodden upper class. Willard Schmehl (Reader Input, June 2) says “the top 5 percent pay 51 percent of the taxes,” but forgot to mention they collect nearly one-quarter of our total national income. A $100 million CEO or Hollywood actor has to squeeze by on a meager $50 million while a $10/hour elder care worker gets to indulge a whopping $16,800. Thankfully, the Republican Party will fight this injustice ... on behalf of the millionaires. Dianne Foster (Reader Input, May 31) labels one who opposes the long-term tax burden of deficit spending as “clearly” advocating higher taxes and fears there’s an exodus of business from California because 1,525 manufacturing firms “went out of business or relocated” (which?) since 2006, causing 11 percent unemployment. Where to? Several in Auburn relocated to bigger facilities ... in Auburn. I’ve personally owned four businesses here and two went out of business so we could start up the subsequent ventures. Even if all 1,525 (8,000 jobs/year) moved to Mars, this amounts to less than 5/100 of 1 percent of California’s 18 million-strong workforce. The Department of Labor says our nearest neighbor’s (Oregon, Nevada, Arizona) unemployment is 12 percent, 10.6 percent and 7 percent. These and other states lost thousands of jobs this year alone. Kinda puts a damper on the exodus theory ... not to mention our continued sprawling of residential, commercial and industrial development. Foster concludes the problem is rich politicians, like Ted Kennedy, cheat on their taxes. Does this mean she’s for higher taxes for the rich? Perhaps we actually agree on something here. Jim Beall, Sr., Auburn