Letters to the Editor for Dec 24, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
TAX RELIEF FOR SENIORS
Now is the time for some income tax relief on Social Security income for fixed lower-to-middle income senior citizens.
My suggestion is to change the Social Security tax trigger for married couples from the fixed value of $32,000 to the top of the 25 percent income tax bracket, which is now $131,450. The top of the 25 percent bracket would also be used for single persons. By making the tax trigger equal to the top of the 25 percent bracket, the trigger will automatically be adjusted in the future as the tax brackets are amended for inflation.
Prior to 1983, Social Security income was exempt from taxation. When the tax laws were changed in 1983, Social Security income greater than $32,000 for married couples was taxed. This trigger level has not been adjusted for inflation in the last 24 years.
The top of that, the 26 percent bracket has increased from $29,900 in 1983 to $131,450 in 2008, an increase of 440 percent!!!
As a matter of fact, when the Social Security tax went into effect in 1983 the $32,000 trigger was in the middle of the 30 percent tax bracket, so the tax was never designed to tax the lower-to-middle income group. This change would be closer to the original intent of the tax codein 1983.
This tax relief would certainly help spur the economy because at this income level, all the money would be used to cover the cost of basic living expenses. This tax relief should receive bipartisan support, the Democrats would be assisting the low-to-middle income seniors and the Republicans love tax cuts. - Bob Larson | Monterey
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SANTA?
“Children should not be taught to believe that Santa Claus has aught to do with Christmas. A deceit or falsehood is never wise.’’ These words of Mary Baker Eddy, spiritual leader, are being expressed in nations around the world. They are prohibiting Santa Claus, in any phase, and saying it is American commercialism. So Silent Night, Holy Night will prevail! - Alice Jean Small | Monterey