Dear Editor:

Just read Monday's Times-News about taxing the rich , make that the extremely wealthy. It just goes to show how half-truths make the TV news networks. Like mostAmericans I assume (and you know how to syllabicate it!) that the reporters have done their homework and what they report is reasonably accurate. BUT the printed report on the same subject casts a different light on the subject.

When this first came to light (the disparate tax gaps) I was infuriated, wen Isettled down and asked how many people are we talking about, that if taxed more, it would raise $ 84 billion? That's a nice hulk of change! However, the tax rate reported in the newspaper says they pay about a 30.5 percent in taxes. Man, that's of their wealth. As for the tax loops, I understand that the printed tax tables and tax laws would give Superman a hernia to pick it up! Plus, how many of our elected officials understand it? Ever call the IRS helpline and get a straight answer the first time?

Then to top it off, the local TV news had a story on wasteful spending by our elected officials, $22,000 to $48,000 for a portrait, some of whom were appointed to a Mickey Mouse position. I wonder if, as a taxpayer, I could get a copy of said tables, or better yet, a list of expenditures. What ever happened to the proposed line-item veto? I think if voters knew about government waste they would go bananas (at $0.59/lb.)So I began looking up government salaries on the WEB. Then, let us, hypothetically ,grind some numbers. The "average" income is purported to be $ 48,000.00. then there isautomatically the federal income tax and local taxes of, say, 27 percent (20% Feds + 7%State & local & whatever else can be taxed). Then our take home pay is now $ 35,040.00.

The other, unimportant items such as groceries (21.7%), mortgage/rent (27.5%),car payments (5%) gasoline (7.5%), utilities (5%) and cell phones (2.5%), leaves us with3.88% of our "average salary". So, our actual take home money is $ 1,864.00 or $155.33/month. Let's compare what you make against what they make:

Officials:

House of Representatives: Speaker of the House $223,500 per annum

Majority & Minority Leaders $193,400

Chief Administrative Officer $172,500

Clerk of the House $172,500

Sargent of Arms $172,500

Legislative Counsel $172,000

Senate:

President pro Temporte $193, 400

If the position of vice-president is open $230, 700

Majority & Minority Leaders $193, 400.

Get the picture? So when John Boehner puts on his "holier than thou" face andsmirks the President, he's probably saying "I got mine". That is 4 times the so-called"average" income of $48,000! Give me a break!! Hell, even the chaplain gets $173,000. Not that President Obama is a candidate for sainthood; why didn't he drag Congressback, kicking & screaming, to avoid the so-called "sequester"? Remember President Harry S. Truman and UMW president John Mitchell?

Now I can see why our elected officials really need $200,000 a year, the poor darlings, my heart bleeds for them as a much as theirs' bleeds for me! (Excluding benefits!).

Joseph P. Kubert

Hometown