Dear Editor:

I am writing you in response to this past Saturday's "It's the Reader's Turn" portion of your paper. The question posed was, "Should Wealthy Americans pay a higher percentage in taxes?"

I understand the premise of the section and I certainly respect Mr. Serfass as a journalist, but how can the TIMES NEWS expect to get fair answer out of that question? Mary Michelle Becker replied that she feels that lower income people pay all the taxes in this country! Where does she get her information from? According to various sources I've seen, the top 1 percent of working Americans pay 40% of all Federal Income taxes and the top 5 percent pay upward of 60 percent. After looking of these figures, how can she accurately say that wealthy Americans do not pay their fair share?

Maybe this Saturday's "It's the Reader's Turn" portion should be "Is it fair that 1 percent of the nation's wage earners pay 40 percent of all Federal taxes?"

This is the problem with America. Everybody is worried about everyone else. Stop worrying about other people and take responsibility for yourself! I'm far from a "1 Percenter." I work a full-time job and 2 part time freelance jobs just to makes ends meet! I don't complain. I just want to pay my bills and taxes and live my life.

This "class warfare" stuff is getting old quick. I don't understand how people have gotten so jealous of other people's success. America is becoming an entitlement country. What can the government give me for free today? We should be helping the senior citizens, physically & mentally challenged and even the poor people of this country, but too many are expecting to get a hand out instead of a hand up. Look at unemployment compensation. I have heard many people say they aren't going to take this job or they aren't going to take that job because it's not as much as they were making before. I'm ok with that if it's a month or two after you lost your job, but if you're sitting at home collecting for 6 months or a year, maybe it's time to look at yourself in the mirror. Put your pride away and take a job, even if you feel it's "beneath you". People are sitting at home collecting unemployment instead of earning a living. Pennsylvania now owes the Federal Government over three billion dollars because we borrowed so much for unemployment. Remember, this is America. We have the freedom to better ourselves and you can always find a new job in the future. Take a job now, EARN a paycheck and if you don't like the employment you have, keep looking until you find one you do. It may not be easy, but it'll be worth it in the end.

Debbie Baddick hit the nail on the head when she said that the whole tax system needs to be redone. Maybe a flat tax? Then again people will still complain that the "1 percent" aren't paying their fair share. No amount is ever going to be enough to those people. We don't have a revenue problem in this country, we have a spending problem. Before you ask ANYBODY to give another dime in taxes, you should look at ways to eliminate waste fraud and abuse in government.

I'm proud to be from Tamaqua. The people here are hard working and independent. I just hope they all aren't as ignorant as some of the people from last week's "It's the Reader's Turn" portion.

Sincerely,

Mark Clemson

Tamaqua