I was naively hopeful that a reply to my letter from a right-wing Republican might actually contain some credible, verifiable, supported facts that were a direct response to the content of my letter. But as usual, Republican replies (including Mark Williams') all contain personal attacks, on Obama, Democrats, liberals and on me.
The replies rarely if ever are direct responses to the issues I have raised and the quotes I have used, for which I have identified all of my sources. Williams could have checked them out, but he chose not to. Not a single statement Williams has made is supported. Rather than doing any research to support his claims, he has only attacked my sources: Center for American Progress, PoliticusUSA, The Urban Institute, The Brookings Institute and the Tax Policy Center. He attacks them because they are "liberal." I do not deny this, but because my sources are liberal does not mean that they are not accurate.
I find this comment to be ridiculous: "Neither PoliticusUSA nor Center for American Progress appear to do their own research. They report on research done by others. This claim is absurd. Most "research" comes from other sources. That is why it is called research. I practiced law for over 30 years and wrote well over a thousand briefs. My research came from case law (court opinions) and statutes, including IRS case law and the IRS Code.
Contrary to your unfounded claim, "liberal" sources are substantially better researched and factually and statistically more correct than any Republican source that may cover the same issues from a conservative viewpoint. That is why you have completely failed to directly address the issues I raised with a single contradictory word from a conservative cited credible verifiable source.
That is why I made the following challenge: "If anyone chooses to respond to this article, please do not waste your time or mine, unless you can support your response with credible verifiable information."
Williams ignored this challenge. Further, I did not hint, let alone say, that any who disagrees with my comments "is a liar."
With respect to William's comment about Politicus, here is in part their stated mission: "We take on media narratives and reframe the debate with an emphasis on examining the underlying political philosophy behind the sound bites. While this usually means debunking the right, we're not afraid to take on the left. ... At Politicususa, liberal means open-minded; we don't subscribe to any agenda but the truth. ... PoliticusUSA has no corporate funding and no masters."
Can you say the same about any Republican source for any information? My answer is no! If so, name one.
I believe that anyone who is a thinker and is open-minded would take the information from my cited sources over the garbage from the likes of Fox (I cannot call it news), Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc.
Williams also distorts my discussion of "adjusted gross income" I acknowledge that I used a large dollar amount ($50,000) for a deduction in my example, but this was done to emphasize my point. The IRS defines adjusted gross income as follows: "Adjusted gross income is defined as gross income minus adjustments to income." I make reference to using "every single available deduction." I did not define any permitted deductions. I spoke in general terms, as does the IRS definition.
Being a tax litigator, you certainly should know that the tax rates are intentionally progressive (despite the excessive deductions and loopholes that benefit the rich), which technically should mean that the rich will pay more taxes than the middle class and the poor.
You are also 100 percent wrong about Reagan and Bush II's tax cuts for the wealthy. Reagan's tax cuts resulted in the worst recession in U.S. history, until Bush II's recession. After 18 months of recession, Reagan raised taxes 11 times, which turned the economy around. "Read my lips, no new taxes"caused Bush I's much smaller recession. He also turned the economy around by raising taxes (opposed by the Republicans) with the help of the Democrats. Clinton raised the top rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, and we had four years of a balanced budget. Bush II received a surplus when he took office, which he wasted with his tax cuts for the wealthy and left us with the worst recession in U.S. history.
I could not find anything that supports your claim that the Congressional Research Center report I cited was rescinded, and you failed cite any source to support same.
You obviously disagree with my three issues, which are distorted by your description. But as I stated before, you have not provided a single credible verifiable source that contradicts anything I have said or quoted.
You discuss another issue that I did not raise let alone discuss. Your comments on this issue are 100 percent irrelevant. "Here is my plan for a surplus. Cut Social security benefits 25 percent, set retirement age at 72 soon, and cap Medicare benefits at $1 million per person. So, Henry, What is your plan for a surplus?" There is no verifiable math that supports this claim that your suggestion would balance the budget.
Further this is a typical Republican idea, only your plan is much more damaging than the Republican plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent and raise the Medicare age to 67.
Further, the use of the word "entitlements" to describe Social Security and Medicare is both incorrect and insulting. Social Security and Medicare are no different than a contribution made to a pension plan or an IRA and the payment for health insurance purchased from a private rip off health insurance carrier.
My plan to help reduce the deficit would be (as is Obama and the Democrats) to extend the Bush tax cuts to those couples earning less than $250,000 (roughly 98 percent of the working population).
In addition, I would raise the capital gains tax to 25 percent for those earning $500,000 AGI or more. I would increase the top tax rate to 39.6 percent (as Obama is requesting) which was the rate before the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
I would raise the minimum tax rate on those earning a million dollars or more to 30 percent. I would also go after hospitals and doctors who commit fraud by charging for medical services provided which are not necessary or are not actually performed but are charged. Since this is fraud is a crime, I would impose jail time determined by the length of time this fraud has been committed and also based upon the amount of money stolen.
"Atlas Shrugged" was Paul Ryan's guide book. But even he backed off on this, due to the negative feedback. The basic principle of this book is, if you cannot support yourself, then you deserve to die - typical thinking of those who are selfish, greedy, mean and lacking any social conscience whatsoever.
This seems to describe substantially all of the Republican members in Congress and the Republican governors of states wherein the Republican legislators are also in the majority.
Henry Bornstein Beaver Creek