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"Forty-Seven Percent of Americans Pay No Income Tax"
April 15th found me at the Post Office, grumpily mailing my tax return. So a message from Henry in the WALL STREET JOURNAL caught my eye. Henry, by definition, is a "high earner, not rich yet". Henry describes himself like this: -- In the 32 percent federal, 10 percent state income tax. -- Pays a one and a half percent property tax on inflated bracket value of his house. -- Pays the alternative minimum tax. -- Self employed and pays a payroll tax. -- Pays investment tax on any savings or retirement funds; by the way, money on which he's already paid as income tax. He worked as a kid -- lawns, shoveled snow, delivered papers. Went to college on loans, working nights to pay back the loans. Now, twenty years later, Henry has a new car. -- Lives in a good neighborhood. -- Has retirement savings. Henry feels that maybe he does have much more than others, but he also worked harder -- building his business 60 to 70 hours weekly. He's asking: Why does the government feel entitled to take his money and give it to others? He's a believer in personal responsibility. Henry is not a believer of equal outcomes regardless of effort. He is a believer of the American dream -- the opportunity to work and get ahead. Really trying Henry's patience is the news that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. Henry's tired of being the mule.

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   Themes: Finance, Taxes, Freedom

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As the title of the show, "Getting your Money's Worth" implies, the show concerns itself with gaining value as a consumer of education, health services or, indeed, as a tax payer. Everyday consumer spending will be included. The dialogue may not present solutions, but certainly will present alternatives in an entertaining and colorful way with experts in their respective fields.

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