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Gazing at gap between earned, ‘unearned’ income

Letter writer Ralph Wilbur (“Obama opts for class warfare over job-creating policies,” Oct. 19) misses a couple of salient points in his description of capital investment and his indictment of the president.

First, it was Warren Buffett himself who advanced the concept that his lower tax rate is inherently unfair due to his ability to define his income as “unearned,” and to his secretary’s inability to do the same. And while Buffett’s income is indeed the result of capital put at risk, the true inequity rests in the many hedge fund managers, CEOs, and others whose compensation is taxed at these lower rates when none of their capital was ever at risk.

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For many years, I worked as an account executive on straight commission, and those commissions and bonuses were taxed as earned income, unlike the contracted salaries and bonuses of these undertaxed 1 percenters.

At what point was any of Mitt Romney’s own money ever put at risk to justify the lower tax rates he enjoyed as a Bain executive and continues to enjoy today?

Edward Onessimo


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