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None April 23rd, 2013

The following are pretty close estimates of the bottom of the 20 percent bottoms and the bottom of the top 1 percent’s respective annual gross income levels, those being $25,000 for the “poor” and $250,000 for the “rich.” Multiply 10.3 percent by $25,000 and you have the “poor” paying $2,575 in taxes.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@ okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Rich folks pay plenty D.W. Tiffee’s Feb. 13 letter to Oklahoma Gazette, “A tax cut to die for,” makes two misleading statements that represent the typical liberal spin regarding tax assessments. The first statement was, “The bottom 20 percent pay an effective state and local rate of 10.3 percent vs. 4.6 percent for the top 1 percent.” The second was, “Fair to Republicans always means the poor paying more and the rich paying less.” Sounds as if the “poor” are being terribly put upon while those “wascally rich” are making out like bandits as usual, huh?

Something seems to be mistakenly, if not conveniently, missed in Tiffee’s logic. “The poor paying more?” I don’t think so.

The following are pretty close estimates of the bottom of the 20 percent bottoms and the bottom of the top 1 percent’s respective annual gross income levels, those being $25,000 for the “poor” and $250,000 for the “rich.” Multiply 10.3 percent by $25,000 and you have the “poor” paying $2,575 in taxes. Multiply 4.6 percent by $250,000 and you have the “rich” paying $11,500 in taxes. Huh? The rich guy is paying four and a half times more in greenbacks than the poor guy. And Tiffee has the poor paying more? And the rich guy and the poor guy get exactly the same benefit from governmentally provided products and services.

I don’t think the rich guy would agree with Tiffee’s assessment of the poor paying more. Last time I checked, $11,500 amounted to a heck of a lot more than $2,575. I believe the rich guy might want to trade tax liabilities with the poor guy, don’t you?

Using his logic, one could vainly attempt to make the case that the poor guy and the rich guy were both looking to buy the same lower-income rental property but the poor guy could settle for paying $40,000 for the property while the rich guy would be required to pay $180,000 for it because he either had been fortunate or even worked quite a bit longer, harder and smarter to arrive at his respective income level. Is that the way American property owners and realtors do business when selling property? I don’t think so.

But then again, in Tiffee’s economy, $2,575 is more than $11,500. So, maybe he might be able to pull it off anyway, contingent upon the rich guy not being very good at math.

—Brad Duncan Edmond

Teeing off about trivia Interesting. “Trivial pursuits” (Louis Fowler, April 10, Gazette) about bar trivia, reads: “Arguably the most popular in the metro is The Lost Ogle’s 8 p.m. Tuesday-night trivia ...” How do you define “popular”?

Now you did say “arguably,” so here is the argument: TLO has around 10 to 15 teams per night per venue. TLO has two shows a week, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.

Challenge Entertainment has several shows Monday through Thursday and multiple venues. On Wednesday, while TLO is running 10 to 15 teams at its one and only venue, Challenge Entertainment is running 20 to 30 teams at one of many venues. Tuesday night, CE has four trivia venues and two bingo venues. Wednesday night, CE has eight trivia venues across the metro (one of which is in Norman, which seemed to be highlighted in your article). I will leave out the venues CE has on Sunday, Monday and Thursday since you only mentioned Tuesday and Wednesday. So with CE having one show (out of eight) on Wednesday, pulling down an average of 25 teams, and TLO’s total weekly numbers equaling around 25 teams, how is TLO the most popular?

Is it because the TLO show is more liked? Some of us have been playing at the same venue with CE for over two years. I have even been to some of CE’s Tuesday shows and seen TLO players become CE regulars.

But I am not here to argue which is better. My point is, more teams and more venues equals more people. More people who are doing the same thing as the TLO fans.

Yet you print that TLO is the most popular. Multiple venues with an average of 20 teams made up of an average of 10 players each starting at various times five days a week all over the metro and currently in a league tournament for a metro championship with thousands of dollars in cash winnings for the top league teams. That’s around 300 players on Tuesday and up to 600 on Wednesday.

Is your “Trivial pursuits” headline correct? Maybe it should read, “We are going to praise TLO so Patrick doesn’t attack us from his mom’s basement.” About as insulting as a TLO article.

—Kyle Lucas Oklahoma City

Crossing a line I think you have crossed a line with your last several issues. I am referring to your eagerness to use profanity (F-bombs) in articles, in quotes (still not appropriate) as well as others.

Now, you are letting advertisers get away with it. The Ruff Life ad recently read, “When life gives you titties, milk them for all they’re worth.” If this is appropriate for a rag that has a wide readership and is easily picked up by children, then why do you have editors? I used to advertise with you. The chance of my return is slim to none.

—Kevin Michaels Edmond

Bad taste I was excited to see your article covering the wonderful Variety Care nonprofit (Rachael Cervenka, “Capitol care,” March 20, Gazette). The work they are doing is truly needed, as Oklahoma is consistently among the 10 states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.

As I read, however, I was distracted by two pictures: one of a young girl dressed provocatively with her face cropped out, and another being a cartoon of a girl upside-down, poledancing. The images belonged to the Coyote Ugly Saloon and Miss Pole Dance Oklahoma 2013 ads adjacent to the article. Variety Care is fighting an uphill battle against teen pregnancy, and the effect of your important article was, in my mind, completely nullified by your ad placement.

As a future OB-GYN resident who will be dealing with teens in the clinic everyday, I hope you will be more thoughtful about the messages.

—Kate C. Arnold Oklahoma City

 
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