Newsday’s analysis of the presidential candidates’ tax plans [“What their tax plans might mean to you,” April 17] reminded me of financier Warren Buffett’s comments in 2010 that his secretary paid more in personal taxes than he did. At the time, he wrote that the average worker in his office paid a tax rate of 36 percent, while he paid 17.4 percent.
The effective tax rate of the average wage earner includes a 7.65 percent payroll tax on incomes up to $118,500. For multimillionaires, this is a small portion of their incomes, so they contribute proportionally much less to Social Security and Medicare. Most of their income comes from capital gains, hedge funds and stock options, which are generally taxed at 15 percent.
The Newsday charts showed only the candidates’ proposed federal income tax rates and amounts, not taking into account the payroll taxes of the lower and middle classes, or the tax shelters enjoyed by the wealthy.
I hope that Newsday will publish a comparison of the total proposed tax rates that includes these estimates.
Jerry Worthing, Wantagh