Re: Timm Herdt's June 24 article "Typical family needs $82,000 income to make ends meet in Ventura County":
I thought journalists checked facts. On $82,231 in income, the article lists the hypothetical family's third largest expense as taxes. Yet, I calculate:
- $7,545 for Federal Income Tax
- $5,098 for Social Security
- $2,385 for Medicare
- $4,164 for State Income Tax
That's $19,192 in annual tax withholding; $1,599/month. That is $97 per month above the article's top expense, $1,502 for rent. Even if the California Budget Project can justify $5,524 less in annual withholding, they don't recognize indirect taxes paid by the family.
Only direct taxes withheld are listed; CBP excludes the employer portion of Social Security and Medicare, $7,483 additional dollars; gas and sales taxes of 58 cents on every $3 gallon of gas; sales tax; and hidden taxes in prices when goods or services are purchased.
Hidden taxes accumulate on goods and services as they progress through the economy. Experts estimate 20 percent of prices paid by you, me and the hypothetical family of four is hidden taxes. Taxes increased the family's rent (property taxes, the landlord's and maintenance worker's income taxes); the cost of child care (property taxes, worker income taxes) and don't forget groceries.
Companies are already increasing costs (and prices) to cover the new healthcare "entitlement." Don't doubt that the massive hidden tax known as "cap and trade" will dwarf the costs imposed by "healthcare." That family's cost of living is going up again, thanks to government.
The CBP, with the complicity of Herdt and The Star, are conditioning you to vote for higher taxes without describing the inevitable higher cost of living on the lower and middle classes. Taxes were, are, and will remain, by far, that family's largest expense.
~ William Burke,