In his reply to my letter of Oct. 27, Mr. Henson claims that “wealth is created by the private sector not by the government. It is a privilege for government to use public money. It is not an entitlement.” That is simply false. Wealth is created by a combination of the private and public sectors. Try making money without the enormously expensive, publicly funded infrastructure of an advanced captialist state. The “government” is you and I, Mr. Henson, paying our taxes for roads and police protection. It is as entitled to send you a bill for its services as your doctor or dry cleaner.
Mr. Rhodus, in his reply to my letter, said that if persons “made” $92,144 in 2000, they were in the top 10 percent of wage earners. This IRS figure is for adjusted gross income — total income minus deductions such as health care and contributions to sheltered retirement accounts. The total income of this group will be significantly higher than their AGI. Lower-income households often can’t afford health insurance and retirement accounts.