In a quixotic fit of disgust, I sent him this email today.
Mr. Albom -.
The one who misses the point is you. Your column "Tax Debate is Missing the Point" is fundamentally wrong - overall, and in nearly every detail. It displays a level of ignorance that is at the tea party level. For a professional journalist this shameful and irresponsible.
You ignore the difference between marginal and effective tax rates, so everything you say about tax liabilities is wrong. You do not realize that the effective rate paid by the top 1% - actual millionaires - is less than 20%, and even less for everyone else. Nobody pays the 40% rate you used in your horribly misleading example. You compounded the error by citing a family of four, but using single filer rates; and you got the bracket limit wrong - by over $120,000!
For your convenience, here are the actual bracket limits, which took me 10 seconds to find using Google.
Before you comment on taxes again, please take the time to understand what the brackets are, how they work, and what the effective rate means.
I spent a good chunk of yesterday graphing effective rates since the Reagan administration, with data from the Tax Foundation. You can see the results here.
Unless and until you can get the facts right, you are abrogating your responsibility as a journalist by expounding on a topic about which you have no knowledge or understanding. Please do the minimal amount of research it will take to get your facts straight - and I would be more than happy to help you with that - and issue a retraction of today's disastrous column.
You see, if the history of taxation proves anything, it is that taxes haven't been lower since before the Great Depression, and that continuously lowering taxes has led to stagnation in the economy, and enormous deficits. Make no mistake - the deficit is the direct result of tax rates being too low, especially for top earners.
And, by the way, letting the Bush tax CUTS expire - according to law - is eliminating cuts, cuts so irresponsible and ill-considered that even supply-sider Bruce Bartlett didn't like them.
Stop calling it "raising taxes."