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'Standing Firm on Medicare'

February 05, 1989

Sen. Bentsen claims that the complaints about his Catastrophic Tax Act come from "wealthier people who . . . want to be subsidized by the rest of the taxpayers."

Not at all. As usual, it's the middle class who are not happy about subsidizing both the poor and the rich. This surtax on the elderly begins with people who make only about $14,000 a year. It goes up to about $45,000 a year and then stops.

Above that level, thanks to the cap, as your income increases your surtax rate decreases. That is, if you make $90,000 a year, you will pay the exact amount paid by the man whose income is $45,000; so your surtax rate is half as much as his. If your income is $180,000 a year, your surtax rate is one-fourth as much as that of the man with $45,000 because you pay the same number of dollars that he must pay.

During the recent campaign, Bentsen told the middle class he was "on our side." As it turns out, he was really behind our back.

PAMELA C. THOMPSON

Cambria

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