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March 08, 2011


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I could agree with Lessenberry if he had not resorted to the constant rant of today -- pick on a public employee. The example could have used a GM worker or a Ford worker. The using of the teacher plays into the hands of those who bash public employees. I don't think public employees are worse than those who work for large corporations. So I cannot accept Lessenberry's assessment. Two plus two may not equal four.

Come on, Jack! "We" didn't vote for this. I didn't vote for ANY of the republicans in State gov't.

For that matter, the republicans who claimed they wouldn't raise taxes, are now proposing a billion dollar tax increase on working people, and a 1.8 billion dollar cut on business.

don't include me in your "we" lecture.

Jack: In your essay you state that "They don't think a retired teacher who gets a combined income of $90,000 dollars a year should pay taxes..." This misinformation speaks to the anger many people have against the public employee pension system. I have been a teacher for over 31 years, recently retired, with a pension of only 30,000. When I am eligible for SS, my combined income may be closer to 50,000 before taxes. Most teachers can only count on a pension of roughly 35-40 percent of the avg of their last 5 years of contracted pay. You, as a legitimate journalist have a duty to get facts correct before you state them on the air and in writing. Your responsibility to get your facts correct before spouting off opinions is necessary this day as many in the private sector look to scape goat teachers, police, fireman, for what benefits they have sacrificed salary, working benefits and time for. By hyper inflating a figure to specifically make a point is irresponsible and not worthy of good journalism. You owe a clarification or retraction of your commentary.

As for taxing the single mother making $8.00 per hour. If she is lucky enough to be a full time employee she will earn about $16,000 per year and with her deductions for her and one child she will have about $8200 of taxable income resulting in a tax liability of about $357. She will get a refundable credit from the state for 20% of her federal EIC ($3050), amounting to $620. So she will get a check from the State of Michigan for roughly $260. As for that $90,000 retirement income from teaching, I would like to steer my daughter who has been teaching for nearly 20 years and has no hope of ever making anything approaching that kind of pay, let alone having that kind of retirement.

This is Jack Lessenberry. That teacher really exists; I know her. Admittedly, she had a higher salary and pension than most, and is eligible for full social security (she is 70 with 45 years of teaching.) But I would feel the same way about a teacher getting $50,000; I think they should pay taxes on that income.

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