In 1950 Americans paid $43.5 billion in taxes to the federal government. In 2010 they will pay about $2.2 trillion, 50 times as much, according to US Government Revenue.com. Of course, those numbers need to be adjusted for increased population and inflation. A dollar in 1950 would be worth $9.05 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is, inflation has been 900% and federal tax revenues have increased 5000% since 1950. As well population has doubled, from 151.3 million to 309 million, since 1950. Taking population and inflation into account, federal tax revenues have increased from $287 per capita in 1950 dollars to $774 per capita in 1950 dollars, almost a threefold increase from 1950 to 2010.
The letters of your readers show why the real hourly wage has stagnated since 1970. Hard working Americans have allowed fast talking grifters, socialists, commercial bankers, school teachers, hedge fund managers and other beneficiaries of governmental thievery to bleed them dry. One of your readers, apparently educated in one of America's mind-numbing socialist public schools, claims that the threefold per capita tax increase since 1950 did not occur and that taxes are lower now than in the 1950s. Another complains that class sizes of 20-25 students are too large. Another demands increased spending on nursing homes.
Well, I can be a grifter too. I have the most important demand. As a professor, the salaries of professors are too low. So mine must be raised. At everyone else's expense. All America should labor on my behalf. Taxes should be raised and the excess paid to me and my union, NYSUT. Those who disagree are selfish and greedy. I must have a raise. You must pay.