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Ask Sparky

June 9, 2014

SparkyDear Sparky: I need you to settle a dispute I'm having with a coworker. He insists that taxes are at an all-time high (FYI: he lives in New Hampshire). But I'm almost sure I read somewhere that the exact opposite is true. Can you clear things up for us? The loser has to buy lunch.

Signed, Hungry for lunch

Dear Hungry: I hope there's a place near you that serves canines as well as people come lunch time -- because your friend owes us both a free meal. What you read is right on. Taxes in the US are at their lowest in 50 years, and that's playing a big part in something else you've no doubt been reading about: income inequality. While the incomes of people like you and your coworker have stagnated in recent decades, those of the 1% have ballooned by 275%, largely because taxes on wealth are lower than taxes on income.

Do you know how much 275% is?  Me neither (my paws can't count that high.) Experts, who for once might actually be onto something, say that the decision to slash taxes for the wealthy played a huge role in widening the gap between the have-a-whole-lot and everyone else.

It turns out that "trickle down" applies best to fire hydrants, if you know what I mean! So tell your friend that lunch is on him and that you’re bringing a friend. Sparky