If you paid $1 in federal taxes in 2009, you paid more than GE, Bank of America and a whole bunch of other major U.S. corporations. They paid zero. Exxon Mobile even got a refund!

While the middle class is gasping for air financially, personal income tax rates for millionaires and billionaires keep dropping and corporations "too big to fail" use loopholes to pay no federal taxes.

The Republican touted deficit problem is a myth. What we have is a revenue problem.

Major corporations are making record profits. Bonuses for hedge fund managers are higher than before the 2008 meltdown that they caused. The top federal income tax rate for the wealthiest in this country is at the lowest rate since before the great depression, with Paul Ryan's congressional plan incredulously proposing to drop that rate by another 10 percent.

The solution is simple. Force major corporations and the financial elite to pay their fair share. Revamp the federal tax code to remove the loopholes that major corporations employ. Bring the top personal income tax rate back to where it was under Reagan, 50 percent.

The federal government would then be able to make ends meet without major cuts.

Fred Barlam

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