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Letter

Ladies and gentlemen:

Per Joanna Shelton's article on the U.S. debt in the Oct. 6 Missoulian: Yes, let's raise revenues — and it is so simple.

Social Security: Individuals only pay SS on the first $132,900 earned. Anyone who earns more pays no additional SS. Per The Motley Fool (Feb. 14), removing the cap would add about $1.5 trillion in revenue to SS over a decade.

Medicare: Medicare cannot negotiate drug prices per the 2003 "Medicare Modernization Act," passed when Republicans controlled Congress. The law disallowed any governmental direct role in setting Medicare drug prices. A new law to remove this provision is sitting in the Senate, blocked by Mitch McConnell. Thank the Republicans for high drug prices!

Federal income taxes: In 2009, 1,470 households reported income of more than $1 million but paid no federal income taxes (Americans for Tax Fairness). "Unearned" income from investments is taxed at a lower rate than "earned" income from salary/wages. Raise taxes on capital gains and dividends to close this loophole that loses the U.S. $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

There are other intelligent ways to deal with the debt if only Republicans would get on board.

Republicans: so wrong on so many issues!

Linda Holtom,

Missoula

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