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They've been starting the comics on Page 1 of the Niagara Gazette for years now, but last week they really outdid themselves in a story about a group that seems to think people who don't work for a living deserve to live as well as people who do.

Under a headline reading "NOAH says pay your fair share," the story was actually a news release put out by the leftist organization printed virtually verbatim. Not one named source was attached to any of the preposterous allegations the un-bylined piece contained, a violation of any shred of journalistic professionalism.

"Economic equality is on the minds of the members of Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (NOAH)," the screed began. "Earlier this month, they took to the streets in New York City in solidarity with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement to urge millionaires to pay their fair share."

The NOAH members were apparently able to travel to Manhattan to participate in the demonstrations because, like the protesters already there, they don't work for a living. Occupy Wall Street has been going on since Sept. 27, meaning that a lot of guys and gals simply have way too much free time.

The protests were initiated by an anti-capitalist Canadian group known as Adbusters, whose previous campaigns -- "Buy Nothing Day" and "TV Turnoff Week" -- met with considerably less success.

According to the Gazette, "the lowest wage earners in the U.S. paid 9.6 percent of their income in NYS income tax while the top 1 percent paid 7 percent and those in the middle paid 11 percent." You'll notice that it says the lowest wage earners in the United States paid 9.6 percent of their income in New York state income tax.

We're sure that our friends in Pennsylvania, Ohio and the rest of the country will be quite surprised to learn that they're paying any New York state income tax at all!

On top of that, there are no dollar figures that would allow the reader to figure out what "lowest," "middle" and "top" even mean.

How does NOAH, or anyone else, even define the word "millionaire"? Does it mean you a have million in the bank? A million in debt (debt counts toward a person's net worth)?

Or does it mean a two-earner household where the annual income combined with value of the home, vehicles, consumer debt, investments and retirement accounts equals a million dollars? Because if that's what it means, it would include millions of hardworking Americans who have put their noses to the grindstone, played by the rules and don't consider themselves to be wealthy at all.

The kind of people who couldn't afford to travel to New York in order to spend a month sitting on their behinds in a park.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Oct. 25, 2011