To the editor:
I was interested to read Mr. Kiper’s editorial in the Saturday Times when I read the title, “In search of a fair tax system.” I, too, would like a fair tax system, but often what one person considers fair is considered by others to be totally unfair. Unfortunately, what I read was not an editorial about a fair tax system but a defense of sorts of the income tax packages that are currently being discussed in Congress. My letter to the editor attempted to point to specifics in the proposed tax packages as they stood when I wrote that letter. I don’t think that either package actually came from our congressmen, but were probably given to them. It still looks to me like the greater benefit goes to the highest income brackets. If you dispute my numbers, by all means, educate me.
Mr. Kiper is unsure about my position on the estate tax. It was created to generate revenue – we have record-setting deficits. I support maintaining the estate tax. That is my position. Mr. Kiper chooses to resort to the old scare story about people just trying to leave their assets, including the sacred Kansas family farm, to their descendants. Considering that nothing in the estate would be taxed until the value of the estate reached $5.5 million, and even then, that first $5.5 million would be exempt from the estate tax, I really wonder how many Kansas family farms would be subject to this tax. I certainly won’t. I was not stating that the estate tax would give Congress “a complete steak and lobster dinner.” The overall package does that.
Mr. Kiper asks where I was when the Obama administration raised the national debt by $10 trillion. I was working. Until last year at least, when I retired after working pretty much full-time since I was 15.
Now, about those numbers. He cited the CATO Institute. Did he mean the evolution of the Charles Koch Foundation? Many years ago, when I was learning to operate the Navy’s nuclear reactors, I had a math instructor who said he could prove almost anything with numbers. Mr. Kiper claims that the Obama administration increased the national debt by $10 trillion. From what I’ve read, it was closer to $9 trillion, but that did include an $858 billion tax cut deal that was signed in 2010. The other parts of the economic stimulus package to get us out of the recession that started before he was elected contributed as well. When you break it down to percentages, the Obama administration increased the debt by nearly 70 percent while his predecessor raised it by more than 100 percent.
Back to the title of the editorial. There are fairer ways of taxing. A flat tax on all income would simplify the system, but most of those who propose the flat tax wish to exclude certain types of income. Some tax proposals could eliminate income taxes altogether, but our Congress cannot or will not consider them.