LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Focus should be on tax evasion


In your editorial of April 12, you give credence to the view that what's unfair about the U.S. federal income tax system is that low-income people don't pay.

Then, laudably taking the high moral ground, you argue that low-income people, would benefit -- i.e., would feel more like they are a part of the national community -- if required to pay some income tax each year.

Whether intended or not, your editorial serves a widespread, class-based position that financial and other problems in this country have been made worse by a too-generous social safety net -- in this instance by exempting low incomes from federal income tax.

Actually, comparative studies of the United States and other advanced industrial societies show otherwise -- that by a number of measures the U.S. is close to being the least generous (See Tony Judt, "Ill Fares the Land," New York Review of Books, April 29, 2010, pages 17-19).

A suggestion: Write another editorial about nonpayment of federal income tax. Focus this one on the billions of dollars annually lost the Federal Treasury via various modes of tax evasion including foreign "tax havens" and other schemes. Keeping to your moral position, point out this time how much better wealthy tax evaders would feel if they would "come clean" and do their civic duty by paying.

Ray Norsworthy
Walla Walla


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