LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Something for Romney to ponder

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Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican presidential candidate, he should read Aesop's Fables. He might find this one of interest.

The Sun and the North Wind, observing a man, wrapped in a heavy cloak, climbing a steep hill, engaged in a contest to make him remove his cloak. The North Wind's cold blast merely made the man wrap his cloak more tightly around him. The Sun shone gently on the hill climber, who soon removed the no-longer necessary article of clothing.

North Wind Obama wants to raise taxes on billionaires. The objects of his wrath will simply wrap themselves in the cloak of tax lawyers and accountants. Of course, his ploy has no chance of becoming law. He merely hopes it will energize his base, enhancing his prospects for re-election in the fall.

While Robin Hood robbed the rich to give to the poor, the federal government often does the reverse. A dirty little Washington secret is that many government programs are designed to benefit campaign contributors and other politically astute individuals. The poor and under-privileged fit neither category.

We tax poor apartment renters at a higher rate than rich homeowners. We tax young wage earners to subsidize wealthy retirees. We all pay taxes to enhance the lifestyle of millionaire farmers.

After paying for food and necessities, the poor have little left over to give to charity, so the tax break for charitable contributions disproportionately benefits the wealthy.

Romney should emulate the Sun by advocating a low-rate flat tax and vowing to abolish these perverse deductions. Finding time searching for ways to shelter income from the tax collector unnecessary, billionaires would devote all of their working hours to making money. While they would become richer than ever, government would receive its share of their higher earnings.

April 15 would no longer a date to be dreaded, and the effect on the budget deficit salutary.

Gordon Philpot

Walla Walla

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