Letters for Thursday, July 21, 2011

Right side of logic •

More compassion needed in Social Security

Right side of logic

Thank you, Bob Downs, for a sincere letter concerning tax fairness (“Fairness first,” Letters, July 17). Unfortunately, the information you’ve presented is weak on facts and long on liberal bias.

The tax code was created to be a “fair” distribution of wealth for all citizens. Unfortunately, the federal government just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to adding thousands of provisions, deductions, and mechanisms to the tax code. They do it to try and force behavior on the part of individuals and businesses in an attempt to micro-manage the economy from Washington. The more complicated it becomes the more they can micro-manage, because few can now completely understand the tax laws we’ve been forced to comply with.

One goal of the government is to make everyone happy so their votes can be secured in the next election. This gives government an incentive to re-distribute wealth to the majority of voters who in the real world would never sacrifice to the extent the few did to become wealthy. The question then arises: “How much of the wealthy money should the government take and redistribute to the rest”? This gets complicated because if you tax them too much they have a dis-incentive to make more. They will stop creating jobs in this country or simply take their money and leave all together, which was one of the reasons our forefathers created America in the first place.

You suggest the wealthy haven’t given enough because Warren Buffet’s secretary pays more than he does. That is simply a colorful statement he made for effect because his personal belief is that the rich don’t pay enough currently. I assure you he pays a lot more to the government than his secretary, who makes a ton of money herself by the way. That is his personal belief and certainly not shared by the majority who have been asked to give more of their money to the government.

The top 10 percent of income earners do in fact already pay 70 percent of the total taxes collected, but according to the IRS and the Encyclopedia of Economics that same 10 percent earns only 42 percent of all pretax income. Is this fair? At what point does this taking of money from one group of workers, job creators, and businesses for the purpose of creating government departments whose sole purpose it is to give that hard earned money to everyone else turn into Socialism? All five countries facing bankruptcy today are Socialist countries, and the Netherlands and other Scandinavian countries are turning more free market at light speed because they’re standing on the same cliff.

Of course those on the liberal side will say the IRS numbers are misleading, and they’ll point to other taxes and income categories to spin it all, but anyone can spin anything and the rich pay into all the other taxes as well. They certainly pay a lot more in sales taxes than anyone else because they buy more stuff than the rest of us.

One president leading us into two wars followed by electing a Socialist “tax the rich,” bigger government neophyte has caused all of us a huge problem. One thing we do know is that reality always wins out in the end.

The facts are the facts and the appropriate point of “Tax fairness” is up for grabs in the next election. If we elect the right president in the next election we will get out of this mess over time. If not, our economy will contract even more and the pain will be immeasurable to many. Creating jobs and instilling confidence is the key. Who is best suited to do that for us? Your vote in the next election is perhaps the most important vote you have made or will ever make.

We will all know who’s on the right side of logic soon enough.

Gordon Oswald, Kapa‘a

More compassion needed in Social Security

Gordon Oswald makes some good points about Social Security (“Bill pill needs swallowed,” Letters, July 19). However, questions remain for all those who advocate raising the age to collect Social Security.

Number 1: Where are all these older Americans going to work until they CAN collect benefits? How many of the long time unemployed now are over 60, or even over 50? How many Walmart greeters can there be?

Though age discrimination is against federal law; in fact, it is done every day, everywhere in the country. It is easy to claim there was a different reason for letting someone go, or not hiring in the first place, and difficult to prove age discrimination.

Perhaps they should live on their savings, until they can collect benefits — oh wait, didn’t something happen to the stock market and people’s 401Ks a couple of years ago? Tough luck, I guess, is Mr. Oswald’s assertion.

And what about those longer life expectancies? Well, if you’re a senator, or an investment banker, you’ll probably live longer than a person who digs ditches, or is in construction, simply because your work is not nearly as back breaking or dangerous.

Many people are broken by hard work all their lives and need to retire.

But perhaps that’s also their fault, and we shouldn’t worry about them? Easy to talk about a “bitter pill” if it is someone else and not yourself, which is the problem with all who wish to dictate what someone else should do.

This so-called Social Security problem needs more thought, and more compassion for fellow human beings.

Kim Nofsinger, Princeville


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