Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
Your editorial on the FairTax leaves out two critical components: 1) Prices on all goods will drop substantially as manufacturers, wholesalers, delivery companies, etc., will no longer add the cost of all of their embedded tax costs (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, corporate, etc.) into their services, causing the costs of all goods to retailers to be substantially less than they are now. Even with the 30 percent (?) FairTax at the retail level, the prices to consumers should remain about the same. And 2) Everyone will get 100 percent of their paycheck, so even the poor and middle classes will get an instant raise, the amount of which will depend on their tax rate, and then we'll all get the prebates, which will help the poor the most. And I think that the "rich," those 1 percent who now pay about 35 percent of all income taxes, will in fact continue to pay this percentage, as taxes will be based on consumption, and lord knows, they consume more than the rest of us.
Just saying...it is important, when talking about the FairTax, that you realize that prices will not go up by 30 percent, as the editorialist believes, but will stay constant, and all people will have 100 percent of their paycheck to spend as they see fit. And what's not fair about that?
To the Editor:
Ms. Murray’s column criticizing the Fair Tax provided a very candid and transparent view into the thought process of the typical liberal.
While I am not an unabridged supporter of the Fair Tax, I do believe that the concept has enough merit to be given some serious discussion and study.
As Ms. Murray accurately points out, taxes are a “necessary evil.” She follows up with another accurate statement, claiming that under the current system, the “working poor pay very little (if any) income tax.” While that statement is true, it is only a half-truth, as the fact is that 41 percent of all Americans do not pay any income tax*.
Ms. Murray apparently believes that it is some sort of injustice to ask all Americans living above the poverty line to contribute to the tax base in our society. I believe that regardless of the method of collection, the tax system should be “fair” to everyone. With only 59 percent of Americans paying any income taxes, I think the current system is broken!
People that don’t contribute to the tax base, have no incentive to control government spending. This is exactly how the liberals plan on expanding the size and scope of government. They tell the citizenry that “we will provide you with all of these services, and you don’t have to pay for it (we’ll only make the “rich” pay).” The problem with this is that sooner or later, you will run out of other people’s money.
*Internal Revenue Service, 2006 courtesy of The Tax Foundation - www.taxfoundation.org.
To the Editor:
Ms. Murray’s article on the Fair Tax was very misleading. First, the product that today costs $100 includes $23 of embedded income and payroll taxes paid by everyone in the supply chain. If it is a coat, the farmer that raised the wool, the manufacturer who made the coat, and the store that is selling it have all paid income and payroll taxes. The Fair Tax would eliminate these, so the cost of the product would be lower before the tax was applied. Thus, the $100 coat would still cost $100 even after the tax. Several major retailers have pledged to keep prices after taxes at current levels.
Even low income individuals pay payroll taxes which would also be eliminated under the Fair Tax. Payroll taxes cost Americans almost as much every year as the personal income tax and are less progressive.
Retired people pay income tax on pensions, 401K withdrawals, social security (if income is over the limit), and interest and capital gains. With the pre-bate, I would come out ahead under the Fair Tax.
The major benefit that Ms. Murray doesn’t mention is the enormous stimulus to the economy if companies no longer pay taxes. This would bring back JOBS and capital that have gone overseas benefiting everyone.
Also, eliminating the income tax would reduce lobbying by companies vying for favorable tax treatment. The main reason that it will be difficult to get the Fair Tax approved is that politicians do not want to give up the power and control that setting tax policy gives them.
In all, the Fair Tax is fairer than any other method of taxation.
To the Editor:
I filed an Open Records request with the school system to obtain a summary of ELOST III spending. I have posted the two-page report I received from them at reference 1 below. I encourage you to examine these two pages carefully.
The new school, the top priority for ELOST III according to a newspaper article in September 2005 (Reference 2), isn’t even on the list of projects that the school system reported in Reference 1. They dropped the project even though it was used to sell the tax.
We were told in 2005 that the high school gym would cost $3,500,000, but the actual cost was $5,205,119. The new school served as a “sinking fund” for the new gymnasium.
Now we once again are told that we need a new school. Will we build it this time? Which projects will serve as sinking funds for cost overruns?
I understand the desire to improve the lot of our children, and the schools. But throwing money at the school system isn’t the same as improving it. When you vote on the question of ELOST IV, bear in mind that all the projects used to sell this tax may be changed at a moment’s notice. They are free, if they so decide, to put up a parking deck with a skateboard lane. They take your money now, but decide how to spend it later.
Vote “no” on ELOST IV.
To the Editor:
We hope the residents of Morgan County have been reading the Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST) information that the Citizen newspaper has helpfully provided.
We hope they've given a little thought to the importance of voting for this tax.
We hope this letter will dispel any remaining concerns anyone may have about the ELOST.
A few useful facts:
1. This is not a new tax. It is a continuation of a one-penny-per-dollar tax on local purchases. The tax has been in place since 1997.
2. This tax is not a burden. It actually reduces the bigger burden of local property taxes. And, in the busiest local food and shopping areas, up to 70 percent of the tax is covered by out-of-town visitors.
3. This tax is not a novelty. Out of the 180 school systems in the state, 180 have an ELOST in place. Even Fayette County saw the usefulness of the tax and recently voted it in.
4. This tax is not a guarantee. The ELOST that is set to end next month fell around $3 million short due to the poor economy. The school board had to shelve several projects, including the plans for new buses and a new school in Rutledge. But thanks to the $19 million it did raise, the middle school roof doesn't leak anymore, the high school has a new cafeteria, the elementary school has a gym, and all of the schools now have smart board technology in every classroom.
If we don't vote for this tax, the school board will still need money to upgrade facilities and technology. The only other option to raise that money is through much higher property taxes.
Please vote yes on ELOST IV.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the polls November 3rd!
Becky Carson and Elizabeth Branch, presidents, Morgan County Primary School Parent-Teacher Organization Board
Laree Zant and Michelle Wall, presidents, Morgan County Elementary School PTO Board
To the Editor:
When my mother died last May in a nursing home in a neighboring county, she still owed her medical providers $196.34. She had just qualified for Medicaid in April. However, DFCS said she hadn't qualified in March because her bank balance exceeded $2000, even though every cent of it was owed for medical and nursing home care that hadn't yet been billed.
The DFCS caseworker and two of her supervisors said that their guidelines allowed them to consider only funds and not debts, so maybe I could get them to "write it off." From this I concluded that her qualification for Medicaid depended on the billing schedules of her creditors.
I emailed three of our elected officials, letting them know that I thought this interpretation was bizarre, and although they initiated a change that cleared up the medical bills, they couldn't clarify the guidelines or change the interpretation.
Such unintended side-effects of government programs, along with Medicaid's low payments to medical providers, are part of the reason why nursing homes residents who still have some savings must pay almost $5000 monthly for a small shared room, and meals that are often served cold and inedible.
But, DFCS did send me this: Notice of termination ... the persons listed below have died. It listed my mother's name. Then it mentioned Peachcare for Kids and who to contact if I was pregnant.
Don't you love those warm and fuzzy bureaucrats and their government health care?