LEO O. ZAKHAROFF Santa Rosa, Calif.
Don't blame the IRS. The IRS just administers the laws passed by Congress. The congressmen often don't understand the laws they have passed, and sometimes they have different opinions on what the laws they pass mean. The IRS then has to interpret those laws. Take the long-distance tax on telephone calls that were based on time and distance. IRS said that meant time or distance, so a per-minute fee was taxed. Others argued that to tax the call, it had to be charged on the basis of both time and distance. This could have been resolved without years in the courts, if Congress had just amended the law to more clearly state what they meant. The problem is that they didn't know what they meant. As for a FairTax, that is defined as "Don't tax me; don't tax thee; tax that fellow behind the tree."
JEROME SCHLINDER Columbus, Ohio
Amazing! Do you see how how the mind can rationalize and justify anything? My question is simple: What is a fair tax? It should be obvious that the system we have now is not working. Democrats insist on taking more money from the wealthy. This only drives them to other countries. Who isleft to pay? Hmm, the middle class? Our system definitely employs a lot of people. God forbid, a flat tax might mean lazy-bum accountants and tax preparers would have to find a real job. Regardless, any tax system is not going to fix the irresponsible spending in Washington. When the rich decide to go elsewhere, tax revenues decrease and joblessness increases. What happens then? Who will Obama blame? The Republicans? Why not?
MARK F. WAKEFORD Flagstaff, Ariz.
The flat tax still needs the IRS and zillions of CPAs and lawyers to interpret who owes what, and lobbyists to influence Congress on tax-related issues. You would still pay all of the other federal taxes (excise, gas, Social Security, communication, etc.). Check out the FairTax. All current federal taxes are eliminated! Wow! Including the ones you don't see. Under the FairTax, you are taxed on what you spend when you spend it. You get your entire paycheck or dividend or interest and are not taxed until you buy something. If you make a lot of money, you usually spend a lot of money. There would be aid from the government to help the very poor. Check out the FairTax details at www.fairtax.org. Lots of pros and some cons. This system will never be approved because the IRS would go away (at least 500,000 jobs), and the need for CPAs, lobbyists, and lawyers would be greatly reduced. The fact that most of our Congress people are lawyers might have some influence, too.
HARVEY CLARKE Bedford, Va.
No, to the flat tax; yes, to the FairTax. The flat tax is still an income tax and the politicians can still use it to buy votes and make increases in the rates. The FairTax will stop the IRS and make our businesses more competitive in world markets, so some of those jobs can come home. All the Chinese and other countries' goods would be taxed at the same rate as American goods. Don't hold your breath for the politicians to ever let anything pass that will put a hold on their ability to spend our taxes however they may choose.
HARVEY E. CHAMBERS Buford, Ga.
Robin Hood in reverse is the flat tax. But we're supposed to drool like dummies with mismatched socks because it's the size of a postcard? Come on! If we're that dumb, we deserve to get screwed. How about "No Income Tax"? Period.
TODD C. WETMORE Honolulu