Letters to the editor 10-28-2011

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Time for tax reform
Our IRS tax system is broken and must be replaced! It’s full of loopholes and contradictions, and is so complicated it’s nearly impossible to interpret and administer. The size of the tax code is 70,000+ pages … and still growing. Mindboggling!
Just to comply with the requirements of the IRS code (filling out tax forms, hiring tax-preparers, etc.), the 2012 compliance costs will be $363 billion.
The IRS budget for 2012 is $13 billion. When these costs are factored in, for every $1 expended because of IRS requirements, the IRS collects just $6 in tax revenues. Not a very impressive ‘bang for our buck’!
This $6 is revenue that will be used to bolster our sagging economy. But, we can’t do too much ‘bolstering’ with only $6.
By comparison, fair tax administrative costs will be about $19 billion. For each $1 expended on fair tax, America realizes $136 in tax revenues — 22 times the IRS’s meager $6.
Brief descriptions of the two most talked about types of tax replacement follow:
1. Flat tax: a single-rate tax on income. The concept is an adequate one considering the unfair, multiple-rates we currently have. However, it requires a portion of our existing tax structure — which is in disrepair — to administer it.
And, Congress can pass exceptions to the single-rate until it eventually begins to look like the tax code we now have. Also, a flat tax will not capture the legal and illegal activities of the underground economy. These activities are an estimated $1.3 trillion annually in untaxed earnings.
2. Fair tax: a national consumption or sales tax on the purchase of new goods.
It is not income driven. Everybody keeps 100 percent of everything they earn; people always know exactly how much money they have and how much they can spend.
The poor are treated more fairly than they are under our current tax system. People are taxed at 23 percent … but only on the new things they purchase. The more an entity earns the more things it will buy and the more revenue America will have. The only negative to a fair tax, is that it hasn’t yet been implemented.
One GOP presidential hopeful proposes a 999 Plan which combines the above two: a 9 percent corporate and 9 percent personal flat tax combined with a 9 percent fair tax. It is better than what we have now, however, considering the above, a standalone fair tax plan is much more logical.
If you are truly concerned about America’s future, you must eagerly support the implementation of a tax replacement. Politicians may tell you they support tax reform, but unless they actively push for it, they probably don’t. If they don’t actively support tax reform, tell them you won’t vote for them in 2012.
Please begin your tax replacement research at FairTax.org. It’s the right thing to do … and this is the time to do it.
Joe O’Hara
On Top of the World
Union bullies
The wires are abuzz with “Occupy Wall Street.” What, and who is it all about?
The heads of the union movement know what it is all about. Another chance to manipulate, exploit, and milk the lowest common denominator class. These union bullies never let a good crisis pass without exploiting it.
These self proclaimed champions of the down trodden, are ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, but are their motives pure? Their tactics legal, or moral? Why are they entitled to the lifestyles, and compensation, of any Robber Baron, off the backs of these unfortunates? They extort money from the down trodden, while holding themselves out as their champions. What a crock. The union leaders are in it for the power, money, and status it gives to them. Bullying can be fun, and profitable.
It is our money that pays for all of the extortion that occurs. It is always our money that pays for everything. Costs go up. We pay.
Look how they strong arm anyone who asks for a secret ballot when union votes are taken. If that is not bullying, I do not know what is. Recently a woman testified to Congress that her group was denied by the court, a secret ballot on a choice to join or reject the union. What kind of garbage is that? Is this America anymore? I do not recognize it.
The college duffers at OWS are living proof of the value of a college education, today. Free tuition, free tuition is their mantra. Forgive my debt; I took the money, now I do not want to pay it back.
Any time anyone yells free any more my ears perk up; it means I am going to have to be paying once more for someone else’s largesse.
I cannot afford any more free stuff. I am at a point where I am about to need free stuff myself. Who will pay for my free stuff? Any volunteers?
The leaders will still live like princes, if not kings, I will live as I did during the Depression. Our resources are finite, not infinite. When will we learn?
D.I. Larson

Corporations and unions
Many people criticize corporations and their executives on the poor leadership of their companies failure to make good business decisions while competing with other companies. Others blame the unions and their organizations leaders for the failure of companies to make a profit.
One hundred percent of all companies have executives who are in charge of the business and responsible for production and profits for their own companies. Compare that with 15 percent of the workforce who are unionized and working for these companies. You be the judge on who is responsible for the bottom line profits of these companies.
If businesses are failing, it’s because of the poor job of the 100 percent who are executives and not the 15 percent who are unionized workers who are doing their jobs as instructed. For the few of you who understand math, you realize it’s the bad decisions from the top 100 percent that is killing our businesses and not the workers who are getting the blame.
Jerry Segovis

Explaining deductibles    
Last week one of the letters asked: Why The Deductibles? I believe that was a serious question and may be one which many of us have due to not fully understanding how the insurance companies set premiums. Simply, if there were no deductibles, the cost of the insurance would increase dramatically due to the huge difference in the cost of handling many more claims. This cost would be passed down to us, the insured, not absorbed by the insurance company. If I am willing to absorb more of the upfront small claim costs through a larger deductible, I will benefit by having a lower premium. The companies do not benefit by your having higher or lower deductibles because they will set premiums to cover their expenses of administration and claims experience. As an example, check with your insurance company into how much effect the different deductibles can have on the premium charged if you are willing and able to handle a larger deductible. This applies to home, auto and health insurance.        
In light of the above, I trust you can understand why there is no need for a deductible in life insurance. The only claim expense incurred by the insurance company is at your death, which obviously only happens once. The other coverages are subject to dozens of claims throughout the lifetime of the policy depending on many factors such as driving habits, your health and even acts of GOD. The premium charged normally reflects your individual circumstances. Insurance does spread the risk among many that we as individuals cannot comfortably bear alone. I was in the Life Insurance business for over 40 years and am still amazed at the “miracle” of Life Insurance. The financial makeup of the company to insure all claims are paid, regardless of time of death, is an actuarial wonder. I am now retired, but if you still have questions, feel free to call me, I’m in the phone book.
Wayne Rackley

Social Security increase:
Wait for first shoe to drop
Now that the Social Security checks will increase by 3.6 percent in 2012, wait for the next shoe to drop. You ask, what’s the shoe? Well, it will be developers and their amenities fees, and Homeowners Associations that want part of the pie. There are developers who make over $9 million dollars a year from amenities fees and don’t expend but a minimal part of that amount on so called services like so called security, with gates manned by senior citizens, lawn watering from retention ponds and lawn mowing at a cost of about $8 per lawn.
Of course Part “B” of Medicare will increase as always. But, that’s minimal. It’s the amenities fees that will take a large chunk. I know mine have increased 34 percent from the original amount we paid when we moved here. Most of amenities fees are scams as services that are being charged are for non-existent services. Maybe Obama isn’t too far wrong to tax those with high incomes and lower taxes on lower income families. Think about that. There’s an old song that goes in part, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
Bill Ford