System isn't fair, we need flat income tax

I do not think that the U.S. system of taxation is fair when approximately 50 percent of the population pay no income taxes at all, and a portion even get a refund even though they have paid no taxes.

A fair tax is a flat income tax -- operational and direct social justice. In fact, our sales tax is a flat tax ---- everyone pays the same percentage. And I don't hear any liberal politicians complaining about that.

And please don't bring up the insane argument that a flat income tax hurts people with lower incomes more than those with higher incomes -- rubbish. It always hurts when you are forced to give money to a government that wantonly squanders it in every way imaginable.

If everyone had skin in the game, the majority of the population would begin to scrutinize what the government is doing with its money.

In fact, public pressure due to realization of government waste prompted by being required to pay a flat income tax by itself might begin to clean up the government mess, although that's asking a lot. And it would put many tax attorneys, accountants and tax preparers out of business.

However, changing our income tax system to a flat tax could not be more disruptive than changing our health care system to a virtual one-payer system (Obamacare), but that's happening, isn't it? So, why not a fair flat simple income tax?

J.W. Yager

Oakland


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Some of the system is fair, some is not

Do I think the tax system is fair? Well, yes and no.

The graduated income tax is fair, but some of the other taxes are not.

Regarding the income tax; aren't our mental abilities also graduated? Can we count on those with mental advantages to concern themselves with their inferiors?

Too often, the mentally gifted use their wits to gain advantage and rig the free-enterprise system. They fund think tanks, hire lobbyists, fund political campaigns, and own radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers. To what purpose? To create loopholes, exemptions and various deductions.

But let's credit those who have a sense of decency and willingly to accept higher taxes so that others might enjoy some level of the good life.

Marv Tripp

Oakland

Should be simplified for mere mortals

Let's see, there are more than 14,000 pages of rules and regulations for the U.S. tax code. How could it possibly be fair? If you call in to IRS with a question 10 times, you are likely to get 10 different answers.

For the tax code to be fair, it must be understandable. I realize there are many CPAs making a living off this hodge-podge, but really, this could be simplified so mere mortals can use it.

And with corporations getting tax breaks for off-shoring our jobs and millionaires paying less tax than their administrative assistants, I'd say the rules were written by the rich for their own benefit. Yet the spineless in Congress won't try to rewrite it, because they don't understand it themselves.

Jim Cauble

Hayward

Tax code clearly is not equitable

Lower income people are taxed too high and high income too low.

The middle income taxpayers are penalized for saving money, then investing wisely to support a decent living. The tax on capital gains for the middle class is too high.

The millionaires and billionaires have too many tax loopholes, which allow them to reduce their tax bills.

The middle class are the folks that pay the bills. Only in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Robert Beaudreau

Fremont

Tax code difficult to understand

Could anyone say our tax system is fair?

No single person can understand the tax code. Whole lives are devoted to writing difficult-to-comprehend tax sections devoted to the interest -- and gain -- of a few or to tax disfavored groups.

Citizens should be able to understand who benefits and why others must pay. The tax code is thousands of pages long. Explanations add tens of thousands more. Once a tax becomes law, those who benefit resist change. Benefits for one segment of the economy can be enormous and those who individually pay only a small part find it costly to force change.

Suggestions to reduce number of new laws:

  • Legislators must personally read (and certify they have done so) the entirety of each legislative proposal before voting.

  • Bills must contain only one subject and add-ons having little to do with the subject prohibited.

  • Whoever authored the detailed proposal, e.g., lobbyist, must be fully identified to the public before the vote.

    Taxes shouldn't be used to reward preferred groups by taking from those less favored.

    Joe Moran

    Orinda

    Our tax system is absurdly unfair

    All taxes by their nature are unfair.

    They take from those who have earned -- usually by pursuing a rigorous education toward high-demand occupations or managing capital created by generations of family sweat -- and turn money over for services to all. Often those services are used by others who either cannot or will not contribute commensurately.

    Any system where half of workers support the other half is askew. A top earner pays 33 percent federal and 9 percent state taxes -- almost half his income. This is before sales, gasoline, transportation taxes and further fees for public colleges, parks, bridges, parking, special districts, etc.

    Yet, some still feel government should support their every desire. The ACLU argues that welfare caps destroy reproductive freedom, though any American may have as many children as she wishes to support through employment, business or a provident marriage.

    We have become absurd.

    Diane Carpenter

    Danville

    Fairness depends on point of view

    The basic concept of funding certain projects and services for the common good of our society by collecting the needed funds via taxation is practical, wise and, if organized by fair-minded people, will likely be fair and just.

    People who are able to hold this concept embrace their sense of responsibility and are happy to share collectively with -- and for the good of -- their fellow citizens. Some people choose not to buy into this manner of social responsibility and, instead, feel victimized by an exploitative entity.

    Because of the growing corruption in the sphere of government in the United States, both in policies and leadership, the funds collected are being wasted and virtually stolen for personal gain, rather than spent wisely and justly.

    Thus, it hardly matters if the collection process is fair or not, when the funds are looked upon as a cash cow by greedy crony-capitalists who purchase political influence in order to win government contracts that are little more than their opportunity to suck from the teat of their "cash cow."

    Ron Greenstein

    El Cerrito