The fairest tax? We all pay the same thing

To the editor:

After reading professor Laurence Kotlikoff’s analysis of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and absorbing a week of the numerous talking (shouting?) points of the Occupy Wall Street gangs, it’s quite obvious that both believe wealth is a zero-sum game.

A zero-sum game describes a static system with a set number of assets. In order for one player to gain an asset, another player must lose that asset. Therefore, professor Kotlikoff’s “riches” and the Occupy Wall Street gang’s “top 1 percent” are fixed, and upward economic movement is all but impossible. The rich are the rich and will be ever more, so to say.

But all one need do is take a look at U.S. census data to see that the U.S. economy is not zero-sum, and is in fact virtually limitless in wealth production.

In 1980, 51,000 households were considered to be in the top 5 percent of income. In the 1990 census, 95,000 households constituted that category, an increase of 80 percent. For the 2000 census, it again grew, to 145,000 households, a 53 percent increase, and in the latest census, even with nearly half of the decade in an economic downturn, the number of “top 5 percent” households still grew to 181,000, a 25 percent increase.

Because the overall population grew by about 10 percent, it’s astonishingly evident that if you want to acquire wealth, our country and our economic system will allow you to achieve your goals.

As to “fair” taxes, exactly what is fair about confiscating the wealth of those who work hard to acquire wealth and then giving it to someone who refuses to be a productive member of society?

If you want a truly “fair” tax, then each citizen should pay the exact same amount of tax, period. Everything else is, by definition, unfair.

Mark Morris

Las Vegas

Plane flight

To the editor:

Why couldn’t the president’s plane have landed at one of the best Air Force bases in the world, Nellis Air Force Base?

This would have saved a lot of travelers at McCarran International Airport time and money Monday. Wake up, Mr. Obama, and quit being a nuisance. You are only 10 minutes from town.

Robert Wells

Las Vegas

Job losses

To the editor:

Regarding your recent front-page article headlined, “Public-sector job losses continue to impede economic recovery,” the writer laments the fact that a reduction in federal, state and local government jobs is dragging down the economy.

There is a key sentence hidden down in the sixth paragraph. It is this: “State governments are not allowed to run deficits.” That means they are unable to just print more money, like the federal government does. These local and state governments have to live within their means on a budget, like working families have to do.

Where does this writer think the money to pay all the government workers comes from? It comes from the taxes that people who work in the private sector pay.

Don’t people realize that the best way to fix the economy is to get more people working in the private sector? Creating more government jobs just drains more tax revenue — it doesn’t help the economy at all. Just getting the unemployment numbers down by creating more government jobs is no way to fix the economy.

Karen Gunderson


Up and up

To the editor:

It was with the greatest relief that I received the official Washington government report this week that there was no inflation in the nation. With the prices on everything I buy going up so high and so fast, I don’t see how I could afford inflation.

John Tobin

Las Vegas

Obama stop

To the editor:

Thank you, Mr. President, for gracing our fine city with your presence this week. Your photo-op with the less fortunate — and your comments to them — were inspiring (Tuesday Review-Journal).

I checked the Review-Journal website as recommended but could not find photos of our president with the wealthy, more fortunate residents at his fundraiser, which charged $1,000 to $38,500. Perhaps this was an oversight on the part of his staff?

This does, however, prompt a question: Was the president here to help the many in Las Vegas with our 13.5 percent unemployment rate, or here for the wealthy few in Las Vegas to help him meet his goal of raising $1 billion for his campaign? I am anxious to read and see the results of his Hollywood stop.

Al Ciricillo

Las Vegas

Missing something

To the editor:

Wednesday’s article on college enrollment states that the College of Southern Nevada expects further reductions in enrollment next year, when they require a high school diploma for admission.

What am I missing?

To deny high school dropouts an opportunity to develop job skills is very shortsighted.

Henry Schmid

Las Vegas

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