Recently Greg Paquet presented several thought-provoking opinions about tax issues. I agree with him in part, disagree in part.

Coincidently, someone called in to rail at me about a letter of mine that I thought was moderate and nonpartisan. A difficult path, moderation. A tightrope. Easier to scream from left or right while falling.

No one who is informed suggests that raising tax levels for the rich will solve our deficit, but it should be done. It’s symbolic; it’s about fairness and giving back; and even more than, that it’s about community.

Elizabeth Warren has pointed out that while the honest rich are deserving, they did not get there on their own, nor in a vacuum, but rather within America’s supportive environment.

They used roads built with our taxes. They were educated, perhaps, in public schools, and were protected by government workers — police and firefighters. We all helped them get rich.

What has happened to “share the wealth,” to gratitude, and to our middle class — the true job creators?

Certainly our tax code is a disaster, and Paquet is right about the need to overhaul it; but a straight flat tax would be regressive.

Let’s say the tax is 20 percent. A family earning $50,000 pays $10,000 and learns to manage on $40,000. A family earning $500,000 pays $100,000 and “survives” on $400,000 per year. Not a bad deal for them, but tough on the American Dream. Hello, plutocracy. And while some of our founding fathers wanted that, do we?

I agree with Paquet that it is not evil to have money. First Timothy 6:10 says only “the root of.” But as a primary goal? Greed, avarice and injustice are sins — and they stink of money.

Abbott Meader


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