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Bloated Government Breeds Tax Cheaters

October 06, 2002

Re "Prison Terms Affirm IRS Campaign on Tip Income," Sept. 28:

The Times' Business section reported on four Nevada casino workers who had been sentenced for cheating and helping others cheat on taxes on tip income.

The real story here is that our government has grown too big and heavy. As a result, the taxes to feed it have become so crushing that working-class people are increasingly willing to risk imprisonment to avoid paying them. We know this because the article said the Internal Revenue Service is pursuing other cases. Government's remedy is to use brute force, or the threat of same. This is the wrong prescription.

The proper remedy, and the only just one, is to reduce the size of government to the point where ordinary Americans no longer feel compelled to take extraordinary risks to escape its weight.

If our politicians cannot bring themselves to prescribe the proper remedy, Americans will find other ways to escape the leviathan's crush. Government's response will be to use more brute force, that is to say, it will become more oppressive. As it becomes more oppressive, we will lose our love and respect for our country and our wonderful laboratory for self-government will begin to collapse.

Bruce Crawford

Fountain Valley

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