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Some New Ideas on Taxing the Rich

June 14, 2005

Re "Envy Them? No. Tax Them? Oh Yeah." Commentary, June 10: Jonathan Chait complains about the negative reactions that conservatives have when taxing the rich is mentioned. However, I have yet to find a liberal who agrees with my own taxing-the-rich scheme, which is a tax on rich white males that would be redistributed to poor white males.

The point of this tax is to correct the inequality that has arisen because of affirmative action. Rich white males can easily evade the barriers imposed by affirmative action because they still get into Harvard, and getting a job often means nothing other than joining their father's law firm. For poor white males, affirmative action can mean unemployment, or at least a greatly reduced salary.

Why put the burden of our society's racism and sexism wholly on poor white males? Not only would this tax correct an injustice, it may even bring back the white working class to the side of the Democrats.

John Pepple

Gambier, Ohio

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It just kills me when I hear liberals such as Chait talk about what a good idea it is to increase taxes on the rich. As Chait should know, our system of taxation is not based on taxing wealth but on taxing income.

According to my dictionary, "rich" means possessing great wealth. High-income earners are trying to accumulate wealth. So in effect, by raising taxes on high-income earners, you don't necessarily tax the rich, you mainly tax people who are trying to become rich by being productive.

Just because you make in excess of $100,000 in a given year does not mean you are rich, especially not in Los Angeles. If we wanted to tax the rich, we'd have to change from an income tax to a net worth tax. Then you'd pay, not according to how much you earn, but according to how much you have. Think we'd get liberals such as John Kerry or Ted Kennedy on board for that?

Ron Wilkerson

Sherman Oaks

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