I agree with Robert J. Samuelson's idea (Editorial Pages, Feb. 1), "Let's Go Back to Progressive Taxation," that lowering the taxes of the working poor might help solve some problems connected with welfare. Taxing the poor less would give them more money to live on and would make the job market more appealing to those who aren't working.
Although progressive taxation is not a new idea, I believe that it would work very well for the working poor. There are, however, other aspects to consider. With taxes lowered and more poor people working, there would be fewer people on welfare, which would probably make up for funds lost by lowering their taxes in the first place. With more people working fewer would be idle, and this in turn might lower crime rates.
I think Samuelson has brought forward a great idea. Put into practice, it could change the lives of the poor and affect the rest of us as well.
The graduated or progressive tax rate is being gutted by the proposed so-called simplification of the tax code.
What would really happen is the tax burden would be shifted from the wealthy to the people in the $25,000 to $50,000 bracket. The flat tax is a regressive tax that allows the wealthy to pay near the same rate of tax as the people who have less ability to pay it.
While the people with modest incomes at first will get a small reduction in tax with the flat tax, the wealthy, who have already had their taxes reduced 30%, from 70% to 50%, will get still another from 50% to 35%, a total deduction of 60% in their taxes. The amount the average taxpayer will receive will be in the pennies. Once the flat tax is in effect, then the taxes can be raised and then the tax will no longer be based on ability to pay.
ROGER E. WILLIAMS