A Realistic Tax Code

To the Editor:

Yes, Senator Sanders et al are absolutely, 100 percent correct! It is time to eliminate deductions, tax credits, loopholes and special programs that are limited to a privileged group oftaxpayers. It is time to make sure that those that pay zero taxes are forced to pay at least some minimum level of taxes. It is time to eliminate special treatment that allows certain individuals to pay a tax rate that is lower than that of a secretary. It is time for politicians to stop listening to lobbyists in their pursuit of tax code modifications that benefit only a portion of taxpayers.

Yes, all of the above needs be applied to the RICH, be they individuals or corporations. All of the above also needs to be applied to the POOR and MIDDLE-CLASS taxpayers.

There are corporations and individuals in the top 1% of taxpayers that pay absolutely NO taxes whatsoever. The bottom 50% of taxpayers also pays NO taxes whatsoever.

The top one percent of taxpayers has tax shelters, tax credits and deductions that no one else can take advantage of. The bottom 35 percent of taxpayers qualifies for the earned income tax credit that the top 65 percent do not enjoy and they don't have to pay dollar one of taxes to get it.

If we are going to remove deductions, tax credits, loopholes and special programs, let's do it across the board -- for ALL income levels.

Let's set the tax rates so ALL income earners have to pay some level of taxes! The middle- and upper- income brackets have had to suffer the Alternate Minimum Tax (ATM) for years. Let's replace the ATM with a minimum level of taxes (say 5%) that all levels of income earners have to pay as a base.

We will never be able to get rid of the lame tradition of progressive tax rates, but at least let's make sure that ALL income levels have some skin in the game.

For too long, less than half of the income earners in this country have had to carry the other half.

Some upper-level income earners and the bottom 50 percent income earners have paid ZERO taxes for years.

It's time for everyone to share the pain, not just the middle-level income earners.

Respectfully submitted,

Todd Leadbeater

St. Johnsbury, Vt.

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