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Businessweek Archives

Saved Or Enslaved By A Flat Tax?

Readers Report


If politicians, and the Republicans in particular, really want to have less federal government in our lives, as they say they do, then a pure flat tax is the only answer ("Tax reform is coming, sure. But what kind?" Government, June 12). A flat tax on the gross income of all businesses and individuals, with no deductions or credits, would free all to make decisions on spending, saving, and investing as they see fit. Without the false incentives that are written in our current tax codes, Americans would be free to set their own course for their economic futures. Currently, financial decisions are made in the pursuit of tax loopholes instead of the pursuit of the "American dream."

Walter C. Nichols


The article makes an inane defense of the attempts of the well-to-do to impose a federal consumption tax and/or a flat income tax on America. Adam Smith rightfully attacked taxes on the necessities of life as the most destructive of all taxes, and the American Revolution was fought mainly to free us of the consumption tax imposed by George III. Countries that rely on consumption taxes, such as banana republics, Britain, France, Italy, Russia, etc., have much higher unemployment rates than the U.S. and much lower standards of living.

It should be plain even to a politician that consumption taxes not only weigh heaviest on the poor but also cripple sales and consequently cripple production and investment more than any other taxes.

Stanley M. Sapiro

Malibu, Calif.

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