Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Start addressing state’s regressive tax system

Letter by Gray Sterling, Lakewood on Oct. 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm | 8 Comments »
October 20, 2010 4:49 pm

Re :‘Wealthy guys differ on income tax” (TNT, 10-12).

I attended the debate between Bill Gates Sr. and Slade Gorton on I-1098, and among the various slides and gobs of facts and figures that were confusingly tossed out at the audience from both sides, one of the statements from Matt McIlwain, of the opposing side, did stick out. “Were not even saying, ‘No income tax, ever.’ We’re saying not this income tax.” In listening to this, what I expected to hear next was a description or outline of how an alternative income tax would be structured if he and others in opposition could have their way.

In light of the fact that the purpose of the opposition in this debate was to merely poke holes through as many of the arguments made for the passage of the initiative, (however shallow they may have been), I couldn’t help but ponder the thought that if I were in opposition’s shoes, I would want to appeal to the majority of the voters in the room who have the least to lose from their wallets and the most to gain from better public education and a move towards a less regressive tax system should I-1098 be implemented. McIlwain failed in doing this by not providing the slightest insight to an alternative income tax system.

In a state that has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation and has seen drastic cuts to education, I’m not necessarily saying “yes” to this income tax initiative, I’m asking if not this, then what?

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