Letters to the Editor

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TAXES: Where’s the shared sacrifice?

Letter by Stephen Hemmert, Tacoma on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:17 am with No Comments »
December 31, 2012 1:54 pm

Part of the proposed changes to the federal budget is to use a concept called “Chained Consumer Price Index” to compute cost-of-living increases for recipients of Social Security, veterans benefits and g0vernment pensions. In short, the concept calls for reducing benefits because seniors and the disabled will be forced to choose to downgrade their purchases to lesser costs for basic items.

For example, seniors and the disabled will choose with less money to switch from a name-brand can of tuna to a store-brand of tuna, shop for clothing at Walmart rather than JC Penny, and so on. A lot of retirees are already eating store-brand tuna.

Is this shared sacrifice? If retirees and the disabled are well off, any increase in Social Security benefits will also be subject to income tax and recovered through taxation. Those too poor to file a tax return will not be penalized.

Why are grandparents called upon to make a sacrifice without their middle-class children also making a sacrifice? Why is the Child Tax Credit of $1,000 per child not on the fiscal table? This credit started at $400 per child. Are we not kicking the consequences of the fiscal deficit down the road to the grandchildren? Why can’t the Child Tax Credit be gradually reduced to zero over the same period of time it rose to $1,000?

I urge retirees and the disabled to write their members of Congress to make sure shared sacrifice is really shared by all.

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