Letter: ‘Thought it was April Fool’s joke’

To the editor:

As I began reading the op-ed piece, “Tax the Poor”, I thought it was someone’s idea of an April Fool’s joke. As I read further, I realized that Krinkie is dead serious.

Krinkie seems to have forgotten the phrase “to whom much is given, much is also expected.” This concept is behind the idea of a progressive income tax. Krinkie’s version is much simpler -- “soak the poor because I don’t want to pay in proportion to my blessings.”

The “flat tax” sounds like a wonderful thing, especially when you still have significant money after paying rent, heat, lights, and other necessary living expenses. When the price of existence requires two wage earners to cover it, then the flat tax truly is an unfair burden.

If the Taxpayers League insists on soaking the poor with taxes, they should be lobbying to increase the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour. This would increase revenue from the very constituency that Mr Krinkie would like to tax, while allowing them to rely less on food stamps, subsidized healthcare and subsidized housing.

Mr Krinkie observes that the poor use more government services than the wealthy. He is right on this. A living minimum wage would reduce the amount that the poor depend on government programs such as subsidized housing, reduced cost health care and food stamps.

With a living wage as the minimum wage, the stress of taxes would be decreased, despite the fact that their tax burden is still a larger portion of their true cost of living, than for the $250,000 income earner. At least with a living minimum wage, the poor might feel privileged to be soaked, and Phil could keep feeling smug.

Rex Schultrich
St. Paul

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