, Newburyport, MA


April 5, 2012

A question of taxes

To the editor:

I know a person who is enjoying a very comfortable lifestyle in an upper income bracket who has resentment toward the fact that 47 million people in this country do not pay income taxes, while he does. I said to him, "They do not pay taxes because they do not have any money."

There are millions of seniors living on small Social Security checks who have worked hard all of their lives, but their wages did not allow them to save or invest for retirement. There are millions of people who because of disabilities can't pay taxes, although some do. Millions of people work hard every day for minimum wages that can't even meet the basic needs of shelter, food and utility bills. Sometime they have to work two and three jobs just to get by from week to week and still do not make enough money to pay income taxes. Many employers only hire part-time workers because they can't afford the benefits and health insurance a full-time employee requires. There are tens of thousands of homeless people and sad to say, our veterans, living in tents, shelters or on the street that do not pay taxes.

I count myself lucky that I'm not one of them.

Millions of people lost their jobs to overseas slave labor, cannot find another job, and are in desperate circumstances. Former middle management positions were cut by the thousands and people, after searching for as long as two years, still couldn't find a job — lost everything and ended up living in their cars. Life can throw anyone a curve ball at any minute in drastic ways. They cannot pay income taxes.

Companies and people that make their wealth from the misery and deaths of work slaves are immoral. The news exposed workers in fire-trap garment factories working for 22 cents per hour have repeatedly died in these factory fires. If I had millions, I would take Warren Buffet's position that he would be willing to pay more taxes and help those less fortunate than himself. I believe that everyone should strive to be self-sufficient, work hard and stand on their own two feet — but not take the position of "every man for himself, sink or swim!"

Beverly Brown


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