To the editor:

Ever since I can remember, my father used to always say something to the effect of, "There we go again, giving to other countries to help them whenever they want help.

"And do we ever get our money back? Of course not. Every country knows the United States will give and give and give and never get back. It's not right. Who's going to step up to the plate and help us when we need help?"

Well, the time has come. We could use some help, maybe by getting back some of the money that we've given other countries over the last 50 years.

But do you see them lining up to offer assistance? I don't.

Since it doesn't seem that our Republicans nor Democrats, can decide how to stabilize and keep our economy strong, an idea that isn't all that new but hasn't gotten the type of notoriety it deserves is a national sales tax.

Many may not like it because it means that we all might have to tighten our purse strings and not be able to buy as much as cheap as we have in the past. But think of the alternatives — a losing economy, a higher income tax with too many loopholes, deductions for too many people who either don't deserve it or need it, still no meaningful assistance from any other country and the dollar not being worth as much as it should be.

A new kind of federal tax is being proposed by Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar that would radically change the way you and I pay taxes.

This proposal is a retail sales tax and would eliminate the federal income tax and all the withholdings, exemptions and paperwork that go with it. Instead, it would adopt a national sales tax much like state sales taxes already in use across the country.

Consumers would pay the tax whenever they make a retail purchase.

The overall strategy is this: instead of taxing what people earn, the government would tax what people spend to encourage savings and investment, with the initial idea of that tax being 17 percent.

What are the advantages of a national sales tax?

It would eliminate the income tax.

There would be no tax forms for citizens to fill out.

It would eliminate the need for the IRS. Tax revenues could be handled by the Treasury.

It would be administered just like current state sales taxes.

All taxes would be collected by retail businesses as they sell goods and services.

It would be very compatible with ever increasing electronic transactions like credit cards etc.

It would tax all citizens at the same rate so that only those who spent more would pay more taxes.

It would encourage savings and investment.

JOHN INGERMAN

Rockport

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