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President Barack Obama’s statement (“Obama appeals to public on debt,” article, July 17) that the wealthiest must “pay their fair share” should appeal to everyone, even the wealthiest, no? Why shouldn’t everybody who has an income and who votes pay their fair share?

So how is “fair share” determined? Well, to me it doesn’t seem unreasonable that the more one gets in income, the more one pays in taxes. If everybody paid the same percentage of their income as an income tax, that would be fair. In that way the more you make, the more tax you pay. But, of course, that is not the present situation because a sizable percentage of those receiving income — 50 percent, by some estimates — pay no income tax, whereas the more one makes, the higher percentage of the income is paid in income tax. So, if the wealthiest are not paying their fair share now at 36 percent of their taxable income versus zero percent for the least wealthy, what would be “fair”?

Obama proposes 39 percent for now, but how about next year, since his only criterion of fair — for the wealthy — is, apparently, “more”? But, for everybody else, “fair” means “less.” Wow, that sounds really good — well, for almost everybody. At least, if you just stop thinking at this point and not where it is heading and how it can be stopped.

TV pundits quote different results from different polls on how the public favors alleviating the deficit and the debt. Some suggest that a large majority are in favor of raising taxes, while others suggest a majority oppose any increase in taxes. To me, it seems obvious that no one wants his own taxes raised but most would readily support raising the taxes of somebody else whom they can refer to as “fat cats” or other pejorative terms.

Obama and other liberals with an anti-capitalist ideology don’t seem to understand or care that a capitalist society can’t function very well without sufficient capital to invest and that, the more the government soaks up out of the economy, the less there is to invest. Nor do they understand why the present access to capital is now so restricted — partially as a result of increased regulation and partially as a lack of confidence in the economy. They seem to think it is “lack of patriotism” on the part of those — such as bankers and fund managers — who control the flow of capital into investments that would create jobs.

Frank Leitnaker

Bruchmuehlbach-Miesau, Germany

Ombudsman right on forums

Stars and Stripes ombudsman Mark J. Prendergast nailed it. In his July 19 column “Sex, Drugs and Stars and Stripes,” he correctly described the potential level of negligence on the part of Stars and Stripes management with respect to the pages on forums.stripes.com. An investigation is warranted — not for punitive purposes, but to ensure that no other similar pages still exist and to prevent future misappropriation of resources.

Richard Briggs

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea


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