Bragging about failure

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A recent article in the Perspective section of the Sun Journal, July 8, profiled area legislators, labeling them for, or against, tax reform. The “tax reform” was a recent bill that would have shuffled tax rates, exacting more taxes from sales taxes and less from income taxes.

That is not tax reform.

That mislabeling reminds me of an Abraham Lincoln story, in which Lincoln proposed to a friend that they call a horse’s tail a leg, and asked how many legs would the horse have. Lincoln answered his own question by explaining the horse would still have four legs – merely calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it so.

One profile stated the state budget was passed with a bipartisan effort, only 3.7 percent over the previous budget. However, our state is usually the first or second most highly taxed in the nation. Currently, we pay, on a per capita basis, around 14 percent of income to state and local taxes.

Only Vermont pays more, one-tenth of 1 percent more. New Hampshire is the second least-taxed state at 7.5 percent. That is a difference of 6.5 percent. For an individual fortunate enough to earn $40,000 a year, that represents a savings of $2,600 each year. That would fund an IRA, and then some.

Sadly, as a state, our officials maintain these high taxes.

More sadly, they do so with a bipartisan effort, and then brag about it.

Dick Sabine, Lewiston

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