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posted: 8/16/2014 5:01 AM

Taxes should be based on ability to pay

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The political attack ads that focus on how much money Bruce Rauner made last year and what he paid in taxes, etc., only highlight the underlying problem with our tax system. I'm sure Mr. Rauner paid what he was required to pay in federal and state taxes and no more. This is no different from you or I or Gov. Pat Quinn. No one wants to pay more than he or she has to in taxes.

Our tax system is broken in that it favors the rich and low-income individuals. The wealthy and corporations hire lawyers and accountants to find loopholes and "game" the system to pay less than their rightful share. Below a certain income level, no taxes are paid, though some percentage should be. No one should get a free ride.

The tax system was set up by (sometimes wealthy) politicians to garner support from the wealthy and votes from lower-paid minorities and workers. When I was young, I remember a maximum tax rate of 72 percent on high earners. That may be extreme, but taxation should be based on ability to pay. That means everyone making $15,000 or $15 million a year should be paying their fair share. If someone making $1 million a year can't survive on $500,000 a year, I don't feel sorry for him.

Alan Devereaux


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