Unfair Taxes

September 16, 1990

Editor: I must respectfully take issue with the opinions and demeanor of Barry Rascovar's Aug. 25 column. In the first part, Mr. Rascovar accuses ''candidates'' and several named legislators of ''cowardice'' and lack of backbone because ''they refuse to tell voters the truth'' about Maryland's tax structure.

He then proceeds to cite the ''truth'' he wants told, i.e., that income tax is not ''progressive'' enough. ''A postal worker earning $25,000 per year pays 7.5 percent ... to the state. But an entrepreneur earning $250,000 pays the same percentage. That's unfair.''

Really! One individual pays $1,875, the other $18,750. Presumably for the same services to each individual, one pays 1,000 per cent more than the other. I guess that is unfair.

Mr. Rascovar would reduce the postal worker to something less (5 percent?) and raise the ''entrepreneur'' to 9 percent. Now the ''entrepreneur'' pays $22,500 and the ''worker'' $1,250 a disparity of 1,800 percent. This is a move toward fairness?

In fact, all experienced legislators know there are a lot more ''postal workers'' than ''entrepreneurs'' and that is where the bulk of the money has to come from in any event. The problem is the ''postal worker'' vote is always far bigger than the ''entrepreneur'' vote -- at those numbers. But raise the $25,000 and lower the $250,000 by not so much and a lot of postal workers start thinking like entrepreneurs: Government ought to ''need'' less (of my money).

Our system calls that a constituency. It votes its pocketbook, ''fair'' or not. In it, R. Robert Linowes and Mr. Rascovar have one vote each.

Edward J. Birrane Jr.


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.