Death And Taxes Take On New Meaning

To The Reader’s Forum:

There’s a saying that the only two sure things in life are death and taxes.

As to death, two gun-related incidents occurred recently — 58 killed in Las Vegas and 26 killed in Texas by lone gunmen with legally-obtained assault-style rifles. In both cases, the only criminal part was the actual shooting. (Ask the Texans victims if it matters whether the shooter should have obtained a weapon.) So, noting that most gun-related mass murders are conducted using legal weapons, and the shooter can’t be stopped before a killing spree, the reality is current gun control laws are insufficient.

Regarding “justice”, how do you make amends to the victims, both dead and surviving? Prayer is, unfortunately, an impractical response since it offers no help for the dead and no solution to the prevention of future murders. There can be no post-shooting “justice” for the criminal when a shooter commits suicide.

Buying into the false argument that if only more people had guns there would be less loss of life, is like saying you save money when you buy things on sale. In reality, with the latter you simply spend less and in the former many people still die unnecessarily.

One equation of mass murder is simple: person (shooter) plus assault-style weapons. If you can’t take the person out of the equation, the only modification is through the weapon. Because no one seems willing to consider the weapon, we fall into the definition of insanity by doing the same things over and over but expect a different result. We must stop the insanity!

In addition to death, there are taxes. Based on current proposals in Congress, the Republicans intend to make tax cuts to corporations and business permanent, but those affecting most Americans are temporary. Excuse me, but aren’t people permanent? Further, business owners much like the President himself will end up paying less in taxes than they do now (how much do you and will you pay, Mr. Trump?).

That said, my two-person, retired-income household will pay more in taxes after comparing the current exemption/deduction rule with the proposed near-doubling of the standard deduction and an increase in the lowest tax rate! I suspect that most lower-middle income people who already file the simplest tax returns using the simplest rules will be the ones who lose. Mr. Trump, I thought you said we’d be sick of “winning”. All I feel is sick.

Paul L. Demler