Loading...
 

Letters to the Editor - October 05 2005

Best of the best

??
Your Best of Atlanta issue was hilarious (Sept. 29)! Especially the "Giant ant farm," "Marta to buy Delta," "Stripper reveals," "Road mutilated" stories. I hope you keep up these hard-hitting local news features. Lord knows we have too few news outlets in whom we can trust to provide the truth.

??
-- Tom West, Atlanta

??
Creative Loafing should be ashamed of portraying one of Georgia's top political leaders as an unaccomplished sideshow (Best of Atlanta, "Critics' Pick for Best Local Celebrity: Vernon Jones," Sept. 29). Your slanderous reporting is parallel to the harassing nature of the paparazzi that choose only to report accusations of impropriety because gossip is far more interesting than the truth of a man's great political accomplishments. Every morning, Vernon Jones, a great politician, wakes up to face another day of media scrutiny — he does this humbly for the people for whom he serves.

??
-- Nicole Blackshear, Atlanta

??
Do I get a framed cover or a plaque (Best of Atlanta, Poets, Artists & Madmen, "Amazing ATLiens")? Just kidding.

??
I was really humbled by the good company I am keeping with John and Sue Wieland. Thank you to all Creative Loafing staff who supported Art in Freedom Park.

??
-- Evan Levy, Atlanta

??
Where's the Pothole Posse?

??
Thank God for pointing the dirty end of the stick at Shirley (News & Views, "Pockmarked politics," Sept. 29). It is amazing, as the story points out, that she turned the other cheek to focus on the sewers.

??
Let's be clear about the problem there first, however. Engineers design, then "crews" build them. I find it hard to believe that after several years of municipalities building new sewers out to the sprawling 'burbs, that the engineers haven't figured out how to seal the damn things.

??
Is it simply the case here that "Shirley said so, because she wants more tax revenue to misallocate"?

??
When the goons who build them screw up, everyone suffers.

??
The point? Put some skilled people in charge of constructing the sewers (or rebuilding them, in this case) and maybe water won't leak out and wash away all the dirt that's holding the freaking roads up. Maybe then we can see if she will actually fix the streets.

??
-- Chris Frey, Atlanta

??
Where'd you get your numbers?

??
Your source for your information on the fair tax, Allen Buckley, is a tax lawyer (Humbug Square, "Fair tax a sham," Sept. 1). Aren't his comments on the fair tax a conflict of interest? The only people besides the politicians who might be adversely effected by the fair tax are the tax lawyers and accountants whose services — helping the rest of us wade through the impossibly murky waters of the current tax code — would no longer be needed with the fair tax.

??
Some of your comments in your column are factually incorrect.

??
You write that the authors say that "consumers will pay an embedded personal consumption tax in the amount of 23 percent on all goods and services sold at the retail level." The authors say that consumers not "will," but currently are paying those embedded taxes; their proposal would eliminate them in exchange for a one-time (thus, not embedded) national retail sales tax.

??
You write, "The tax is not 23 percent, Buckley explains. It's 30 percent."

??
The bill calls for a 23 percent national retail sales tax, not 30 percent. (Linder's actual bill states, "SEC. 101. IMPOSITION OF SALES TAX. (1) FOR 2005 — In the calendar year 2005, the rate of tax is 23 percent of the gross payments for the taxable property or service.") I don't know where you and Buckley are getting 30 percent. Of course, with the local taxes (8 percent in Atlanta), the actual total retail tax would be 31 percent. But the fair tax is a proposal to amend the NATIONAL tax, not state and local, as the authors make very plain.

??
-- Chad Carlson, Atlanta

??
Doug Monroe replies: The statement that "consumers will pay an embedded personal consumption tax in the amount of 23 percent on all goods and services at the retail level" is a direct quote from the Boortz/Linder book (p. 76). The 30 percent figure, which is mentioned on p. 153, is the actual sales tax rate that Boortz and Linder advocate, because sales taxes normally are expressed as percentages in addition to the untaxed price.

??
Boortz and Linder take the novel approach of computing their proposed tax as part of the post-tax price. That way, the tax they're proposing can appear as a lower percentage.

??
By adding the embedded number of 23 percent to Atlanta's current tax rate of 8 percent, Carlson is adding together apples and oranges, and showing that he's one of many readers confused by Boortz and Linder's misleading method.

??
However you count them, Boortz and Linder's numbers are suspect to start with. Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation says a national sales tax would have to be nearly twice as high to be revenue neutral.