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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1996)
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
J. Christopher Haiti.Editor, 472-1766
Doug Kouma.Managing Editor
Doug Peters.Opinion Page Editor
Sarah Scalet. Associate News Editor
Matt Waite.Associate News Editor
Michelle Garner.Wire Editor
One knave’s plan
Flat tax equals bad fix for archaic system
The current tax code is a mess.
It includes five tax rates for different income levels, innumerable
loopholes and deductions, and more than 400 different forms. And
the rules are nearly incomprehensible and always changing.
Few Americans would disagree that the tax system needs revision.
But a flat tax is the wrong answer.
The flat tax proposed by Republican presidential candidate Steve
Forbes is very simple. After an initial deduction of $36,000, all
income would be taxed at a rate of 17 percent.
This flat tax would make the system simpler, but not better.
The rich would benefit the most under the Forbes plan. The current
39.6 percent rate on the highest earners would be cut by more than
half, and income from investment earnings, dividends and capital
gains would not be taxed at all. It’s no wonder Forbes, son of
publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes and the editor-in-chief of Forbes
magazine, is pushing his plan so hard.
The poor also would see some tax relief from this system because
families making less than $36,000 would pay no taxes at all.
The biggest losers under this plan, however, are already-strug
gling members of the middle class. Although the actual tax rate on
middle-income families would be reduced, many deductions would
Under the Forbes plan, no deductions would be allowed for
mortgage, interest or state and local taxes. Nor would it allow
deductions for charitable contributions. There would be no break on
the 15.3 percent Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, and
employers no longer would be able to deduct the cost of health and
The result would be that families with incomes between $30,000
and $90,000 would end up paying more.
The effects of a flat tax have not been fully explored by Forbes or
the other politicians offering flat tax proposals. Even though the
middle class would pay more, some economists have estimated that
a flat tax would result in as much as a $200 billion loss of revenue for
the federal government.
The tax system needs change. Changes should be designed to
make the system not only simpler, but also more equitable. The flat
tax fails on the second count.
Staff editorials represent the official
policy of the Spring 1996 Daily Ne
braskan. Policy is set by the Daily
Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editorials
do not necessarily reflect the views of
the university, its employees, the stu
dents or the NU Board of Regents.
Editorial columns represent the opin
ion of the author. The regents publish
the Daily Nebraskan. They establish
the UNL Publications Board to super
vise the daily production of the paper.
According to policy set by the regents,
responsibility for the editorial content
of the newspaper lies solely in the
hands of its students.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the
editor from all readers and interested others. Letters
will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity,
originality, timeliness and space available. The Daily
Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all material
submitted. Readers also are welcome to submit mate
rial as guest opinions. The editor decides whether
material should run as a guest opinion. Letters and
guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be re
turned. Anonymous submissions will not be pub
lished. Letters should include the author’s name, year
in school, major and group affiliation, if any. Re
quests to withhold names will not be granted. Submit
material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union,
1400 R St. Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
* I Suppose the fine article by Kristi
Kohl on choice in abortion (Jan. 30)
will be responded to by anti-choice
people. I anticipate several lines of
— That abortion is physically
dangerous to the woman. Actually,
it’s less dangerous than carrying the
fetus to maturity.
— That having an abortion some
times leads to bad psychological
effects, such as depression and
regret. But look at the alternatives —
even when pregnancy is wanted,
many mothers get postpartum
depression. And the struggles of
parenthood aren’t always pleasant,
either. For a woman who bears a
child and gives it up for adoption,
there might be longer-lasting
depression and remorse than if she
— That physicians want abortion to
be legal simply because they make
more money that way. Gynecologist
obstetricians, who perform abor
tions, make a lot more money if
there is a full-term pregnancy and
—That the abortifacient drug RU
486, now being considered for use
in the United States should not be
approved because it has side-effects.
All drugs have side effects, and it’s
up to the physician and the patient to
weigh the courses of action. It
should also be pointed out that a
patient can be treated with RU-486
in a doctor’s office, where no one
else need know her reason for being
there; then she wouldn’t have to
endure the taunts of anti-abortion
people, as she would when walking
into a clinic.
Not worth it
I would like to respond to an
article in the Jan. 16 issue of the
Daily Nebraskan. The article talked
about the issue of parking on
campus. The article stated the
problems of the parking for the
commuter lots, but at the same time
failed to tell of the problem that is
still present in the residential lots.
I live on campus, and-when I
come home at night it seems almost
impossible to find a parking space
after around nine or ten o’clock.
Last semester, I was in a design
studio for architecture, and I spent
most of my nights up at Architecture
Hall. When I came back, I never got
a parking spot in the area-three lots
where I had my permit. This permit
cost me over $70, and I paid this
money so I didn’t have to walk as
far from my car to the house. In the
end, I ended up never parking in that
lot because of the fact that I was
gone all the time. It just doesn’t
make any sense that we can pay for
a permit but never be able to park
The other thing that I would like
to discuss is where all the money
that we pay for the permits is going.
It just seems likely to me that some
big wig says he is going to raise the
price of permits so he can buy his
children a little something extra for
Christmas. In conclusion, it just
seems odd to me that we can pay
$70 for a piece of cement that we
may or may not be able to park in.
Try a new angle
I would like to commend you on
the fact that you haven’t been using
every opportunity to slander the
greek system this year. I have been
here for 3 1/2 years arid for the first,
time I have not felt like I am being
ostracized by your paper. I am a
member of Triangle Fraternity here
on campus, and the way greeks have
been represented in your publication
has, quite frankly, made me sick.
Last year, and especially the year
before, it seemed that your editori
als, articles and the letters-to-the
editor you printed blamed every
problem on this campus on the
Unfortunately, this writing did
nothing to help out this campus. On
the other hand, it did nothing but
make greeks feel like we should stop
making an effort to do anything to
help out. If people knew the truth
about what we stand for, they would
see that most of what you have
written about the greek system is
inaccurate, biased and slanderous.
Furthermore, there was not a single
article that talked about the good
things we do, not only for UNL, but
for various charities in Lincoln and
The fact of the matter is that the
greeks are a major part of this
campus. There are a lot of students
who would never make it through
college with their sanity if not for
the greek system. We provide a
sense of family and friendship for
students that can’t find it anywhere
else. If people would only stop to
look at the things we do, not only
for this campus but for the world out
side UNL, they would see that we are
much more involved than most of the
students on this campus.
Finally, for those of you that still
feel we are a plague on this campus,'
I have only one thing to say: If you
don’t like what we stand for, then
don’t come to our parties on the
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