Great commentary in the June Outbound column on taxes and oil ("can't find the outrage? Let's stoke the fire," page 80). But I don't agree with your conclusions.
Regarding taxes, the smartest thing our government ever did was require employers to collect the taxes for it as opposed to what you suggest: forcing every wage earner to write the check. I do not think we would have a revolt; I just think most of the population would not write the check.
As for oil and gas prices, there is no shortage of fossil fuels—only limits on the ability to turn the oil into a useable product, i.e., refine it into gasoline. We run into the same problems with ethanol or fuels from trash. We need more refining capabilities, but like nuclear facilities, nobody wants them. ConocoPhillips is building a $5 billion refinery in Saudi Arabia. Why not on our own soil? Probably because we have too many environmental laws in this great country of ours. We must blame ourselves for our own predicament—something we're not good at.
Gregory S. Holder, Compliance Networks
I finally got around to finishing the June issue, and the Outbound column ("can't find the outrage? Let's stoke the fire") got my attention.
You are right: Ask most of us about our taxes, and the answer will be something on the order of "I got $1,500 back this year." Even those of us who know precisely how much was withheld from our paychecks last year may not realize that our total annual tax bill was not the $10,000 we saw on our 1040, but a sum 50 percent or more higher once you add the pass-through taxes we also paid.
My proposal is to abolish business taxes completely. In the end, all taxes are paid by us people because businesses only pass along taxes paid as expenses after gross income. I'd like to think that if we eliminated business taxes, at least everything I bought would be cheaper.
Tom Miller, Navis