The Chicago Tribune's columnist Steve Chapman wrote on Thursday 19 April that in this election year many voters “...won't learn the most rudimentary facts about the people running for office and the policy issues they will have to address.”
Has Mr. Chapman considered that the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United states shows 73% of all federal taxes received in 2010 came from employers' bank accounts, not voters'? Ninety per cent of voters are wage earners, and since the 1937 Social Security act and the 1943 Current Tax Payment act, employers have been required to 'withhold' those payments and write checks on their bank accounts to the federal government. If the checks don't get to the Treasury, the employer goes to jail, never the wage earner.
Where do employers get this money? They add it to the cost of their products, thus alleged wage earner income taxes are actually a silent, effectively painless, national sales tax.
But there are millions of voters, each with fistfulls of pay stubs saying "You paid ..." – they want their social security, their medicare, their food stamps, their unemployment benefits, all those government handouts. Who do you think they will vote for?
Is there a way to fix this scam? Sure: Get a majority of the House of reps, 60 Senators, and a President with backbone enough to change the US Tax code from "every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages a tax..." to "every employer making payment of wages shall pay all of those wages to the employee...." The employer would still calculate the tax, including a note: "Here is what the feds are expecting you personally to send in within 30 days"
Returning to voters the responsibility of writing checks to fund the government might help them reach Steve Chapman's admirably high goals stated in his first paragraph: ”...carefully following the campaigns, finding out all we can about the candidates' proposals and pondering what issues are most vital for the nation's future.”
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI