A few years ago, I wrote to U.S. Rep. John Barrow. I asked his support for three issues that I thought important: saving Social Security; replacing the income tax with the Fair Tax; and building nuclear reactors for cleaner, cheaper energy.
Rep. Barrow denied that Social Security was going broke and did not want any changes, at least until the "very distant future." Social Security trustees now predict payout will exceed income by 2017, in the not-so-distant future.
He agreed that we should simplify and lower taxes, but thought the Fair Tax was not simple and shifted the burden from wealthy to middle incomes. The present system is incomprehensible and most people need a professional tax preparer. The Fair Tax, collected like sales tax, is obviously simpler, collected on consumption, and taxes the unreported and underground economy. Lower income taxpayers would be protected by receiving a rebate for basic necessities. Rep. Barrow is now running an ad that incorrectly charges election challenger Max Burns with wanting to impose a 23-percent tax increase.
Rep. Barrow did agree to study any legislation about nuclear power, but to only support something that, in his opinion, did not risk American lives or national security.
I am for Max Burns this fall, and I hope you are too.
C. Tom Sutherland, Augusta