Value-Added Tax Is Better Than a Consumption Tax

Regarding the Economy page article "Don't Tax Income, Tax Consumption," July 31: The author's consumption tax (top down) does not create a win-win deal. In fact it creates many of the same nightmares the average American now deals with regarding the filing of taxes each year.

On the other hand the value-added tax (bottom up) makes life simpler for the tax payer and the government alike. The government would only have to audit businesses to be sure that the correct amount of value-added taxes were forwarded on schedule. Tax payers would only pay a built in value-added tax on everything purchased including food and never have to file another year-end tax form.

So if the politicians want to keep their jobs it would seem prudent to serve the "special interests" of the United States citizens rather than of special-interest groups. Because the alternative is in no one's interest. Guy Powers, New York

Economists tell us that two-thirds of our GDP, the accepted measure of economic health, is consumer purchasing. That's why other economists offer ideas to increase consumption to save our faltering economy. But with so many homes today equipped with several personal computers, televisions, stereos, walkmans, and automobiles, what more can the American people possibly purchase?

We cannot possibly consume our way to economic well-being as it is now defined. Neither will more consumption nor greater savings repair our highways, rebuild our bridges, improve our schools, or clean our air and water. We need a new definition of and a measure for our own economic health.

Continued tinkering with tax codes is useless until we have a national consensus on what we want to do with our vast capability of skilled people and resources and then develop plans to do it. Robert W. Zimmerer, Longmont, Colo. Florida's economy

As a Florida resident, I take exception to the analysis of Florida given in the news article "The State of the Economy ... and the Presidential Election," July 28. The jobs currently available in Florida are at very low pay with few benefits.

First Union Bank has contributed to the unemployment problem with its acquisition of Southeast Bank. Large numbers of Southeast employees retained by First Union have taken pay cuts.

With the failure of Eastern Airlines, Pan Am, and Southeast Bank, the Miami area, which is the highest populated metropolitan area in Florida, has an unemployment rate of about 10 percent - one of the highest in the country. Nancy E. Kuhn, Coral Gables, Fla. Rent control

The news article "Controversial Rent Control Falters," August 4, is but one example of how government control hurts everyone involved.

Place yourself in the position of an owner of a rental house under rent control. If the government arbitrarily limits the amount of income owners receive, yet does nothing to control their costs, including taxes, maintenance, and insurance, one soon realizes that owning rental housing is a money-losing proposition. And in our market economy, who wants to lose money?

Even the bureaucrats eventually realize they cannot legislate everything. Donald Bradley, Plainfield, N.H.

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