Much has been said about the illegal taxes imposed on federal retirees and the burden of "pay back" placed on the shoulders of our state leaders. Through all of this rhetoric, one basic fact seems to be ignored and that is the issue of "illegal taxation."

This issue, I believe, rests at the very foundation of our free nation. It is closely associated to an incident that occurred Dec. 16, 1773, when our forefathers dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.This suit is not one private interest against another over some wrongful action. This is a suit by legitimate, hard-working, responsible people against their government because of illegally imposed taxes.

This is not a subjective attitude or belief on the part of the federal retirees but rather an issue of constitutionality.

The matter has been argued in the courts, appealed through the appellate courts and decided in both the U.S. and Utah supreme courts. The taxes were declared illegal and the courts have simply ordered the state to "pay back what you do not own."

I do not understand a governor or a legislator who would want to defy this order. The money does not belong to the state of Utah. The employment of divisive tactics, trickery or bartering with percentages causes me to question the integrity of the officials who represent us.

I can understand our leaders trying to find different ways or means of refunding the money such as tax credits, periodic payments, etc., but to pay back less than the amount owed indicated that our leaders are content to profit through illegal, unconstitutional taxation.

If this is the case, every Utah citizen should be scared to death. Next time, the taxation might be against an airline manufacturer, salt pump operators, truck drivers or miners. The practice of selective or targeted taxation is a dangerous and questionable practice.

All Utah citizens should be conscious of illegal taxation and be ready to take action against any government entity operating outside of constitutional parameters.

Thanks to the federal retirees for their action. I believe it has helped all of us. Our entire country is at extreme risk today because of waste and the heavy burden of taxation.

Harry V. Jones