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CONSUMERS ULTIMATELY PAY ALL TAX

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Gerald Durtschi (Forum, May 6) might consider rereading his economics text. Better yet, instead of a text from the Keynesian school of economics - as most school texts are - he might find one from the Austrian school, led in its early years by Ludwig von Mises, that will give him a more realistic outlook on economic life.

He thinks corporations should "pay their fair share" of taxes because corporations are like people - business entities formed under government laws. He believes that corporations "should pay taxes as . . . other individuals do." But corporations are not individuals. Corporations are not people. They have some of the legal privileges of people, but not all of them. Corporations, for instance, cannot be put in jail.Taxes are always - always - paid by consumers. All taxes paid by any business entity are passed on to their customers. Taxes are added to the price of the goods they sell. They have to be; there is no other source. If the corporation did not have taxes as a business expense, like any other business expense, they would use that money for future expansion to hire more employees, or give the money to the stockholders or reduce their prices - as competition would require. What else could they do with the money? Oh, yes, they sometimes give a pittance to charity.

Mr. Durtschi tells us that corporations should cut the salaries of their chief executive officers so they could then pay the tax. But those salaries - almost as high as those of basketball players - are a minuscule percentage of the total operating expense of the corporations, so that would not pay much tax.

If the money is given to the stockholders, these people have a double tax load - the corporate tax and the personal tax. This is one reason why some business owners do not incorporate. They do not want the double tax load.

Mr. Durtschi must not own any stock because he thinks double taxation is fair.

Mr. Durtschi takes the usual socialist approach - corporate profit is evil and should be soaked to the maximum. In fact, I'm surprised that he did not propose that all corporate profit should be taken in taxes - for the good of the nation, of course.

Robert W. English

Salt Lake City