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More legalized plunder

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Columnist Walter E. Williams (July 11) condemns legalized plunder, taxing some people for the benefit of others. He says two-thirds to three-fourths of our budget is legalized plunder.

He might have mentioned a little-known form of plunder that some people call corporate welfare: granting millions of dollars in tax breaks to businesses, mostly big businesses, for something they call "economic development." They never say what they mean by that. If these tax breaks create "economic development," why can't we afford to abolish the sales tax on food? Apparently "economic development" is a euphemism for "doing nothing." Corporations are not held accountable for the tax breaks they get, which is at the expense of every taxpayer in the state.

Mr. Williams says that sometimes legalized plunder is done in the name of the poor. Does he mean, for example, food stamps? Most people on food stamps are the working poor. Pay them a living wage, and they won't need food stamps.

Those who say that taxes should be spent for the benefit of the rich but not the poor are saying this land is the rich man's, not the poor man's. So when they talk of freedom, they mean "freedom for me but not for you."

Leon Johnson

Salt Lake City