Letters to the Editor

Loren Hintz: Right tax, wrong use

Regarding the Jan. 9 column “ The gas tax we need”: Charles Krauthammer is right that we need to raise the federal gasoline tax to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, but he is wrong to use it to reduce Social Security taxes.

A federal (and increased state) gasoline tax will provide needed revenues for repairing bridges and roads, supporting public transportation, improving pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure and reducing the federal debt.

Unless the private sector changes and provides traditional pensions, Social Security will be the only retirement income most Americans will receive. Right now Social Security taxes stop at $117,000. All levels of income should be taxed. This would go a great way for keeping the Social Security fund solvent and make sure seniors have a retirement income.

As your article about illness in the workplace in the fall and the recent news about the flu made clear, it is time for all employers to be required to offer sick leave with pay. If employees have health insurance and can receive sick pay, they can stay home when sick and everyone can be healthier.

Contrary to Krauthmammer’s statements, government programs are vital and need to be funded. Taxes can do that.

Loren Hintz

Chapel Hill