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June 25, 2003   



FOWL PLAY: We've taken our own shots at the Wall Street Journal editorial page's ludicrous contention that the working poor are "Lucky Duckies" because they don't have much of a tax burden (click here for the latest version of the Journal's argument). But this Journal letter writer--a self-described member of the Lucky Duckie club--puts it better than we ever could:

I am one of those lucky duckies, referred to in your June 3 editorial "Even Luckier Duckies" who pay little or nothing in federal income tax (at least by the standards of Wall Street Journal editors; $800 is more than a chunk of change to me). I am not, however, a stingy ducky, and I am willing to share my good fortune with others.

In this spirit, I propose a trade. I will spend a year as a Wall Street Journal editor, while one lucky editor will spend a year in my underpaid shoes. I will receive an editor's salary, and suffer the outrage of paying federal income tax on that salary. The fortunate editor, on the other hand, will enjoy a relatively small federal income tax burden, as well as these other perks of near poverty: the gustatory delights of a diet rich in black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, chickpeas and, for a little variety, lentils; the thrill of scrambling to pay the rent or make the mortgage; the salutary effects of having no paid sick days; the slow satisfaction of saving up for months for a trip to the dentist; and the civic pride of knowing that, even as a lucky ducky, you still pay a third or more of your gross income in income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes.

I could go on and on, but I am sure your editors are already keen to jump at this opportunity to join the ranks of the undertaxed. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pier Petersen

posted 5:30 p.m.

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