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Reader: The money is there, so let's go after it

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It's a shame to watch the endless year-after-year struggle, as lawmakers and government planners on all levels fret and wrangle over who gets what in the next budget, amid conflicting and very legitimate claims for funds — highways, education, health care, prisons, and all the rest. They end up saying, "The money isn't there."

But the money is there, oodles and gobs of money. But they, and most folks reading this, are strangely reluctant to go and get it.

Eight men — most of them American — have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world's population. That's eight looking down on 3.6 billion folks who get the rest.

Yes, the mega-rich often give large amounts to charity, some of it to save on taxes. But they hoard vast gobs of moolah and thus falsify the theory of "trickle-down economics." Some of them invest in job-creating ventures, but look how much is still left.

What to do? The obvious answer is to raise taxes sky-high on the ultra-wealthy, but leave ordinary citizens alone. Another possibility is to pass laws against hoarding and levy a tax on estimated wealth. Of course the rich would try to hide their money, but they already do. So let's go after it.

Even if you don't want to tax the mega-wealthy, at least stop saying, "The money isn't there." It is there, and lots of it.

Some radical conservatives will say this is socialism. Indeed it is. Others will claim that "Socialism doesn't work." This news will come as a surprise to the folks in partially socialist nations like Canada, France, Norway, Costa Rica, Finland, New Zealand, etc.

— Larimore Nicholl, Colorado Springs

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