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To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
The basic principle of Hoover's stand on taxation is the better distribution of wealth. In short, there can be no equality of opportunity if the ownership of the tools of production and service is to become the property of a narrow group of holders. As regards the question of a high income tax, Hoover claims that theoretically it is a direct transfer of capital to income in the hands of the state and thus might be criticized as stifling the increase of capital. Practically this would be answered if the State applied such receipts to the extinction of the national debt or to reproductive expenditure in the improvement of national properties in rivers, lands, and so on, or to the advancement of education and Americanization.
On the other hand the use of increase in income taxes to secure a better distribution of wealth breaks down itself at a certain point because it discourages initiative and efforts in a far greater degree than does the use of inheritance taxes for such purposes. In like manner the use of excess profits taxes for this purpose or even for revenue--except as an emergency measure coupled with controlled prices--breaks down not only from the discouragement to initiative, but worse, because it stimulates rank waste and is in the main passed on to the consumer and contributes to the high cost of living.
In summary, Hoover's plan or ideal is the practicability of the lowering of taxes through the reduction of waste, the remainder to be borne by the classes most able to pay, but no class is to be so heavily burdened that its initiative or ambition is killed. R. J. BARNS Unc.
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