A recent letter writer, in "Redistribution has gone too far" [Oct. 7], misunderstands both progressive income taxes and socialism.

Progressive tax rates are not in themselves redistribution of wealth. The rates are a way to make those who can most afford it be taxed more than those who can less afford it.

Redistribution of wealth is not socialism. Karl Marx believed that redistribution of wealth through progressive tax rates would facilitate the advent of socialism. That was one of Marx's 10-point program that also included free public school education for children and a central bank.

Marx got so much wrong about the economics of capitialism, it should come as no surprise that he got this wrong too. Socialism requires the elimination of private property and the creation of a centralized command-control economy. Progressive income taxes do not lead to these outcomes and cannot lead to socialism.

Has our progressive tax system gone too far in places? Perhaps, but calling it socialism is like calling a muffin a chair. I would imagine if enough people call a muffin a chair, someone will try and sit on it, but it won't support you, nor your argument.

Kenneth Cusick, Bayside

This letter states, "it is now the law that families with three children, where the parents are married and filing jointly, can receive nearly $6,000 back if they earn less than $49,078 per year." This is the earned income tax credit.

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This is a misleading statement. Not every filer below $49,078 would receive that amount. Depending on income, the refund amount starts at $11.

The maximum amount of $5,751 is for the working poor. It has, in my memory, never been targeted by politicians for abolition or even reduction.

Jerry Schreibersdorf, Douglaston

Editor's note: The writer is a tax preparer.