Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" lists 10 items that his society needed, and one of them was a heavily progressive income tax ["Debates give Romney a life preserver," Opinion, Sept. 23]. Marx could have written our tax code. The United States has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world. Progressive tax systems tax those in lower-income categories at lower percentages.

Progressive tax systems really redistribute income from the higher-income taxpayers, and it always seemed to make sense. Those who earn more should pay more toward running the federal government.

However, since the introduction of the earned income tax credit, the progressivity of our system displays irrational redistribution. For example, 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. These taxpayers not only forgo federal taxes, they get a bonus.

The citizenry is used to this socialistic approach. Why should the idea of Social Security, Medicare or universal health care cause any concern about socialism? We have been spoon-fed these socialistic ideas since 1913, when the progressive income tax laws were passed.

The citizenry needs to have a conversation about the different systems that could be established to run this country, because we are running out of time and money. A $16-trillion debt is growing every second. A government with huge debt equates to national weakness.

I hope that American voters think hard about the choices.

Catherine Finelli, Bellmore

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Editor's note: The writer is an income tax preparer and a retired business education teacher.