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27 December 2004 - Orange County Register

Has fact-checking gone the way of the dodo these days? Monday’s letters had two glaring errors that just can’t go without correction.

Abby Winston states specifically that a 40- to 50-year investment in stocks have yielded a 6% return, and questions the intelligence of taking the risks inherent in the stock market when Social Security is 100% guaranteed. She’d have a point except that the overall stock market has, year-over-year since before the Great Depression, returned an average of 11% per year – with index funds like the S&P 500 and Russell 2000, considered some of the safest investments possible, more often than not outperforming the overall market.

Michael Friedman questions Walter Williams and supporters of HR 25’s national sales tax, asserting that a 30% sales tax would hit low- and middle-income families the hardest. What he’s missing is that this has already been addressed: HR 25 provides a prepaid monthly rebate to cover the sales tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level – in 2004 that would have been $471/month for a family of four. That adds up to low-income families retaining more purchasing power than under the income tax.

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