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   In reading Ben Franklin's autobiography one comes across a harvest of common sense.  One area that is appropriate to recount today is his view on taxes.  Franklin was engaged in the creation of a lending library of friends and in encouraging other people to found libraries as he felt the benefits of reading and education to be a necessary foundation for a virtuous life and a peaceful, productive and well ordered society.  IN 1736 he was chosen to be the clerk of the General Assembly of Massachusetts and was offered the postmaster-general position in 1737 after he had well filled his duties as clerk.  As he had become familiar with the public responsibilities of those paid for public service, he noted that the collection of fees to cover the cost of night security was not well supervised, being a service provided by a constable who was paid by homeowners to secure the streets if they could not volunteer themselves.  The constable collected the same fee from widows, the poorer workers and the wealthy no matter how valuable a house or great the estate.  
    Franklin investigated and found that the constable hired "ruffians" and men of questionable backgrounds to patrol the streets and this tended to discourage honest and sober men from doing their duty, having to thus share the watch with distasteful men and their antics.  Franklin complained to his friends and the responsible town's people that the inequality of the fee pressed unfairly on the poor and should be instead  assessed as to the ability of each householder to pay by his or her income and wealth.   He felt that by a proper fee so assessed the town could hire honest men to provide a professional and responsible service to the community.
    Franklin's position should be revised in the present discussion of America's inequality.  We need a new tax structure that returns to a fair levy as in Eisenhower's Presidency of 90% for the wealthy and a more effective IRS means of discovering tax avoidance.  IRS budgets have not kept up with tax fraud and evasion and their computers and investigation software are obsolete (http://money.cnn.com/...).

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