April 16, 2003
must help the working poor
I read in our paper that “Quick Tax Loans Cost Taxpayers
almost $2 Billion”. Further, these check cashing
fees add to the cost of getting tax refunds and loans.
And the worst part is that these fees are targeted at the
working poor. What kind of integrity is this? What is the
thinking of those who prepare the taxes for the working
poor as well as those who make available their financial
institutions to assist in carrying out this high cost activity?
Is everything about money, no matter who is taken advantage
Dear Concerned Citizen:
You have raised an issue that is central to the integrity
of our society. We are supposed to protect those who
cannot protect themselves. And, our society is judged
by how we respond to those at high risk.
working poor are an admirable segment of our society.
At one time or another, most of us had immigrant ancestors
who came to the United States of America as “the
working poor” and found independence and success;
economic and otherwise. Working poor means that these
are individuals not asking for a “pass” – they
have taken a job and they are contributing. They work
in hopes of finding what Americans have always dreamed
about, a better life through effort, sacrifice and commitment.
Taking advantage of this group is awful.
Having done research about this tax-refund and loan
process, where a number of tax preparation organizations,
some being quite large, and certain financial institutions
charge high fees and interest rates, it is difficult
not to be appalled. Their leaders respond that if they
did not supply these expensive services, then someone
else would. Whether they are right or wrong, we should
be thoughtful in hurrying to find a scapegoat. Blaming
accountants and bankers is not productive. The solutions
lie in the hands of those who regulate these types of
actions, namely, our government officials.
an upward success path for the working poor of our
society, they are left with little hope and motivation.
If you feel, as I do, that this callous manipulation
of our emerging work force is wrong, then contact the
Attorney General’s office in your state. Unless
free markets (in this case, the tax preparers and their
collaborating financial institutions) are willing to
regulate themselves, then governments must. If what is
being done is legal, then find out how to change the
laws. Right now, in these harsh times, we all need one
Preying on the working poor, reducing an already small
amount of money that is rightfully theirs, by taking
advantage of their lack of knowledge and sophistication,
says allot about the character and integrity of those
who know the ropes and utilize the loopholes.