Two weeks ago I submitted my 2004 taxes. Like many other Americans I have avoided, reduced or deferred paying taxes by making contributions to a 401(k), a SEP, a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, tax-free municipal bonds, a medical savings account and a Charitable Remainder Trust. George Bush just spent 60 days of his presidency flying around the country telling us we need to hamstring Social Security to provide yet another way to reduce, avoid or defer paying taxes. That's like telling us it's critical to provide more rain for Astorians.

Arthur D. Monson