Taxes are too low
One of the toughest battles in the 112th Congress is the issue of spending cuts vs. revenue increases. The GOP made it very clear that they want massive cuts in federal programs. The Republican-controlled House has approved the Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) plan to achieve this goal. Senate Democrats have rejected his plan. The “Biden talks,” led by Vice President Joe Biden, were searching for a compromise on this matter with a bipartisan group.
Democrats in congress, along with President Obama, have also made it clear that the federal government must increase it’s revenue to help reduce the $14.5 trillion debt. This will become the other tough issue. The GOP has the view that we should cut taxes, not increase them — this would create jobs.
David Clay Johnson, author of “Free Lunch,” said that this is “GOP nonsense.” He added that the tax intake of 14.8 percent of gross domestic product is the lowest in 60 years.
Johnson illustrated the following “sliding scale” income tax to prove his point: The highest rate of 91 percent was in place during the Eisenhower years. The rate dropped to 70 percent under JFK. Reagan reduced it to 50 percent. Clinton cut if to 39 percent. Under Bush-43, and now Obama, the top rate has been 36.6 percent. Paul Ryan’s plan called for lowering the corporate and income tax rates to 25 percent. Mr. Johnson stated that nobody ever actually pays taxes at those rates.
Democrats are calling for a return to the Clinton years. They also want congress to close corporate subsidies and end all tax loopholes.
My hero in the senate, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has said, “Enough , enough!” He called on President Obama to “be firm and stand your ground.” Polls have shown that Americans want ... shared sacrifice.
Anthony G. Pilla
Tax the rich more
I thank the Lindenwood Alliance who enabled us to attend the Monday July 11 meeting to hear, and the reporters present to inform readers about, three candidates vying for the vacated seats in the state Assembly and in Congress (“Candidates face off at Lindenwood civic,” July 14, multiple editions). I urge all registered voters to go to the primary in September and to vote in November. It is most important, as candidate Jane Deacy said, that everyone know civics and votes with full knowledge for the best candidates.So much will depend upon their views.
I am most perplexed by the attitude that our wealthiestcitizens not be taxed further and that no one mentioned that the FICA is not taken out of salaries after $106,000. Extending this payment would certainly put needed funds into the economy and reduce our deficit.
The idea that more taxes on the wealthy will hurt employment is utterly false. How many people in Howard Beach, Ozone Park and other affected districts earn more than $1,000,000 a year? How much does candidate Bob Turner make? How many hires have he and candidate David Weprin made during their business lives?
If more goods were manufactured in the USA, rather than outsourced, customers would have more choice in what they purchase. Go into any retail store and find out where goods are made.
NBC-TV has been running a segment on this topic. I urge the media, both national and local, to follow up on this.
Deacy for Assembly
I just want to express how fortunate we are to have a candidate in the special election for the 23rd Assembly District that truly represents south Queens.Jane Deacy’s commitment and work ethicas theRepublican district leaderhas been truly outstanding. All that know her agree.
When we launched the new Pack/Troop 282for the Boy Scoutsin Broad Channel, Jane was the firstofficial to reach out to us and ask what she could do to help.
The reality is, her opponent is unknown to our community.We need representation from someone who knows and loves, and has already proven hercommitment to the south Queens community,our community.Jane Deacy is that person.
They’re not motorbikes
Twelve years ago, overweight and in the highest risk group for a heart attack, I started commuting by bike. After 11 years and 36,000 miles, I’m in great shape, but at age 59 the hills and headwinds were becoming annoying so I bought myself an electric assist bicycle.
Unlike scooters, you would have to look hard to realize that it is anything other than a normal bicycle and for the most part, that’s what it is. It doesn’t even have a throttle; the motor will only function when the rider is pedaling and then only if requested. My average speed has gone from 11 to 12 mph.
I don’t ride on the sidewalks, and the bill that the letter writers of July 14 complain about would not allow that — it is illegal and should be illegal (“Senate considers electric bike bill,” June 30, multiple editions). Delivery people ride on sidewalks when they’re making a delivery; it is far faster to ride in the street.
The law essentially says that a bicycle with a small electric motor that cannot propel the bicycle faster than 20 mph is a bicycle, not a motor vehicle. It is a reasonable bill that is similar to laws passed in many other states. If you would like to improve your health and protect the environment but are concerned that you are too out of shape or too old to use a bicycle, I urge you to consider an ebike. They’re going to become an important part of our transportation system.
Love the paper
Your newspaper is my favorite. I especially like the old photos and historical information on landmarks and churches. Also, last week’s editorial cartoon was so true.
My local supermarket carries the Queens Chronicle, and I pass copies on to my neighbors, mom and church friends. I also mail articles to my relatives in other states, and one overseas.
Please keep up the good work reporting the truth with love.
Editor’s note: Thanks for the kind words. Last week’s cartoon featured Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential Republican candidate for president, trying to convince a citizen not to think about the last GOP president from Texas, George Bush.
Debt circus in DC
All the noise coming out of Washington is disparaging and disrespectful of the American people. Our elective representatives have never threatened the full faith and credit of the nation. Yet the United States stands today with deadbeat nations facing default.
The various groups participating in this theater of dismay seem intent upon winning points with their base rather than attending to the business and welfare of the nation. Their collective abandonment of their oath of office justifies recall petitions.
If the consequences were not as Draconian as they would be, the DC show would be laughable. Yet every American will be paying for this assassination of our nation’s creditworthiness for generations to come. The coming onslaught will harm the stock market, increase unemployment and house devaluation and lead to outrageous interest rates on everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards. It will make the Great Recession seem a pleasant memory.
Congress passed the budgets that required the expenditures by the government to pay the bills knowing that borrowing would be required. If the debt ceiling is not raised those opposed will have far more to be concerned with then the deficit and debt.
Return the money
During the last three years the city Education Department gave $56 million in bonuses to teachers based upon their performance. As it turned out, this policy proved to be a failure, as it did not significantly improve student scores.
The next logical step is to have the teachers who received these bonuses return that money to the city.
You can say the teachers did not do their job and should not be rewarded. Either pay that money back in a lump sum or have it deducted from your salary or pension during the next three years. The taxpayers want their money back.
Fly that flag high
We are soon faced with the anniversary of 9/11 and I wonder if some of our population is becoming too placid about this date.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, I feel an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office and store in the United States. Every individual should make it his or her duty to display an American flag on this 10th anniversary. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure pain, and those who are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms. Let me also mention those who are dying or who have died as a result of working at Ground Zero.
Following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn’t take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity.
I ask all to fly the flag on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don’t, than at least make it a priority on that day. Let your conscience be your guide. Thank you for your participation. God bless you and God bless America!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.