On Our Deficit
I would like to point out some facts regarding your recent editorial concerning the national deficit.You wrote that the country was on course for a $710 billion surplus when President Bush took office.In actuality, as Alan Greenspan noted in his recent book, just as President Bush took office the projected surplus was rapidly disappearing due to the stock market decline and the downturn in the dot-com and telecommunications industries that began in 2000. The $710 billion surplus was never going to happen no matter who was president.
You also mentioned that the president “recklessly slashed tax rates for the rich.” The IRSreported that in 2005 the top 5 percent of income earners made 37.2 percent of the nation’s total personal income while paying 58.8 percent of the total personal income tax collected.At the same time, the bottom 50 percent of earners made 12.6 percent of total income but paid only 3.2 percent of the total personal income tax.Since it is the “rich” that pays most of the taxes, it is only logical and fair that they get the most benefit of any tax break.Part of the tax cuts was reducing taxes on dividends and capital gainsfor lower income Americans to 5 percent. This enabled many low income retirees with investment income to significantly reduce the amount of taxes they paid (as a percent of what their previous year’s total was).
Many Americans feel that the cost of the war on terror is worth the cost.Where many people of Bush’s political base became disappointed was that he and Congress (with the notable exception of Senator McCain) did not support elimination of unnecessary spending (earmarks).The Democratic takeover of Congress did not change that.
Hopefully, the next president and Congress will be able to come up with a solution that all Americans can agree with.
Choice Or Change
Why vote?Well I haven’t missed a primary or regular election since being eligible to vote. I am now a senior citizen.
Sen. John McCain is George Bush’s third term. Sen. Barack Obama is rhetoric and charisma for the youth with no real health or medicare solutions for us older folks. Toby Stavisky is nice, she even sends birthday greetings.
John Liu is absent half the time and never really does much.Asked to station police at Main and Roosevelt, they are hardly ever there. When they do they stay around the corner to give tickets after cars have made illegal turns. Not much help to neighbors who have been hit by drivers that make you wonder if or how they have licenses.
Years ago a shoe repair and key shop under the LIRR was forced out because it caused congestion?Now both sides of Main Street have permanent shops plus vendors clogging the sidewalks. Try getting past with a walker or even normally!
Busses can barely make the turns since a bus terminal promised since at least 1970 was never built but much land has been turned over to private developers.
We are told we do not need term limits. How can you vote anyone backed by the Democratic machine out? Yes, I will go into voting booth and vote for some innocuous people just to keep my record of voting consistent. But as to choice, c’mon there really isn’t any!
Fight For Bikes
The person who keeps sending hate letters re: “Bikes, And Those Who Ride Them,” must have been deprived of a bike (or trike) when he was very young. How else can one explain the venom and fear.
Speaking of responsibility, we are all responsible for ruining our habitat, none more than those in our city who worship the auto. When other responsible parties come up with ideas that will help to ease the problems of climate destruction, asthma, etc., I don’t understand why the flat earthers get so exercised. Is it just a fear of change, ignorance or just plain stupidity.
Whatever the reason, the rest of us must go forward with plans to help make this city and earth safer and cleaner.
Our Budget Problem
Your July 31st editorial “A Deficit Of Common Sense = A Surplus Of Debt”and accompanying article “City And State Face Big Financial Woes” (the Queens Chronicle, July 31) confirms how serious our financial crisis is.Uncle Sam hasa debt of overnine trillion dollars.Current New York Citymunicipal debt is now $55billion dollars.Eachresident is responsible for$6,800, makingthe Big Apple number one nationally. New York State is number two nationally among the fifty states with each resident responsible for $3,115 of the $55 billion dollar total debt. This trifecta inheritance may very well bankrupt future generations.Perhaps it is time for government todestroy its own credit cards.
Why notreturn to limited government accompanied by a minimal amount of confiscatory taxation to support only essential services along withpay-as-you-go budgeting; means testing for all government assistance programs; balanced budgets; actual surpluses and down payments to reduce long term debt for all levels of government.
Why send the same public officials back to City Hall, Albany and Washington or promote them to even higher public office — be it a Democrat or Republican.They are collectively responsible for this financial messwhich occurred under their watch. It is time to bring in new management.
How ironic that after winning the Cold War against the Evil Empire of Communism, it may be mismanagement of our economy that results in a decline ofour standard of living.It may also endour reign as the worlds super power as we become the world super debtor nation.
More Bike Lanes
I think a bike lane on Queens Boulevard is a great idea! Nothing has been done to improve Queens Boulevard since 2001, when they lengthened some lights, put up scary signsandinstalled fences to prevent pedestrians from jaywalking. You’d think in 2008, a modern city with a multi-year tree-planting plan and bike lane plan on the books would be interested in improving a road still known as the “Boulevard of Death.” Instead of more fences, why not more and better crosswalks, a bike lane and improved medians with actual, living trees. Other thoroughfares like Grand Concourse and Eastern Parkway get improvements and beautification. Why not Queens Boulevard?
No To Torture
Considering the intensity of the opposition to the death penalty in America, it is surprising that there is not a similar outcry against our government’s torture agenda, which is infinitely more horrible. What now sets us apart morally from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. And what sound information can be extracted from a man undergoing such excruciating pain that he will say anything?
Why do we train, supply, and finance terrorist organizations and terror- sponsoring governments all over the world and then have individuals tortured for information about terrorist activities resulting from our ownpolicy?
U.S. Representative Ron Paul’s (R- Texas) proposed Freedom Agenda Act, H.R. 3835, would end the torturing of prisoners and prevent the liklihood that the torture program would be extended to our own citizens. It would also restore our right of habeas corpus which President Bush illegally took from us. So why do our congressmen not rally to support this? Have they all been compromised?
When a community pulls together, embraces and includes, loves and cherishes, wonderful things can happen.
This is how I feel about our communities and how they have included and accept our families with autism. Last weekend we held our third annual charity car wash. Although we were plagued by rain (and a little hail too) our volunteers continued on. We had over 75 volunteers from all over the community that came to help us raise money for children, teens and adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. From Townsend Harris High School they came, from Scholars Academy they came, from M.S. 202, P.S./M.S. 207 they came, from St. John’s University came the Gamma Chi sorority, from the NYPD explorers came the 106th and 105th Precincts. From the Rotary Club and the Semantics they came. They gave of their time, all to help a worthy cause.
And then there were the sponsors: store owners, doctors, dentists, lawyers and even a couple of corporations gave to make sure this even was successful.
I write this letter to you today with gratitude and humility and want to express not only my, but my staff and the families we serve, thanks to all that continue to help us continue our missions. Helping parents, help their children, one family at a time.
New York Families for Autistic Children,
Try To Be Nice
The other day I was in a car with a friend of mine that picked me up from work. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My friend slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by inches. The driver of the other car whipped her head around and started yelling at us. My friend just smiled and waived at the woman, I mean really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you do that?” Thiswoman almost ruined your car and could have sent us into the hospital! Then my friend taught me the rule of the garbage can.
He explained that many people are like garbage cans. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As the garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they will dump on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage cans take over their lives. Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is 10 percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village