Letters to the editor - 3/5/03

March 05, 2003

Now's the time to start saving

To the editor:

I was perplexed after reading Harold Kendrick's letter concerning his comments on whether the poor are taxed or not. Kendrick is 77 years old and all his years of planning and saving only provide him an annual income of between $14,000 and $15,000.

I think this is horrible. That's only about $300 a week. I don't mean to take anything away from Kendrick; I'm sure he has worked hard all his life. To all the young people out there I would only say, "Don't let this happen to you." Start saving now - any amount will do in the beginning.

With regard to Kendrick's concern about his taxes, I think he should consider himself lucky. Averaging his paid taxes over the years mentioned in his letter, it comes to about 2.15 percent of his total income. My wife and I both work and our annual combined federal and state tax payment is, after deductions, more than 15 percent of our annual income.


Now, we don't consider ourselves wealthy by any means. But according to Kendrick there is something wrong with a tax decrease if we get back more money than he does. But by using simple arithmetic we stand to get back more money than he will. We paid more tax than he did.

The Democrats and the media would have us believe that only the wealthy will benefit from a tax decrease. And they have taxpayers scared that someone else is going to get something they're not. I really don't care if somebody else will get back a lot of money if taxes are reduced. They probably worked hard to be in that higher tax bracket. They're most likely still paying a huge amount in taxes just to qualify for that kind of reduction.

The problem I have with the Democrats and the media that foster this kind of class envy is that they use this conflict to gain power over us. They really don't care about the tax payer or the poor, for that matter. If they genuinely cared they would try to find a way for the government to be less of a burden to the people of this country. Less taxes equals more jobs equals less poor.

To Kendrick I say, God bless you. If I had my way you wouldn't pay any tax on your Social Security income. You already paid taxes on it when you earned it many years ago. And to the people who believe only the wealthy will benefit from a tax decrease I say you're wrong. Everyone will benefit. Of course the wealthy will get back more than me. But then again, they should. They pay more taxes than I do.

David Ditto
Hedgesville, W.Va.

Gasoline is too cheap

To the editor:

What a bunch of wimpy idiots we Americans have become. I'm referring to a recent story on the rising price of gasoline in the local area.

We are idiots because we only concern ourselves with the price of driving our cars, not the cost. The two are not necessarily the same.

For instance, the federal, state and local governments of this land spent $113 billion on building and maintaining roads in the typical year of 1998, but only collected $65 billion in gasoline taxes and another $5 billion in tolls. The remaining $43 billion - or 38 percent - came from local and state governments, chiefly through property tax and general fund receipts. Roughly speaking, this means an automobile subsidy of about another 43 cents per gallon on top of what it costs now -or, to put it another way, gas is 43 cents per gallon too cheap.

This is just to cover the cost of our road system on the basis of what we actually spend; it doesn't include the cost of congestion, air pollution, deferred maintenance on the road system, poor engineering on new road projects, or the cost of the military action in the Middle East.

We are wimps because there have been warnings about this sort of thing from way back, most notably the first big oil crunch in 1973 - 30 years ago - but we refused to act because we have been like spoiled children who didn't want to give up our precious toy cars.

In that time we could have cut off a lot of our urban sprawl problems, had better air, had good public transit (including Amtrak), and would have pulled Osama bin Laden's teeth when bin Laden would have been about 5 years old.

Seeing things like this makes me wonder why we even ask that God should bless America.

David P. Lubic
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Maxwell was great

To the editor:

In the entertainment section of The Morning Herald, Feb. 19, Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel stated in headlines: "Gods and Generals" director Maxwell was "not up to the job."

Moore inferred he suffered, sacrificed and endured hackwork, Maxwell's poor ear for dialogue, laughable as a cartoon and then suggested Maxwell can go back to cable where he belongs.

I don't know Moore any more than Moore knows Maxwell. I do know Maxwell as an observer of Maxwell from being an extra on the set of "Gods and Generals" for many days and hours watching the director in action with some of the most obnoxious "stars" I've ever seen. I conclude the Orlando Sentinel has an obnoxious star.

Ron Maxwell is one of the most mannerly persons I've ever been acquainted with who controlled and directed hundreds of people in a complex endeavor.

I was totally impressed with his demeanor, courtesy and direction on the set under an adverse character-acting difficulty.

I saw and thus know, his ability as a writer, producer, director and a person of great tolerance.

Ed Miller

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