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What Do You Think?

February 08, 2009

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week there were three poll questions. The first question was: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a federal stimulus bill of more than $800 billion. The package now moves to the Senate. What is your opinion of the proposal?

"The stimulus bill continues to lose support, as more Americans learn the details of this suspect stimulus (spending) bill. When the government figures out that "we the people" are finally paying attention and don't like being lied to, then hopefully they will make drastic changes to the bill. It has to be proven to me that it's a true stimulus bill before I'd ever support it. It's our kids' and grandkids' money that the administration wants to spend, and will take their (our kids) lives to pay it back."

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"I fear that the average American will see none of the money, but it will go to outrageous bonuses to the CEOs, etc. .... the feds have already given them over $7 billion and nobody knows where it went."

"In order to pay for any stimulus - whether building roads or building schools - the government has to pass the cost on to future generations. The national debt more than doubled under New Deal spending during the Great Depression. While there may be some short-term economic activity, the weight of the national debt will limit economic growth in the future. Alternatively, if the government printed money to avoid debt, inflation would grow, also hindering sustained economic growth."

"I am just curious how we are going to pay all that money back."

The second question was: Should failure to pay taxes on time disqualify a person from holding a top office in government?

"'On time' is an important qualifier. There are reasons, some good and some bad, for failing to pay taxes on time. The tax code is, can we agree, complicated. Several years ago, a newspaper sent an undercover reporter to a dozen or so IRS office and the reporter asked for clarification on several tax issues. The reporter got many different and conflicting 'clarifications' from the IRS employees."

"Not only should it disqualify them from a top position, it should disqualify them from any office in our government."

"Evading payment of taxes is a federal law violation and anyone who does so should not be cut any slack and should never be put in a position of public trust."

"I do think that those guilty of tax evasion in any form should be ousted from public service; however, if this criteria was used for all of the sitting Congress members, probably three-fourths of them would be booted from office."

The third question was: Should the government impose a $500,000 pay cap on executives whose firms receive major federal bailout assistance?

"Government has every right to impose this on the companies that are asking for government money. It is 'our' money they are borrowing and I don't appreciate them making millions while their company is going under."

"If free capital is what the righteous right want and they don't want 'big government' controlling business then why would you want to cap salaries to anyone? Pay them what they deserve or what (based on) profits the company makes."

"If the banks and businesses wish to participate in this socialist experiment then they should reap the benefits of socialism. I agree with Mr. Obama. If you want the handout then share the wealth and cap the salary. If you want to participate in a free market then you can make all the money you want."

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