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Letters to the Editor

August 07, 2009

Defense of taxation is fundamentally flawed



To the editor:

Linda Irvin-Craig's impassioned defense of taxation ("Respondents have proven my point," Aug. 1, 2009, Herald-Mail) is fundamentally flawed.

Irvin-Craig labors to portray taxes as paying for necessary, even noble, things. Let me ask you. What do you call a robber who puts his ill-gotten gains into the parish poor box? You call him a robber.

Nothing that happens downstream from taxation changes the fact that taxation, by definition, is armed robbery. And every dollar plundered by the state is one dollar less a citizen has to do necessary, even noble, things themselves.

How many people can't afford health insurance because U.S. government spending is 45.2 percent of the gross domestic product. (usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_ century_chart.html)?

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How many can't weather being laid off from their job? How many can't help a son or a daughter buy a house or a car? How many are driving with bald tires and bad brakes? How many can't help an aging parent buy food and medicine?

All because some people want to do, and get credit for doing, necessary, even noble things ... with other people's money.

Worst of all, taxation puts the extorted booty under the control of politicians. These, the basest sort of humans on God's green earth, end up with prestige and power that is wholly unearned and undeserved.

We end up being forced to vie with each other to gain favor with and influence over those holding the levers of power when what politicians really deserve is to be put on the first plane out of the country.

America would be a better and safer place for our having done so.

G.F. Miller
Hagerstown




Agreements are bad for our economy



To the editor:

One of the major causes of our economic difficulties is trade appeasement in foreign policy. In 1934, Congress passed the Hull Reciprocal Trade Agreement. Congress relinquished much of its constitutional authority to regulate trade. The Hull Agreement gave the president the right to negotiate bilateral tariff reductions on individual items by up to 50 percent. Once an agreement was reached, the same offer could be extended to other "most favored" nations.

The Hull Reciprocal Trade Agreement has been renewed every three years and along with recent "free trade treaties" has had a devastating effect on American manufacturers. Today, manufacturing amounts to only about 12 percent of gross domestic production, resulting in a $50 billion to $70 billion monthly trade deficit. Trade policies are used as a mechanism to redistribute wealth internationally and form alliances at the expense of national sovereignty and security. Without reasonable tariffs, bailouts of the auto industry only delay the inevitable at the taxpayer's expense. The playing field is not level. Domestic manufacturers pay about 20 percent in hidden taxes before dealing with additional corporate taxes. Some foreign companies are state owned without the need to show a profit. This unfair practice has resulted in a significant drop in the sales of U.S.-made civilian aircraft and has affected many other industries.

For many years one of the largest exporting nations has had a devalued currency which behaves as a unilateral hidden tariff. To offset massive inflationary deficit spending the United States needs the revenue stream from tariffs. The objective should be balanced trade, not deficit trade. Prior to the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States was lending money to Germany who used the funds to pay World War I reparations to Britain and France. The money was then returned to the United States to pay war debts. We are on a similar merry-go-round today. The United States is a debtor nation importing as was Germany in the 1920s. We need to withdraw from treaties and agreements that are detrimental to our economy and salvage what is left of this country's once-proud industrial might.

James Hassinger
Hagerstown




How we manage our land has major impact



To the editor:

I'm letting my entire 3-acre lawn grow into natural grassland habitat.

I think lots of folks should do this to show our support for the Joyce family's efforts in Sharpsburg. When we have heavy rains as we have recently, don't people realize how much fertilizer and pesticides run off from the groomed "chemlawns" onto the roads and into the storm drains (and ultimately into our water supplies)?

It is a shame that these fine folks have met with opposition. There are people who demand perfectly unblemished produce, which can only be attained by the use of chemicals. For those who oppose a natural habitat, I say be kind to your neighbor. They are caring for the environment that belongs to everyone. There is so much more at stake than meets the eye here. Stop and watch sometime, see that they're are toads and salamanders and turtles and so many other of God's creatures sharing this land with us. Don't kill them so you can have pretty grass. Watch the lightning bugs at night and the bats above.

We might have a deed to a piece of land, but how we manage it still has an impact on the environment that surrounds us all. I can't imagine the amount of money spent on all those poisons, either. Consider the money and time you could put to better use. I'm not saying to never mow the grass, even I like to keep it knocked down a little bit around the house so I can see the snakes. They are helping, too, by eating the rodents that might be getting into my feeds.

Please stop and see the entire scope of your actions.

Sarah Hendershot
Hancock

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