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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 2

December 10, 2010

Bowles-Simpson plan an attack on middle class

To the editor:

My joke New Year's resolutions often include giving up a private jet or buying a Rolls-Royce. However, after seeing the proposals offered by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, my joke has been co-opted.

Such blatant attacks on the middle class are seldom seen. Raising the gas tax 15 cents. Eliminating home mortgage interest deductions. Cutting funding for Medicare. Raising the retirement age for Social Security. Then, with a quick stab to the heart of ordinary people, the plan would reduce top tax rates and abolish the AMT minimum tax on high earners.

A friend suggests that this plan is a quick post-election signal to Tea Party supporters and such to remind them which hand has the whip in this republic the less informed like to call a democracy.

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Skip Tollifson

Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Our leaders don't know how to solve problems

To the editor:

No, you say. The voters were unhappy about how the Democrats performed — or rather failed to perform — in Washington? Gee, that sounds like a rerun of 2008, where the voters gave the Republicans a cold shoulder for the same reason. Apparently, the Democrats did even worse than the Republicans.

Well, maybe there is a nonpartisan reason for that. Maybe our representatives in Washington — on both sides of the aisle — don't know how to solve problems? Remember, there are always three steps required to solve a problem:

1. Get broad agreement that there is a problem.

2. Rationally analyze and understand the problem.

3. Systematically find remedies for the problem.

Let's see. Broad agreement in Congress? Ha, what a kidder. That has not occurred in a long time. So we are off to a rough start already.

But it gets worse. Rationally analyze and understand a problem is something Congress rarely even attempts. Because the results of such rational analysis might — God forbid — be contrary to the preconceived notions of our representatives. No, the members of Congress would much rather follow their dogmatic beliefs.

But suggestions for remedies, yes, those are plentiful in Washington. Sadly, our representatives often start their "problem-solving" efforts with the remedy — completely foregoing the agreement and the rational analysis steps. And the results show it.

Looking forward, with many Tea Party representatives now in power — is there hope for improvement? I doubt it. But hey, surprise me.

Hans K. Buhrer

Smithsburg

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