Letters to the Editor - Oct. 25

October 25, 2011

Two tax plans that hurt the working poor

To the editor:

What do a Maryland transportation-funding commission and presidential candidate Herman Cain have in common? Both are proposing plans to raise revenue that will devastate the working poor.

Cain's 9-9-9 plan will decrease his own personal taxes while dramatically increasing taxes on the working poor. The sales tax, in particular, will hurt.

There are many families of four living below the poverty line despite having one or more family members working one or more jobs. I have heard some try to sell this plan by saying citizens would have the "choice" whether to "save" the money on sales tax by not buying as much.

High-income families need to purchase shelter, food, groceries and health care just like low-income families. The difference Cain's plan doesn't take into account is that the working family of four under the poverty level must spend all its available income and has neither choice nor a way to save. Cain's explanation that "used" items wouldn't be taxed sounds empty. You can't buy "used" food, medicine, gasoline or heating oil.

A Maryland blue-ribbon commission's proposed 15 cents a gallon gas tax won't take food off the tables of the wealthy, but it will hurt poor working bread earners. This is a convenient, but not conscionable, way to pay for highways. It is no better than similar proposals made in the name of conserving gas as opposed to simply raising revenues. No matter how you look at it, these proposals hurt the working poor.

Ken Hollar


There was a sabbath before there were Israelites

To the editor:

Relative to G.F. Miller's letter of Oct. 5 (The Sabbath and Sunday are not the same), I wish to correct a misconception held by him and many other people concerning the relevance of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in today's society.  

I do agree wholeheartedly with Miller that the Bible consistently refers to the seventh day (Saturday) as the Sabbath and not Sunday. Therefore, the sacredness of the Sabbath can never be transferred to Sunday, and the solemnity of two days can never be the same in God's sight.   

My belief is based upon the fact that God himself said so when, at creation, he "ended his work ... and he rested on the seventh day from all his work," and then to put the Sabbath in a special light, "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it."

You see, he conferred this honor upon no other day of the week; thus it is impossible to achieve his special blessing on any other day. The completion of creation is closely linked with the creation of the Sabbath, as it provides time and space for holiness and communion with our creator. In this sense, the Sabbath is a memorial of his creative works. A memorial never expires, becomes obsolete, or is capable of being abolished, for it points back to something already done.

Having said that; however, I respectfully differ from Miller when he contends that the Sabbath was given solely to the children of Israel. When God rested from all his work on the seventh day and gave that example to Adam and Eve to follow, he expected that all future generations would do likewise, even after his death.

Adam and Eve were not Israelites; neither were any of the patriarchs, who kept the Sabbath, including Abraham, for 2,000 years before there was any such thing as an Israelite. When God chose Israel (beginning with Jacob, who was renamed Israel) as his chosen race, and later put his law in written form via his own finger on Mt. Sinai, he did so because to whom else could he have given the Decalogue (including the Sabbath) who would have protected and sustained it down through the corridors of time?  Certainly not the Egyptians, or the Philistines, or any other heathen race in existence at that time.

Thus, I believe God expects us to keep the fourth commandment just as he expected the patriarchs and Israelites of old to do and blessed them accordingly when they obeyed (e.g. in the case of the manna experience), and withheld a blessing when they didn't obey.  

R.J. Gunder,

Waynesboro, Pa.

The elderly are miserable, and so are the Yankees

To the editor:

It is expected Social Security benefits will rise 3.5 percent next year.

After three years of nothing for people who worked hard their whole lives, they deserve more than this.

Does Congress give themselves great raises? How are they any better than anyone on Social Security?

By the way, they are already trying to figure out how they can sock it to the retirees on Medicare and probably take most of it away from all the older retirees, making them pay more.

No wonder people are rising up in this country, and many other nations. People can take so much.

They care nothing about seniors. They have dropped the interest rates at the banks so low that people can hardly get anything with the interest.

People are looking for deals somewhere that can help them exist in this world.

There are more people in dollar stores and other cheaper stores where people can shop.

And not to change the subject, but didn't the Yankees look sick in the playoffs? All these great hitters really stunk.

Ellis Duffey


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