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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 17

December 17, 2012

Michael’s messages on tax reform seem mixed


To the editor:

In his column in The Herald-Mail, George Michael used more than 700 words in analyzing the Republicans’ loss of the 2012  presidential election, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal summarized it in one short sentence, saying that Republicans need to quit being the stupid party.

More moderate Republicans are beginning to grasp the meaning of Jindal’s statement, but Michael seems to be missing the point. In a more recent column, Michael continues his hard-nosed, right-wing position by defending tax breaks for the wealthy, asking what is ethical or moral about picking some arbitrary number as the basis for such a system that taxes people at substantially different rates. How can such discrimination be justified?

In the same column, Michael repeats a right-wing tax reform idea that would require everyone to pay a flat 10 percent tax. Then he arbitrarily decides that income below $20,000 could be exempt. Such a tax would require higher-income people to pay more taxes than lower-income people, simply because they are earning more money, and the lowest income would pay no tax at all. Isn’t this just another version of what Michael and the right are so much opposed to — the wealthy paying more tax because they earn more money (10 percent of $1 million dollars is much more than 10 percent of $25,000) and the poor being exempt because they can’t afford to eat and pay a higher tax?

Some might even ask, “What is morally and ethically correct about arbitrarily picking $20,000 as an income level that would be exempt?” And some will believe the poor should be left to die if they can’t feed themselves. Hopefully, that is a minority.

I do agree with Michael’s statements that “current programs are just not sustainable” and “our political leaders do not have the will to actually solve the problem.” Let’s hope that their final decision does include reasonable budget cuts as well as reasonable tax increases. We can’t continue playing this political game.

Jim Laird
Hagerstown



Former school board member’s comments on target


To the editor:

Some years ago, a fellow school board member made this statement, “We are becoming a nation of educated fools.” If he were alive today he would know he was right.

He also said, “You can’t teach common sense.”

Paul Witmer
Chambersburg, Pa.

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