published Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

'Avoid loopholes with a sales tax' and more letters to the editor

Avoid loopholes with a sales tax

The top 1 percent pay 40.4 percent of all income taxes (1.4 million people), while the bottom 95 percent pay 39.4 percent (134 million people).

How are the wealthiest "not putting anything into the pot"?

They pay more than the bottom 95 percent combined!

The U.S. already relies heavier on the top 10 percent and puts the lowest tax burden on the poor of any OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nation!

Only 53 percent of people in this country pay any income tax. That is, 47 percent either break even or actually gain money, after all credits and refunds are issued (income tax, not payroll tax).

Everyone should share the burden, and the fairest way is to get rid of the IRS (and any tax taken from income) and have a large sales tax. That way the rich will pay more because they spend more, but at least that is up to them, and it gets rid of all the "free rides." Not to mention, there is no loophole for anyone in this process.

SCOTT LANFORD

Ooltewah


Adoption game cannot go on

"It takes a village to raise a child," says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Are there exceptions? For three years, 16 orphans, with families waiting in the U.S., have been held in a two-room prison turned orphanage in Bac Lieu, Vietnam, by U.S. Department of State (DOS). The families of these toddlers have been given government approval to adopt. My niece is one of these.

The adoptions were under way in 2008 when the agreement allowing the adoptions expired. Instead of allowing the adoptions to be completed, now three years later, the families have been told by the DOS to continue to wait for a new agreement. Our DOS has lost sight of the need to temper policy and protocol with compassion.

Allowing the children to join their U.S. families is as simple as Secretary of State Clinton phoning Prime Minister Nguyen and supporting a provision whereby the children are grandfathered in under 2008 laws. Ms. Clinton has the authority to make this happen, but does she have the conscience, the political will to act?

The children exist on one cup of rice per day and the hope that their parents will come for them. This game cannot go on!

JIM ROBINSON

East Brainerd


All GOP wants is to protect rich

Most Americans agree something needs to be done to bring down the deficit.

The big question is how to pay for it.

The Republican ideal is to cut back on entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. Last year, Republicans in the Senate held up all legislation (including relief for first responders on 9/11) until they got tax breaks for the country's richest.

At first, I thought Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander had been bought, but then I realized they were fighting for tax breaks for themselves. These Republicans will not even consider cutting out tax breaks to corporations like Big Oil (who are making billions every quarter), closing loopholes, foreign aid, funding for two wars, and don't even think about cutting tax breaks on the rich.

Isn't it ironic a group of rich men in Congress, who do not have to depend on Social Security and Medicare to live on when they retire, are deciding how much to cut them.

Social Security can determine the lifestyle older Americans can afford and Medicare can determine who gets to live, and we have a group in Congress wanting to protect the rich. Isn't greed grand.

WILLIAM S. GRIFFITH

Signal Mountain


Who's watching the watchers?

Evidently some low-life individuals have dumped what looks like hundreds of old automobile tires into and beside Chattanooga Creek.

This is the same creek that taxpayers have spent millions to clean. How long has it taken to clean the creek? Twenty years? Thirty years? I've lost count.

It was finally decided to "cap" the mess; it was so bad it couldn't be cleaned.

We're told that the caps are holding. We know this because we also are told that the cap is being monitored. Good. I'm so glad to hear this.

But wait, the folks who are allegedly monitoring the cap aren't keeping an eye out for thugs carrying several large dump trucks of old tires. Evidently they weren't hired to do that. I mean, surprise! How long had those tires been dumped there before someone reported it to the agency that (we hope) was charged with keeping tabs on the creek's pollution?

I hope to see news stories announcing (1) the dumpers have been apprehended and given lengthy prison sentences, and (2) the monitoring agency has been fined and fired, along with the (one) who was so surprised to learn about the tires.

I don't mind paying tax money for projects, so long as I can be assured that they are being managed efficiently.

EVERETT KIDDER


Social Security is for contributors

I am a senior citizen who is fed up with the whole mess our political leaders have gotten us into.

Social Security was intended to be a retirement fund to those who contributed into it. If we want to save Social Security, why won't our politicians stand up and stop paying benefits to people who have never contributed a dime to the program? If that was done, there would be plenty of money to take care of those who contributed to the program.

The Social Security Trust Fund was supposed to be kept in a "lock box," but the politicians have taken the money and given most of it to people who are not deserving of same.

LBJ started taking money out of Social Security, and down through the years the IOUs left for the money taken has virtually disappeared.

Who is to blame for this mess -- the politicians who have spent the money to buy votes of those who have benefited from the IOUs and not those who have invested in the program their entire working life.

GERALD O'DELL

Cleveland, Tenn.


GOP likes the way some people think

In response to the letter written by the gentleman who stated he would give up his Social Security to save the country: that is precisely how Republican politicians want people to think, because that kind of thinking makes their job of taking away the entitlements we earned that much easier. Then they can pass that money off to their rich corporate friends who in turn will ensure that the politicians' pockets are filled.

Take the thought of giving up your Social Security to save the country and $2, and see what buys you coffee at McDonald's.

BEVERLY M. SHANKEN

Rocky Face, Ga.

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Livn4life said...

Scott Lanford, you are RIGHT ON. But there is one problem. Your solution makes sense and we have seen over and over again how there is a complete ignoring of common sense when it comes to actions by our elected leaders in Washington. That is true with both Dems and Repubs. How I wish they would listen and really respond.

July 26, 2011 at 1:24 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

great points mr. lanford......it makes way too much sense for it to become reality. the wealthy are very much paying the bulk of it. the irs' own numbers show it. a national. sales tax is a great idea. l4l is correct...they don't listen at all. as a frequent republican voter, i don't feel they listen at all. they' re as corrupted as the democrat party.

July 28, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
slanford said...

Thanks for the support, but you're right. It's a pipe dream and will never happen. Think about the number of CPA's and IRS employees that would become unemployable for anything else. I agree that both parties are pretty much worthless. I vote Republican, but just because they are the lesser of two evils. If anyone ran on principles that I agreed with (that truly need to be done), they would NEVER get elected. Our whole political system is a joke and unfortunately, there is no way to change it. While we're on the subject of things that should be done, but never will, the bailouts KILLED me! We gave billions of dollars (between all of the bailout money together) to a bunch of companies that were not capable of standing on their own feet. That is insane! Don't even get me started on the Postal Service! Instead of giving all that money to the companies themselves, they could have helped everyone and solved most of the problems at the same time.
What if they had taken all that money for the bailouts and given every CITIZEN (another sore subject) and equal share of that. The stipulation would be that you had to use your share to pay towards your mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, etc. If you were able to pay off every debt of any kind that you had, you got to keep the extra. You would have saved all of the banks and the housing market, and people would have a lot more disposable income to help boost every other part of the economy.
Think about taking what you make and having all that income without any payments for loans going out.

July 28, 2011 at 11:43 p.m.
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