Letters to the editor: Nov. 27

November 27, 2012 

Lowering pension tax exemptions unreasonable

It was with considerable dismay that I read that the tax reform commission is considering lowering by more than 60 percent the amount of pension income exempt from Kentucky state income tax. This is not fair. Many of us paid the full rate of state income tax during our working careers. It is equitable and fair that we get a break when we retire with less income.

I also understand that the committee intends that retirees will pay more state income tax on their Social Security as well.

So Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson thinks it's fair to balance the state budget on the backs of retirees while cutting taxes for corporations?

My pension is not inflation-adjusted. It never goes up a single penny. And the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security is a joke. Two years with no increase then a whopping 1.7 percent for 2013.

Please reconsider this ill-advised course of action.

Jim Porter

Danville


Prevent diabetes

Losing a limb because of a largely preventable disease is tragic.

The rate of amputation for those with adult onset, or Type 2, diabetes is 10 times higher than for those without diabetes.

November is Diabetes Prevention month.

Over 26 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. In Kentucky, 10.1 percent of adults over 20 have diabetes while Fayette County has a slightly lower rate at 9.7 percent.

And the numbers continue to rise in dramatic fashion. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 1 in 3 American adults will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050 unless people change their lifestyles.

Mostly that means getting off the couch and getting some exercise, and adding more vegetables, or color, to your plate. Diet and exercise are two of the most critical ways to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

The costs of the disease are staggering. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U. S. is $174 billion.

Those with diabetes can help avoid losing a lower extremity, the most common diabetic-related amputation, by following a program that includes annual foot screenings, daily self-inspection and management of foot problems. For those who are at risk for diabetes, the best way to avoid losing a limb, and perhaps your life, however, is to maintain a healthy weight and follow a consistent exercise program. Make changes now to keep your health — and body parts — intact.

Brian Fairbanks

Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics

Lexington


Barr's opportunity

After all the negative ads and debates, the results of Election 2012 proved to be a mixed bag, offering something for everyone to cheer or jeer. Locally, Central Kentucky was the biggest loser when our proven, moderate leader Rep. Ben Chandler was unseated by Republican Andy Barr, a novice, extremist politician with no experience who will lack the seniority necessary to be an effective voice for the 6th District.

Since Barr won't be part of a House working in tandem with a Mitt Romney presidency, I hope he will prove he has a moderate streak that is representative of our district and work with some Democrats and President Barack Obama for the good of our country during his trial first term. If he votes as an extremist and becomes part of the obstructionist problem that typifies the Republican House, voters can choose a more moderate voice in 2014. He won the right to this chance, though.

The congressional race proved that millions of dollars in negative ads from Barr and outside groups conned voters into believing Chandler and national Democrats waged a war on coal, an outright lie since most of coal's problems stem from irrefutable market forces — cheaper natural gas and more costly extraction of remaining resources.

Nationally, our country was the biggest winner with the resounding re-election of Obama, a fighter for the middle class who will keep our economy moving forward with stronger job creation, and the passage of ballot measures in favor of marriage equality in four states.

Emery W. Caywood IV

Paris


Keep post offices

If you want to keep your local post offices open and continue to receive six-day mail delivery, call your congressman now.

Tell them to vote no on HR2309, which if passed, would end six-day mail delivery and close post offices at the discretion of a special committee.

Many detrimental things often happen during a lame duck session since the existing members of Congress will be voting on important issues before the new Congress convenes in January.

In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) which created the deficit dilemma the USPS now faces.

During that 2006 lame duck session, the PAEA included a provision for the USPS to pre-fund its future retiree health benefits for postal employees who are not even working for the USPS yet, and in some cases are not even born yet. This obligation to pre-fund is causing nearly 80 percent of the Postal Service's operating deficit because the USPS is required to pre-fund a 75-year obligation in only 10 years. No other private corporation or federal agency is required to pre-fund in such a manner.

For citizens in the 4th Congressional District, the number to call Rep. Thomas Massie is (202) 225-3465 in Washington or (859) 426-0080 in Fort Mitchell.

For the 6th Congressional District, Rep. Ben Chandler will be the congressman until January; the number is (202) 225-4706 in D.C. or (859) 219-1366 in Lexington.

For the 5th Congressional District, Rep. Hal Rogers' contact number is (202) 225-4601 in D.C. and (606) 679-8346 in Somerset.

Scottie Hicks

Owingsville


Being a good citizen

Paul Prather would probably take exception with this sentence, but what he is asking us to do in his Nov. 9 column on Kentucky.com ("Regardless of election results, God's in control") is completely un-American.

This is the land of the great experiment. A form of government where the individual and his/her rights are placed above the collective. And when those rights and liberties are threatened or compromised, we are to use our First Amendment power.

This form of government has created the greatest nation in human history. It has created more wealth, freed more from oppression, given more to the poor and needy, and has always had the respect and admiration of people around the world.

Have we had dark moments in our past? Of course. But they are dwarfed by the light our American exceptionalism has brought to this world.

So no, I will not be the good citizen Prather describes.

However, I will continue to be an American citizen who believes in our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the American way of life, and will holler from the mountaintops at those who would quickly or slowly destroy the greatest nation that has ever existed (and make no mistake, our nation is slowly being destroyed, and with the election past us, we just stepped on the gas pedal).

Len Sears

Franklin, Tenn.

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