Party of 'no-tax and spend' must own up to failures
The current Republican mantra is "We don't tax too much, we spend too much." While this is true to a degree, the simple fact is we do not tax enough, nor tax intelligently.
Much of today's debt is tied to Republican policies under the Bush administration. The first Bush tax cut reduced a surplus to a deficit by Aug. 31, 2001, before the events of 9/11. Add another tax cut, two wars, a prescription drug law and TARP, all unpaid for under Republican leadership, and now they complain we spend too much? These same people who refused, when they were in power, to reduce federal spending now say we spend too much. How can anyone believe them?
The tax code does need to be revised and simplified, and some rates need to increase, on all of us, including an increase on stock dividends taxes from the current 15 percent, and corporate loopholes need to be closed.
In the 1980s and '90s, the Republican mantra was to starve the government of money by reducing taxes. All that brought were deficits that grew worse every year.
Maybe it is now time for these same people to figure out what to cut — the military, road funds, farm supports, mental health care, prisons, food stamps, Medicare (including your prescription drug benefit) — or raise taxes? For once, Republicans should start making reasonable cuts they have wanted all along but refused to make.
But that would take political courage, something Republicans have seldom shown.
Michael T. Miller
Keeping some laws fresh
Crises like the "fiscal cliff" prompt libertarians and laissez-faire ideologues to renew calls for a balanced budget amendment. That's an unrealistic idea. Congress and the lobbyists who support them would surely construct loopholes to get around it.
It would be more effective to work one aspect of the Bush tax cuts into our Constitution — the expiration date. Let's adopt an amendment that requires an expiration date of 10 years or less on all federal tax cuts.
Some politicians apparently think they can "starve the beast" by cutting taxes today and balancing the budget in the future. That's a deceitful promise. It ought to be prohibited at the supreme level of our laws.
This is leadership?
The inmates ...
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are unsustainable. Major changes will have to be made — enormous tax increases and reduced benefits.
Will these changes affect our political leaders? No. They have separate medical and retirement plans from us peons. Do I need to add — far better than ours?
The Obama administration spent borrowed money to take over private banks and auto companies that were mismanaged and deserved to fail and should have been replaced by better ones through normal bankruptcy procedures. They have also borrowed money (we are co-signers on the loans) to "invest" in loser companies like Solyndra and many others.
These idiots are now implementing Obamacare. I cannot wait to see how well that goes. Being rational, I know what the result will be — higher taxes, rationed services, massive waste of taxpayer money and lower quality medical care administered by our government.
Freedom-loving, strong, independent America, where liberties came from God and were protected by the Constitution, is quickly being transformed into a weaker, more economically dependent country where our limited liberties will be doled out by Washington politicians based on skin color, ethnicity and how we voted.
For proof, note that the United Auto Workers was given 55 percent control of Chrysler by the Obama administration while bondholders, who legally were in a preferred position to the UAW, got shafted.
... have taken over the asylum. Public servants indeed.
Time is running out. The middle class demands that Republican politicians like Sen. Mitch McConnell change their erroneous attitude.
If, due to their stubbornness and irresponsible behavior, the economy goes over the "fiscal cliff" and we go into a very deep recession, where the middle class and the hardworking families of this country find themselves without jobs, losing their homes and going hungry, Republicans will be held responsible.
I would suggest McConnell sacrifice a little bit by accepting a much smaller pension and benefits to help the deficit. I know that I will be paying higher taxes no matter what happens with the new budget. I also know that next time around the Republican Party will lose more seats in the House and Senate.
It is time to act responsibly and come together for the well-being of the majority of the people. Let us all pay a more equitable tax rate and share the burden more evenly.
It is true that spending has to be reduced, however, let's start by eliminating wasteful programs and loopholes that benefit only the many interest groups who contributed millions of dollars for political campaigns of both parties.
The United States is a great and compassionate country. In any crisis we help the most disadvantaged by giving them a helping hand and creating opportunities so they can help themselves. Let's get the economy going by working together; midnight and the edge of the cliff are getting very close.
Regarding the Dec. 24 story about Scott's Roll-Arena: When my daughters were small they used to work at the Burger Shake peeling cheese, and then they'd take their money and go skating there. They would also buy a lot of small pompons to tie to their skates. They would fall in love with the young instructors who helped them skate.
Scotty (Gilbert Scott) ran a tight ship; you felt safe letting your children go there. Scotty's was right across New Circle Road from the Burger Shake.
After the rink would close, a lot of the skaters would come over and buy hamburgers and Cokes.