Letters to the editor: Jan. 1

January 1, 2013 

Make tax system sensible by ridding it of loopholes

Almost everyone agrees our current tax code needs to be revised. What everyone does not agree on is how.

There is a very simple solution that would make almost everyone happy — everyone except the politicians and special interest groups.

If we got rid of the majority of tax loopholes, we would raise much more revenue and it would all be coming from special interest groups, not the average American taxpayer.

But politicians will never make this change, no matter how much it's needed. They wouldn't be in office if it weren't for special tax breaks that they grant in order to gain support from special interest groups — favors that are often unfair and that rarely benefit the American public.

Thus, our system will most likely remain corrupt if it remains poisoned with corrupt career politicians whose main goal is to get reelected.

Maybe if the tax code was simplified and tax loopholes were taken out, average American taxpayers might finally be able to understand what their taxes mean.

Sydney Smith


Petrino's second chance

I read the New York Times article regarding character and a second chance for Bobby Petrino and other coaches. The writer failed to do any comparison of the coaches with President Bill Clinton. Clinton was a good president but had some baggage from Arkansas to Washington.

Clinton is still beloved today. What happens in Arkansas does not stay in Arkansas. I guess University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart has no forgiveness in his heart. Good luck at Western Kentucky University, Petrino.

Tom Fowler


Legislature dropped ball

I find it hard to understand why our state legislature has suspended cost-of-living adjustments on retirees due to the retirement system being underfunded.

Wasn't it the responsibility of the legislature to budget the money to fund the system so that it would remain solvent?

I think we all know the answer to that question. Now that the legislature recognizes that the retirement system has a funding shortfall it suspended COLAs for retirees who had nothing to do with the situation.

All retirees had a certain percentage taken from their payroll checks and placed into the retirement system as their contributions. If our elected lawmakers had done as they were required, I don't think the Kentucky Retirement System would be in the shape it is today.

Our elected officials in Frankfort have always made the working man foot the bill when they have caused the problem to begin with.

I urge all retirees who receive income from the Kentucky Retirement Systems to contact their representatives and urge them to reinstate cost-of-living adjustments to their pensions.

James Jeffrey Coleman


Severe storms not new

A syndicated column by Eugene Robinson concerned a report issued by the World Bank, a proponent for the fabricated catastrophic global warming story line ("Heat, drought, floods: threats from warming," Dec. 2).

They contracted with the biased Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research to prepare a what-if-scenario for a 4 degree Centrigrade warming by the end of the century. This report is distorted and tries to attribute extreme weather events to increased CO2 levels.

Tropical storm Sandy was unusual because of the convergence of weather factors which resulted in a storm surge that flooded a densely populated coastal area.

Records of past coastal weather events go back a long time. During 1954-55 six major hurricanes made landfall on the east coast: Carol, Edna, Hazel, Connie, Diane and Ione. All were Category 3 hurricanes and Hazel was a potent Category 4. Going back even further, we find that the most powerful hurricane to hit the Manhattan area was the Great September Gale of 1815, which had a storm surge of 13 feet at low tide and flooded most of Manhattan.

All these hurricanes happened when CO2 levels were far below the levels deemed dangerous and responsible for severe weather events by delegates at the UN climate meeting in Doha, Qatar.

George Tomaich


PSC hits sour note

On the fifth day before Christmas the Public Service Commission gave to the state's two largest utilities a little more than $99 million of customer dollars per year, beginning Jan. 1. Tra-la-la.

The PSC calls the increase "fair, just and reasonable." Tra-la-la.

The companies compensate their executives with millions of dollars. Tra-la-la.

Part of the rate increase, the PSC said, will go to Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric for "upgrades to electric transmission and distribution systems" and improvements at electric generation facilities." Tra-la-la.

Surely we customer providers of those gifts can therefore logically expect the PSC to calculate the percentage of the rate increase that these upgrades and improvements cost, and when they are done, cut back the rate increase by that amount. Tra-la-la.

David Woolverton


UK student in the wrong

I am proud to call myself a Morehead State alum after watching the video of the University of Kentucky student harassing the UK Campus police ("UK officer fired over dorm incident," Dec. 13).

Is the menacing conduct of the student not a mitigating circumstance that should have been considered when punishing the officer? Is the officer not a human being?

After listening to the student's verbal harassment, I believe the officer acted with restraint. This is not about a violation of rights, it is about content of character.

I hope the student in the video is not typical of the other students at the university, yet this is what the rest of the world is led to believe. And if the administration had shown the same restraint in punishing the police officer as the police showed in dealing with the contemptible student, then there would not be a news story.

At least employees now know where they stand.

If I were a donor I would reconsider my position in light of the administration's actions on this matter.

Brad Miller


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