No benefit in protecting the rich and not the poor
Our nation is on the brink of a financial crisis. In times of crisis, everyone must sacrifice. The poor may have to give up food stamps. The sick may have to give up Medicaid; the old, Social Security; the unemployed, their benefits. Yes, we must sacrifice for the good of our nation. All of us except, of course, the rich. No matter what, we must never, ever increase taxes on the rich.
We are told taxing the rich kills jobs. This we know is a lie because in the 1950s, when the highest tax rate was 90 percent, unemployment never broke 8 percent and several times during that decade dipped below 3 percent. We know because the tax rate on the richest of the rich is the lowest it has been in decades, but where are the jobs?
Even politicians who spout this lie don't believe it — because if they believed tax cuts create jobs they wouldn't be pushing for lowering taxes on the rich. They would be pushing for eliminating them.
Chief executives make 343 times more than the average worker. Some people are worth more money, but you have to be a delusional, vainglorious twit to believe you are worth 343 times more than a factory worker, a miner or a schoolteacher.
Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell protect billionaires like they are an endangered species. And why not? It isn't the poor who donate the most to their campaigns.
James L. Hartley
The letter about killing and eating cranes reminds me of a joke I was told in England some 20 years ago when I announced I was moving to Kentucky.
"What's the difference between a northern zoo and a southern zoo in the United States?"
"A northern zoo has the name of the animal and a brief description of its habitat. A southern zoo has the name of the animal and a recipe."
Leaders should sacrifice
I fail to understand our leaders in Washington when they say everyone must sacrifice to lower the deficit, when they were the ones who created this mess. I haven't heard any of the senators or House members explain how they plan to personally sacrifice.
I have some proposals for the leaders in Washington that I would like to see in our next budget.
1. Reduce their salaries by 20 percent.
2. End their lucrative pension plans by entering them into the Social Security program.
3. Repeal their lucrative health-care benefits and cover them through Medicare.
4. Remove the income limit to which FICA taxes are applied.
It angers me when our leaders in Washington mention Social Security as being part of the deficit when it had nothing to do with it. The largest contributing factors to the deficit were two unnecessary wars and a tax cut, mostly for the wealthy.
I recently heard some bad news. Rand Paul is proposing a Social Security overhaul, and I sure don't want an unwise man messing with my Social Security.
Save EPA to protect us
I am concerned about the devastating effect mountaintop removal coal mining has on the Appalachian Mountains. Mountaintop removal coal mining is destroying our mountains and polluting our waters.
Most recently, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would weaken the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate mountaintop removal coal mining. H.R. 2018 "Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011" would grant states the authority to make decisions relating to water quality standards. I am asking concerned citizens of the Appalachian Mountains to contact their lawmakers and ask them to oppose this legislation.
Numerous violations of water quality standards are overlooked by state regulators each year, and therefore the companies go unpunished. The EPA is greatly needed to provide oversight and ensure that there is some type of protection for our environment and people of the Appalachian Mountains.
Prejudice both ways
The letter that claimed that anyone who would put a Confederate license plate on their car is a "prejudiced redneck" is an example of just the kind of bigotry the writer criticizes. When one makes assumptions about people because of a symbol they display, is that not prejudice or bigotry, too, like making assumptions because of the color of one's skin?
I own several Confederate flags, not just the Battle Flag, and use them in a portrayal of my ancestor who was a Confederate general. Isaac Trimble was not a slave owner, was an educated man and railroad executive, and he did pay the tuition of a free black man, pre-war, to attend college. He had the courage to fight against the power of an overreaching federal government.
That I choose to honor him and thousands of others like him does not make me a "prejudiced redneck." It makes me an American.
In response to "Thinking out loud," I am not prejudiced and I am not a redneck, but I would like to have a Confederate license tag and it would have absolutely nothing to do with slavery.
I consider myself a Southerner and prefer the South over the North. Climate, food, friendliness, etc., are some reasons. Besides, slavery was only one issue of several that caused the states to secede.
I think the Kentuckians in Congress know they are on a collision course with a deadline. When Social Security and retirement checks do not arrive on time in August they will realize what they have done. We are watching and will ask for a recall.