New health care law contains a range of taxes
The mandate to purchase health insurance, is it a penalty or a tax? The fact is that the American people have been lied to because there are 20 additional taxes in the health care bill.
Just a few of the taxes that hurt the economy would be those on: insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, health savings accounts, the individual mandate and the job-killing tax on employers.
Is it any wonder that a business owner would not want to expand the business to 50 or more employees to be covered by the law?
The additional taxes on business entities will simply be added to the products, services or premiums. The middle class can least afford what is coming soon to all of us.
The tax that just takes the blue-ribbon award is that which raises capital gains and dividends, currently at 15 percent, to a maximum of 23.8 percent and 43.4 percent, respectively.
If Barack Obama can call a tax merely a penalty, then I do not see why companies could not call capital gains "achievements" and dividends "incentives."
Perhaps with different name designations, they could not be taxed. (But I would not count on it.)
Limits to tax exemption
A few weeks ago, the Rev. Jason Hutchinson and the Rev. Ronnie Spriggs demonstrated failure to understand the responsibilities under the IRS 501(c)3 rules or the protections afforded to them by the First Amendment.
No church has the right to enact any church doctrine into U.S. law. That includes defining who can marry. That same rule means that no law can require any church to marry a couple that the church does not approve of.
Fighting civil gay marriage is an attempt to impose church doctrine on everyone else and is not permitted under the U.S. Constitution.
Declaring from the pulpit that the congregation take any political position is not allowed under the rules for a church or any other 501(c)3 organization.
If the pastors would like to start paying taxes, they are free to become a political action committee and take any political position they desire. Even if they decide to become a PAC, the First Amendment still limits what can become law.
Before practicing politics from the pulpit or calling for a national day of prayer, as one Lexington pastor recently wrote in a letter to the editor, local clergy should consider organizing a clergy training day so that they can understand their responsibilities and privileges in our legal system.
Hardship for retirees
Due to the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly suspending the cost-of-living adjustments to Kentucky Retirement Systems recipients for the next two fiscal years, I want to put our elected General Assembly officials on notice that I, as a voter and taxpayer, will not vote for any lawmaker who introduces, votes for or supports a raise for themselves.
Retirees will not receive a pay raise for two years. This will cause an undue hardship for thousands of citizens who worked for the commonwealth of Kentucky in state and county/city government for low wages.
When will our elected officials step up and do what's right for the citizens of Kentucky? I guess all I can do is wait, vote and see what the future holds.
James Jeffrey Coleman
Sen. Mitch McConnell says, "Repeal and replace." I believe we should do as he says — repeal and replace McConnell.
He has collected good pay and perks to say "no" to the hard-working people of the U.S.A. His only purpose is to defeat the president, not help the people.
Republican lawmakers are saying people don't want government-controlled health care. But the lawmakers all have it.
Government health care has provided former vice president Dick Cheney with at least five heart surgeries.
I don't see any Republican turning it down and saying it's not good enough for them. I'm sure we would love to have what they have.
Stipend for volunteers
While this may be anecdotal, there is a lot of truth about non-profits and so-called care from religious hospitals. They do look to volunteers to lower their overall costs.
A recent visit to the emergency room bears this out and opened my eyes to our new Mount Sterling hospital's business practices.
While parked in front of the emergency room waiting to see a doctor, it took a volunteer to help me out of the vehicle, as another gathered me into a wheelchair, while still a third took info from my wife as I finally reached a medical professional who would take my vital signs.
How did I know they were volunteers? They wore name tags that said so.
It would seem that if the hospital (I mean how Christian of them to make money off the back of the volunteers) or hospice could afford millions in bonuses and salary to their top executives, they could pay the blessed volunteer a small stipend. A volunteer is just one illness away from being in the ER.
Norman E. Goldie Jr.
Church giving drops
There is another drought coming that will affect you: Church and charitable giving has dropped from 3.5 percent of incomes to 3.2 percent in the last three years.
Weak churches mean more lying, stealing, adultery, violence etc. Less to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Scouts, etc., means looking to the bankrupt government or doing without.
Meanwhile, Mormons, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and most Muslims are keeping close to their usual 10 percent giving.
Jesus advocated giving 10 percent. Tithing gives one a special relationship to God and brings his blessings upon one. Nehemiah scolded ancient Israel for not tithing and brought them into compliance resulting in the wall being rebuilt.
Some say, "I will give him my heart, my praise, my thanks, but not my financial support; a small amount should suffice."
My pastor said that tithing is the launching pad to help bring the kingdom of God on Earth; a good starting point, and to give offerings and alms above that.
Could the recent harmful weather and economic patterns be an indication that God has lifted his protecting hand from us due to our stinginess, Barack Obama's disdain for Israel and our killing of 54 million children?
J. B. Armstrong
Having met Doug Saylor, in his grocery business 30 years ago, I have followed his slaying with some interest.
Kudos to the Lexington police detectives who tracked the suspect to East St. Louis, Ill., to make the arrest.
Now it's time for the Herald-Leader to do its job and let the fine people of Lexington know about Jose Rodriguez or Gerardo Turrcios-Rodriguez or any one of his numerous aliases' immigration status. Just curious.