Someone has to pay for our wars
I watched a documentary about World War I that had a short segment about how the new talking movie industry helped the war effort. The documentary showed a short feature shown in movie theaters in 1918 encouraging citizens to buy war bonds.
Wars are expensive and every war required some kind of taxation to pay the cost. That is until Ronald Reagan came along and declared that cutting taxes and government regulations on business stimulates the economy so much that tax revenues would increase enough to offset the tax cuts and pay for any increases in government spending.
This is a fantasy that is so too good to be true that even Bernie Madoff would be embarrassed to try to sell. Yet this is now the economic policy of all conservative Republicans.
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Reagan and the two Bush presidents started seven wars, big and small, and they used tax cuts to pay for all the wars.
The national debt was $1 trillion when Reagan became president. The additional $17 trillion added to the national debt since that time was all due to the ongoing cost of the Reagan and Bush tax cuts and wars.
Payday loans needed
Payday loans are a simple, transparent form of credit, with a one-time fee of approximately $17 per $100 borrowed in Kentucky.
Representing this fee as an annual percentage rate does not reflect the short-term nature of the service, but equates to borrowing a loan every two weeks for a year. That would be the same as if Rupp Arena parking fees were described as an annual fee instead of per game.
An annual rate cap is not a reform approach; it is an effective ban on the service. Under a 36 percent cap, regulated lenders could only charge about 14 cents a day to borrow $100 for two weeks. They would be forced to close their doors.
While my company is owned by Grupo Elektra, one of Mexico's most respected corporations, it is headquartered in the United States. Advance America employs Kentucky residents, serves Kentucky consumers and pays Kentucky and federal taxes.
Without payday loans, Kentucky residents' need for credit won't go away; instead they will be left to choose less regulated or more expensive options. Instead of restricting access to credit, federal and state regulations should seek to foster a well-regulated and accessible marketplace for all consumers.
As a quasi-patriotic, dyed-in-the wool, historically conscious American citizen, I regard the recent clandestine "letter to Iran" signed by 48 Republican members of the United States Senate reprehensible.
Not only is this act an extreme and reactionary violation of this country's executive protocol, it compromises the principles of this nation's status as a superpower. It diminishes the respect that other countries may regard us as a nation unified, founded on hard-earned, inviolate human freedoms.
As Americans, I believe the fundamental point we must remind ourselves is, regardless of how one views President Obama, he was in fact (unlike John McCain) elected by the majority of the people in this country. This is called the democratic process.
To undermine and circumnavigate the power this nation has vested in him as chief executive officer by those who should know better corrupts and emasculates the entire political structure. It upends the system of checks and balances, we lose our national honor and begin to stare at chaos. Thus, we no longer maintain a viable counterpart to nuclear proliferation and world terrorism.
Without integrity, we are nothing more than a mindless gorilla with a big club.
James P. Browning
Pols not trustworthy
Why would an honest public official feel the dire need to hide his or her email from the public? There's an old saying that sleazy politicians take to heart these days, "never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink."
I think most politicians are in office for the wrong reasons. They are not in public office to serve their communities and country anymore. They are there to worship the almighty dollar and scam every dime they can while in office. Maybe a criminal element has invaded United States politics more than ever now and we the public are paying the price such as high gas prices, forced health care and loss of civil rights by way of lobbying and bribery.
Who do we have to blame for this incursion upon our way of life? No one but the voters themselves.
David G. Duncan