Time to return to an equitable tax schedule
We have lost all semblance of fairness in our tax laws. Since it does take money to run a country, why don't we return to an equitable tax schedule? Why should average taxpayers pay such a huge percentage of their earnings (and don't forget, even the lowest wage-earner pays FICA) while the richest pay such a small percentage?
Consider the following:
■ When the personal income tax was invented in 1921, incomes were as unequal as they are today. It was not applied to annual incomes less than $3,000 (or $60,000 in current dollars).
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■ In 1950, large corporations were taxed at 52 percent of their net revenue to build the national infrastructure their businesses now run on, and which is crumbling all around us today.
■ Today, average employees pay 25 percent to 40 percent of their wages in taxes while large corporations average 7 percent to 12 percent.
■ In 2004, multinational corporations paid about $16 billion in taxes on $700 billion in foreign active earnings, putting their effective tax rate at 2.3 percent.
■ In 2007, 25 of the most successful hedge fund managers earned $1 billion each. All of them paid taxes at about 15 percent because hedge fund managers' earnings are capped at the capital gains rate.
■ In 2008, the Government Accountability Office reported that 83 of the 100 largest public corporations had subsidiaries in tax havens to shelter income from taxation.
■ In 2010, estimates of taxes evaded by corporations and wealthy individuals is approximately $100 billion.
Sara M. Porter
I hope the officer involved in a recent accident will be ticketed as well as reprimanded by his senior officers for not wearing a seat belt. As someone who serves the public and is held to a higher standard, it's amazing that he broke the law by not wearing a seat belt while driving. It is still law, correct?
I know I wear mine 100 percent of the time. Seat belts save lives. This officer was lucky this time. The other driver perhaps would have had a better outcome had he had his on as well.
I work in a profession that sees the results of inadequate seat belt use. It's not pretty, and that is partially why this state has a seat belt law to be followed by all citizens.
I would be curious to know how many citations this officer has given to the general public for not wearing seat belts.
I urge his superiors to make an example of this incident by imposing a fine as well as departmental reprimand for his disregard for the very laws he is to uphold.
More than policy
The accident at Oliver Lewis Way involving a police cruiser was a tragedy. I'm curious why Lt. Chris Van Brackel says that it is policy for officers to wear seat belts. I thought it was a state law.
■ I live near the University of Kentucky, so I am frequently sitting in my car at traffic lights watching pedestrians crossing the streets. The timers set for them to get across the five lanes of traffic (two lanes each way with a passing lane in the middle) is just ridiculous. They have to almost run to get across.
I have seen people almost get hit by cars making a right on red too many times to count. It's not just around UK that I've seen this inconsideration for pedestrians. I think many of the street lights are set much too short for safe crossing.
■ The so-called mosque at Ground Zero everyone is talking about is not a mosque. It is a Muslim community center with meeting rooms and a prayer room. There would be no call to prayer as you would have if it were a mosque. Ignorant people do not know what they're talking about. Ignorance, once again, feeds hatred.
I am in a wheelchair. I had to pay my car registration. I entered the parking lot next to the police station downtown. On the second level, all the handicapped spaces were taken, forcing me to go searching for a parking space to accommodate my van. I parked on the fifth level.
On the third, fourth and fifth parking levels there are no handicapped access buttons to push to gain access to government buildings and elevators.
As a concerned citizen, I called 311 to report this problem. The lady answering my call was very professional. She transferred me to General Services. This call was answered by a very rude lady, who would not identify herself after numerous requests. She transferred me to another bureaucrat, who said the city is out of money. I can understand that.
The answer: "We are putting this on our to-do list. We will get to it." This answer is what bureaucrats give you when they want to pacify you. It will be years before the handicapped have access to government facilities.
Mayor Jim Newberry should be proud of the work of his administration.
Words, not action
They're at it again. They thump their chests and go on and on about the Constitution and the defense of it and our rights, how we must defend them.
But when you look at the spokespersons for these people — such as the Leland Conways, Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks — you see they never had the integrity to actually wear the uniform and put into practice the defense of our country and our Constitution.
I raise this point because on his Sept. 7 daily talk show, Conway, in discussing the recent burning of the Quran debacle, mentioned how he would, and I quote, "punch someone in the face for burning the flag in his presence."
This character speaks tough, but he never considered actually defending that right. Support our troops? Enlist or shut up.
Yup, it's not racist
A recent letter complained of T-shirts sold at a July 4 booth proclaiming "Yup, I'm a racist." It then pronounced the sellers "Tea Party spokespeople."
They were not designated "spokespeople" and the back of those shirts continued with "according to the government because ... I support free speech ... I support the right to bear arms ... I support closing the borders," etc.
But like a knee-jerk liberal, the writer doesn't look at the truth of a situation, doesn't pause to examine. Instead, the reaction is to point a finger and pronounce "racist."
By the way, I love my new T-shirt.