Every little bit helps decrease national debt
In 1945, the year I was born, the second-lowest tax rate was 29 percent, beginning with $4,000. In 2010, the $4,000 equivalent taxable income is $48,500, taxed at 15 percent for married filing jointly — a 14 percent rate decrease.
In 1945, the highest tax rate was 94 percent beginning at $200,000. In 2010 the rate is 35 percent, and the equivalent dollar taxable amount is $2.4 million.
Greek philosopher Herodotus once said if you take a little, then add a little often, before long you have something big: in this case, a taxable decline of 59 percent.
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Obviously the rich learned this lesson well during these 65 years. They are further enabled with a tax code estimated at some 13,000-plus pages in length, full of exemptions.
Ironically, when you read articles concerning deficit reduction, a million dollars here and 10 million there, these reductions are looked at as a mere pittance against the debt.
Where could we have been over these 65 years if we had learned to reduce fraud in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense contracts and earmarks or reduced or eliminated unnecessary subsidies, lavish spending, intergovernmental turf wars, ridiculous amounts of foreign aid, poor decision-making on wars and an inability to win the drug war. If we had acted proactively, not politically, on immigration and tax policy, where could we have been?
Isn't it time to start solving these problems so that 65 years from now our newborns will have a sustainable government?
New York Post columnist Michael A. Walsh doesn't believe in bipartisanship. He suggests both parties should be purely partisan.
Maybe our country should change her name to the "Divided States of America," or become two countries, the Republican States of America and the Democratic States of America.
Hate is winning over love in America. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News, right-wing talk radio and greed are killing the United States of America.
Well, Democrats could play the "just say no" game when Republicans are in control of the legislative agenda.
Republicans, we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and like it or not, it does take a village, or beloved community, to raise a child.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
I am writing in response to the report in the Dec. 19 paper about Census figures, specifically that Owsley County was highlighted for having "only 4.6 percent of residents 25 and older with bachelor's degrees."
I am not disputing the number, but I am offering an insight as to why this number exists.
I am proud to say I grew up on Cow Creek. After reading that Owsley County has the nation's lowest rate in bachelor's degrees, I thought of the people I grew up with who went on to college.
In less than two minutes, I named 32 from Cow Creek alone. This area has produced teachers, lawyers, government employees, ministers, office managers, pharmacists and even a pilot.
We graduated from high school, went to college, got those $50,000 jobs in cities in Central and Northern Kentucky and did not return to Owsley County.
Yes, Owsley County may have the "lowest rate of residents with bachelor's degrees in the nation," but the education, work ethic and values we obtained in Owsley County are being used in other communities.
I wonder what the data would have shown if the question had been, "Are you from Owsley County?"
Water bills rise
I noticed a recent letter complaining about excessive water bills.
We are two senior citizens who got a bill for $237.37 (10 times our usual bill) for a period in which we didn't even water flowers; and we never water the lawn.
We have had our home checked out by our plumber and the water company, and there is no leak.
Unfortunately we are at the mercy of these people. I have never felt so helpless. Is there anyone on our side?
The company can apparently do whatever it wants, or else we get our water turned off. I have a friend who has had the same miserable experience. Will somebody help us?
The other Holman
I want to comment on a recent letter by someone with the same name as myself.
To clarify, I am Dan Holman of Georgetown. Daniel Holman of Lexington was complaining about the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also complained about fundamentalist forms of Islam and Christianity.
While I don't disagree with all of his statements, I also don't fully agree with them, nor would I have framed my thoughts in the same way. One reason I wanted to clarify the identities of the two Daniel Holmans is because I am chairman of the Christian Fellowship Group at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Lexington, and I didn't want readers to think that our group advocates claiming Christianity or Islam to be fascist organizations.
Like my namesake, I am also frustrated by the U.S.'s continuing choice to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also, I find counterproductive to the advancement of world peace and human enlightenment some religious leaders' point of view that a main theme of humanity is that we are characters and tools in a divine effort to usher in a new kingdom based on submissive and unchecked loyalty to supreme authority.
However, I would word and frame things differently than the other Daniel Holman, so I just wanted to alert readers to our separate identities.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society had "utterly failed," the declaration fueled a growing debate over the real value of immigration and multiculturalism.
This policy definitely needs reconsideration, especially in light of other biological phenomena.
In the biological world, "multi-species-ism" has had catastrophic consequences for biodiversity throughout the world. Compared to other threats to biodiversity, invasive introduced species rank second only to habitat destruction.
Of all 1,880 imperiled species in the United States, 49 percent are endangered because of introduced species, which are a greater threat to native biodiversity than pollution, harvest and disease combined.
Invasive species do not coexist forever in harmony. They coexist for a short time in competition until the invasive species out-reproduce their native competitors to extinction.
This happens when naive humans destroy the protections offered by thousands of years of geographical isolation.
We should be concerned that human multiculturalism may similarly undermine the cultural protection offered by thousands of years of geographical isolation.
In a very short geological time span, a small segment of human culture could gradually out-reproduce all the others until there is only one left. And the chance that your culture will be that last one is slim to none. We need national policies to be established by those skilled in math, science and problem solving, and not by dope-smoking Kumbaya singers.
David L. Krimm