Big business being blamed too much for political foibles
University of Kentucky professor Ron Formisano's April 28 commentary, "Why do freedom lovers let big business intimidate?," stated that Wall Street gamblers caused the recent near-financial collapse and recession.
That's an oversimplification.
President Bill Clinton pushed through legislation, with the help of Sens. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, mandating that mortgages be granted to some who could not afford them.
The easy-money policies of President George W. Bush and the Federal Reserve facilitated this. And let's not forget the contributions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
I am no fan of Bank of America and General Electric because of their political support of the left. But it is not fair to say they don't pay enough taxes.
They pay sales taxes, payroll taxes and real estate taxes. They paid no income tax for 2010 because of tax rules allowing loss carry-forward, and GE expects to return to their normal average tax rate of 20 percent of profit.
Why 20 percent instead of the 35 percent corporate rate? Their political contributions, with the help of lobbyists, buy them all sorts of deductions. The House proposal is to eliminate these deductions and go to a 25 percent rate. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
Formisano goes on to denounce Koch Industries for distributing political pamphlets to their employees and calls it "intimidation by bosses." Employers not only have a right, but an obligation, to inform their employees of political decisions which might affect the welfare of the company, and therefore their jobs.
Stop spending — on oil
We, the American people, have a bunch of idiots saying spending must be cut for schools, health care, taxes and wages.
But they send $25 million to Moammar Gadhafi resisters to keep control of one oil town.
These politicians rattle on and on about how they are going to save, then spend two or three times what they were going to save.
It's way past time the American people let BP know we appreciate them as much as they do us. Oil companies have given themselves many nice increases and still refuse to pay for much of the destruction caused from drilling.
People must take charge of our government and quit buying their exploding prices and their excuses for price increases. Our grandchildren will be born owing more money than we have ever made.
This is our way of leaving this world a better place?
Williams or horses
Unfortunately for our fair state, Sen. David Williams aspires to be elected governor. If this were to happen, residents should be prepared to kiss the Thoroughbred industry goodbye.
As Senate president, Williams has almost single-handedly shot down attempts to allow expanded gaming, although he likes to gamble himself.
What he refuses to comprehend is that the horse industry is not asking for a handout, but rather simply to be allowed equal footing with surrounding states.
Expanded gaming would allow increased purses, which in turn would lure horsemen to our tracks and keep Kentucky horses in Kentucky. If an owner can enter a $60,000 maiden race in Pennsylvania or a $30,000 one in Kentucky, where should he go?
The answer is simple.
None of us want to walk into our beloved tracks and see a casino, but we have got to get on level ground with our neighboring states. An election of Williams would be a sucker punch for the "Horse Capital of the World."
Managing feral cats
Feral cats are being killed at the Lexington Humane Society. Lexington citizens would probably be shocked to learn that being killed in an animal shelter is the No. 1 documented cause of death for cats in the United States.
Over 70 percent of cats who enter animal shelters are killed.
Nearly all feral cats brought to shelters are killed right away because, while feral cats are the same species as companion cats and are healthy, they are not socialized to humans and cannot be adopted into homes.
It's time to put an end to animal-control practices that rely on catch and kill. Not only is it cruel, it is expensive and our tax and donor dollars are funding it.
Catch and kill is also not supported by a majority of Americans, according to an Alley Cat Allies survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
Cities across the country are realizing that, rather than endless catch and kill, our tax dollars and donations would be much better spent on trap-neuter-return for outdoor cats and low-cost spay and neuter for all cats.
Now it's our community's turn. I urge you to visit Alleycat.org and educate yourself on the true cost of lethal animal control.
Where's the harm?
Any climate scientist worth their salt would say that you can't attribute the frequency of record rainfall and tornados to climate change — there are simply too many variables, especially over short time periods.
However, climate modeling and basic science indicate that global warming is probably a major factor in what's going on.
My hope is that our current weird weather isn't just the opening act as our atmosphere adjusts to new, warmer conditions.
But where's the harm in adapting to what may be rapidly changing climatic conditions?
In the words of environmental activist Bill McKibben, we ought to simplify and decentralize our lives, doing such things as buying locally produced food and products whenever possible to reduce transportation costs and become more energy independent.
We should make other changes that make us more self-sufficient and, by the way, enable us to enjoy all sorts of energy savings in the process. Given Lexington's strategic location and geography, it's probably a good economic bet, too.
GOP on our dime
The actions of Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, including not paying taxes for six years on his personal use of a state SUV, are the exact reasons our state is in the financial fix it is in.
The days of the take-home car have got to end.
What about his pay? I would bet we could cut it in half and he still would live a nice lifestyle.
How long are the people of this state and this country going to allow this kind of spending to go on?
Last month, our own U.S. senator was overseas with his wife and we, the people, paid for it. Well, come next election, the people will again speak. Farmer, or any Republican, will be sorry for their actions.