Another tax deadline, another call for reform
Nationally, over $265 billion and 6.6 billion hours are spent complying with the 70,000-plus pages of federal tax code, estimates show.
And none of this money or time adds any value whatsoever to America.
Our federal tax system started out nearly 100 years ago as a simple flat tax on the income of wealthy Americans and has evolved to what we have now.
As long as the Congress has the ability to pick winners and losers with income tax policy, our tax system will continue to weigh down America and create class warfare.
For more than 130 years, America got by with simple excise taxes and tariffs to fund the federal government. There is a reason an income tax is one of Marxism's tenets.
Isn't it time we ended this federal taxation experiment and returned to our founding principles?
It is not hard. In fact there is a bill in the current Congress with more than 70 congressional cosponsors to do just that.
Learn more about HR25/S13 and voice your support to your elected representatives to make real tax reform a priority. April 15 can be just another pleasant spring day.
Fixing GOP tax plan
After Republicans gave away the store to the wealthy through huge tax cuts for the past 30 years, the wealthy have become much richer while the rest of society has stagnated financially.
Despite the fact that two-thirds of voters want to increase taxes for the wealthy, what do Republicans want in their budget proposal? A 30-percent cut in income taxes for wealthy campaign contributors.
Tax simplification means to Republicans that the wealthy are entitled to never pay their fair share of the burden, despite the huge benefits they receive from society.
How do Republicans want to pay for these massive, pandering tax cuts for the wealthy? By massively cutting programs for those envious poor children, the sick, elderly, veterans, farms, etc. If this plan passes, the middle class ought to apply for endangered species status.
How to rectify these Republican excesses? First a 10 percent dedicated surcharge upon the gross income of the 10 percent of wealthiest taxpayers in order to pay down the $14 trillion national debt to a manageable $2 trillion. This provides the added benefits of forcing Congress to balance the budget immediately and saves $600 billion in annual interest payments.
Second, a minimum alternative tax of 10 percent upon all profitable corporations (the same rate the richest of the working poor pay).
Third, a 60 percent capital gains tax upon oil speculators. If the parasite oil speculators flee to avoid this tax, predator drones should be deployed to eliminate them in their lairs.
Allen T. Kelley
Enemy at the pumps
Recently, I drove my car to the filling station for a tank of gasoline. I prepaid at the pump. After I had infused about five gallons of gas into my car the flow stopped.
While I wiggled the various pump controls in a vain attempt to continue refueling, the station manager sauntered past. He mumbled something about "price change."
Since the five gallons of gas was sufficient to keep me from being stranded on the road, I drove home. Two days later, from force of habit, I successfully filled my gas tank at the same location. I was stunned that the per gallon cost had increased by 20 cents.
There was no relief in sight. The filling station across the road posted exactly the same prices.
The price of gasoline has increased by 80 cents since Thanksgiving. The prices of heating oil and diesel fuel usually follow.
Is no government agency concerned with the welfare of people who must drive to work, heat their homes, buy truck-delivered groceries and pay on a mortgage?
The cost of extracting petroleum from the ground should not have increased drastically in four months. If price increases of fuel represent "war by other means," then our enemies are closer than we think.
Fred H. Salisbury
Care homes dispute
This rebuttal is from Davco Personal Care Homes and directed toward the 42-page report from Kentucky Protection and Advocacy, "Home or Institution," distributed throughout Kentucky.
It is clear to us that this collection of both written verbiage and photos depicting 20 licensed personal care homes in Kentucky is selected innuendo designed to destroy the entire personal care program. We do not deny that the photos are authentic, but we take issue with the insinuations along with the omission of the identification of said photos, which leaves the reader with the impression that all personal care homes are slum dwellings, with no disclaimers for the facilities that are doing right.
To further understand the strategy behind the report, I request the reader to count the number of times the report mentions the words "segregation" and "integration" and "institution."
This is because protection and advocacy believes these words to be the cornerstone of a legal action to eliminate the 50-year proven program of caring for Kentucky's aged, disabled and mentally challenged citizens.
The personal care program is also the most cost-effective licensed care program in the United States. Our company advocates clean, well-built and well-furnished facilities, and we appreciate the agency throwing the spotlight on the same reforms that we tried to get passed in 2010 in the General Assembly with neither of our bills reaching the floor for a vote.
Schools wide open
School shootings aren't random, nor are the shooters deranged, as letter writers described them. Rather, they sanely and intelligently — though, of course, evilly — select the one venue where they have the best chance to kill lots of people and live to brag about it at trial.
Where else but at a school do our laws guarantee that a wannabe mass murderer can find many victims disarmed, defenseless, densely confined, with a date and time certain?
Restaurants used to be almost as "good," the diners disarmed and defenseless by law, densely confined by architecture and economics, numerous at predictable times. And we had restaurant massacres.
But after the "Texas restaurant massacre," states changed their laws to allow law-abiding folks to carry concealed handguns inside restaurants.
No more guaranteed defenseless victims at restaurants, no more restaurant massacres; murderers, go back to school.
We can keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results — staking out our children like goats to lure tigers, ensuring that no one can shoot the tigers when they come, and expecting the tigers to stay away.
Or, we can learn from our experience with restaurants and greatly reduce or eliminate massacres — in schools, colleges, government installations and workplaces — by denying murderers the disarmed defenseless victims they need.