Weatherford Democrat

January 16, 2013

Letters to the Editor - Jan. 16, 2013

Weatherford Democrat

— Thank you to the Peaster community

Dear Editor,

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the people of the Peaster community and the friends of the Peaster School for their overwhelming generosity and support for the PAL class Angel Tree Project. So many “Angels” gave of themselves, their time, and their money to insure that 81 of our youth would have a wonderful Christmas.

I would especially like to thank two of my PAL students Amanda Murphy and Bayley Bradford who led in the organization of the project. A special thanks goes to our three counselors Julie West, Paige Johnson and Melinda Cosper for the endless hours they spent identifying the children’s needs and then for delivering the gifts. I applaud our high school principal, Darla Henry, for her willingness to “pitch in” and help with the wrapping and organizing of the gifts. When time was running short and panic began to set in, LeEllen Dillard spent all day wrapping gifts to insure we would meet the deadline and get the gifts delivered.

Day after day, as we began receiving the gifts, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many and was reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. A simple “thank you” does not seem quite adequate, but to those who gave, please know that you were a true blessing to 81 young people in the Peaster community. Even though the economy is uncertain, you reached deep into your resources to help, and I feel very fortunate to teach in a community where generosity and support are still extended to those in need.

With heartfelt thanks,

Kaye Wood, Peaster High School PAL sponsor

More tax increases needed to lower debt

Dear Editor,

The 2012 national tax bill finally passed the Congress. It cannot be the last tax increase if we truly want to significantly lower the annual federal deficit.

Next year the federal government will still spend about 30 percent more than it takes in. While spending can be reduced, it cannot be reduced by anywhere near 30 percent. If the budget was balanced by just cuts, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and defense spending would all have to be immediately severely reduced. Anyone believing these reductions could be made, has abandoned political reality.

Federal revenue must be increased permanently. There are only two possible courses of action. One is to increase current federal taxes, i.e. income, corporate, Social Security and Medicare taxes. The other is to create new taxes.

A national sales tax and financial transaction taxes have been considered and are used by most other industrialized nations. Both can be avoided or lowered by reducing personal spending and making fewer financial transactions each year. Both taxes would be collected from retailers and financial institutions so they are much simpler to collect, as opposed to collecting from individuals. And they are much more difficult to avoid, resulting in a fairer tax burden.

The only other solution is to increase present federal taxes. Social Security has not contributed 1 cent to the national debt. It should be adjusted slightly to make it solvent for the foreseeable future. As demonstrated by the last two years, there is little support for increasing personal income taxes. So that leaves Medicare and business taxes.

The often-repeated statement that we already have near the highest corporate tax rate in the world is extremely misleading. The statutory rate is almost meaningless. Corporations have altered the code with endless deductions and loopholes, and these must be closed, so that collection actually approaches statutory rates.

Medicare and Medicaid are two of the principle reasons for deficits. These systems and our actual health care industry must be altered. This will be a Herculean task; it will take years to plan, pass and implement. All we can do now is start the process.

However, I believe we can’t wait years. If increased collection from corporation and finance transaction taxes don’t raise enough revenue, I believe we should create a national sells tax, with an exemption for food, medical spending and medical insurance. Taxes on food disproportionately fall on the poor. And it would be really stupid to increase the cost of health care, while we are trying to reduce cost.

I’m sure there are other courses of reasonable action that I’m not aware of. I hope guest and professional columnists would stop trying to promote lost causes. We need constructive suggestions for real solutions. It wasn’t just politicians that created the deficits, we the people are ultimately responsible.

Dennis Tilly, Weatherford