AP NEWS

Letters To The Editor 2/14/2019

February 14, 2019
YOUR OPINION

Tax law’s impact

Editor: We are in tax season and this is the first year of returns under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The positive aspects of the tax reform is that corporate income taxes are reduced to 21 percent from 35 percent. Individual income rates are reduced, but seven tax brackets remain. The negative news is the deficit is rising at an alarming rate. Corporate tax receipts are near at a 75-year low as a share of the economy.

Corporate tax reduction was expected to generate investment in infrastructure and higher pay for employees. What we saw was buybacks of corporate stock and bonuses for management. Hence, the increase in most individual income was likely from the reduced amount of individual taxes collected.

The new majority in the House of Representatives has plans to increase revenue through additional taxes leveled on corporate assets above an undetermined dollar amount. Conservatives cry about ”redistribution of wealth.” Indeed, that is the plan.

While corporate taxes were reduced, no loopholes were removed. So, many corporations pay no taxes yet corporations are high users of government services. Tax revenue is needed to pay federal judges, for instance, who preside over corporate lawsuits. Taxes from the middle class always are there to pay court expenses. Rarely does a blue-collar worker need protection from air traffic controllers while flying a private jet. Yet individual income taxes flow into the U.S. Treasury for air controller salaries.

Another debate centers around the federal minimum wage, which has not increased since July 2009 when it was raised to $7.25. Over the last decade inflation has eroded that wage to $6.19. Business owners are outraged at the idea of raising the rate over several years to $15. I am outraged at the idea of business owners not paying their employees a living wage.

PHYLLIS C. REINHARDT

SCRANTON

 

Venezuela’s example

Editor: I suggest that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visit Venezuela to see firsthand the results of socialism on what was one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries.

The people have no food or medicine and their unit of currency, the bolivar, is worthless. Former President Hugo Chavez nationalized the oil industry to redistribute its profits to everyone. That resulted in a full collapse of their major economic lifeline.

Recently, the current president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, blocked a bridge connecting Colombia to Venezuela to prevent humanitarian aid in food and medicine from reaching the people. Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England, was correct when she stated that socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money.

I can only conclude that Ocasio-Cortez is blissfully ignorant of fundamental economic realities in her proposed Green New Deal. I trust that the American people will not fall for this insanity.

EUGENE M. OGOZALEK

SCRANTON

 

Truth search shelved

Editor: It is so disheartening to see that many of our citizens continue to be duped by President Trump and conservative media.

The proof is in the comments I see in this publication and elsewhere. References to Karl Marx and Venezuela related to socialism indicate a lack of understanding of what certain politicians are saying. One, the kind of socialism of which those individuals speak has no relation to pure socialism. Second, those people speak for themselves, not the entire Democratic Party or their candidates.

I could go into a long explanation of the differences in ideology, but that is not my job. As U.S. citizens, it is our duty to base our beliefs and votes on as much of the truth as can be found. It is our duty to thoroughly investigate all ideas that a candidate puts forth. Whether an investigation of those facts changes a person’s mind is not important. At least the facts were weighed in making a decision.

Taking personal responsibility is the mantra of conservatives, usually related to negative events in a person’s life, such as poverty. For Pete’s sake, take real personal responsibility and seek the truth.

DENNIS BRYON

BLAKELY

 

Border relief needed

Editor: The files on my adoption have been sealed so I am unsure of my nationality.

I feel that a lot of refugees are outrunning bad situations and the fact that they chose to come to the United States should make us proud. These people could have tried to go anywhere in the world.

There are a minority of gang members and rapists among the refugees, not a majority like President Trump claims. The border wall plan is not going to help anything. The idea of putting U.S. troops along the border with Mexico is a bad one also.

The president parrots the media that there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. I kind of like to listen to him because his lies are so obvious and he always gets caught. Instead of troops at the border we need the Peace Corps or something humane.

It’s interesting but a national state of emergency could bring martial law with it. I brought up my background because I’m not sure I’ll ever know my origins.

ARTHUR HARTMAN

TAYLOR

 

Cast ballots by mail

Editor: Our state government should consider the implementation of voting completely by mail, similar to voting system options used and proven to be successful in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

This system has proved to be fair, safe and easy. It has increased voter turnout by allowing voters to avoid going to polling places and the states incur financial savings by eliminating the need for polling places, the equipment and staff to support them.

This method also provides a voting system that would be more secure from Russian meddling. Our lawmakers should consider this before spending money on new election machines.

MICHAEL SOSNOWSKI

PECKVILLE