Celebrity news taking spotlight

Tom Cruise and his 6-year-old daughter Suri leave Chelsea Piers in New York. Cruise is sharing custody of Suri with his estranged wife, actress Katie Holmes. DONALD TRAILL / Associated Press
Tom Cruise and his 6-year-old daughter Suri leave Chelsea Piers in New York. Cruise is sharing custody of Suri with his estranged wife, actress Katie Holmes. DONALD TRAILL / Associated Press
Posted: July 20, 2012

Celebrity news taking spotlight

Thus far, the presidential campaign and reportage have centered around minor issues like Bain Capital or the president's biography. Incredibly, the main issue our nation faces is hardly discussed. Do people not understand that we are facing financial catastrophe? The state of Tom Cruise's marriage is not on my priority list.

Our national debt is $15 trillion and counting. Our "off-the-books" debt for items like Medicare is reaching $80 trillion, an unpayable amount. The biggest holder of U.S. debt is not China; it is the Federal Reserve, at $6.5 trillion. Yes, we hold our own debt, with money that doesn't exist.

Our currency is bring wrecked, while the Fed strangles savers, seniors, insurance companies, and pension funds with near-zero interest rates. Is your pension fund too big to fail? You'd better hope so.

Huge state and municipal debt is not even on the radar. Yet cities are declaring bankruptcy or gutting services, like Stockton, Calif., a city of 300,000 people. Our media and political parties are failing us. And shame on the American people for not demanding better.

Richard Iaconelli, Philadelphia, post_rich@yahoo.com

Lamination a no-no in ID process

Any Pennsylvania voter who needs to get a photo ID also needs to know that if his Social Security card is laminated, it will not be acceptable to the Department of Transportation. People will need to give themselves time to go through the process of applying for another one and waiting for it to arrive. This piece of important information, of course, is nowhere on the PennDot website, and was not known by the Department of State Hotline.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the Corbett administration's commitment to provide accurate information and education about the voter-ID Law to the citizens of this state is abysmal. It is shocking that in the state where democracy began we should be at the mercy of such shameless behavior.

Peggy MacGregor, Philadelphia

Up to you to save documents

Prospective brides need to know that the conclusion of Tuesday's article, "Woman's ordeal shows voter-ID pitfalls," is simply not accurate. A woman alleging discrimination against divorcées said, "A man is born with one name and he keeps it, but there are thousands of women whose names change just like mine did." No, her name didn't magically change through marriage — she chose to change it. Those opting to make such a change are well-advised to retain documentation of their prior legal name(s).

Diane C. Moskal, Abington

Income taxes aren't the only ones

A letter Tuesday, "Too many people don't pay taxes," repeats a common complaint. The writer infers that approximately half of Americans are getting a free ride because they pay nothing into the system. He forgets that the government depends on far more than income taxes for revenue. While deductions and exemptions allow many lower- and middle-income people to effectively owe no income taxes, the reality is that they still pay many other taxes to all levels of government.

If the income tax were the only tax collected by the federal government, then the cries of the top half of earners would be taken more seriously. Working people still pay Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, gasoline, and payroll taxes. In addition, a significant portion of the folks paying no taxes are poor, living on retirement income, or disabled. The notion that the cost of government services are shouldered by only half of all households is a myth.

Sheth Jones, Philadelphia, syakov79@gmail.com

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