Can't afford PBS
Re: "A little bit for PBS" (letter, (Oct. 12).
No we can't afford $1.50 (I think it's actually $1.60) per person annually to PBS - not when we owe $16 trillion and counting to banks in other countries. This figure will get bigger if Obama is re-elected.
There are no free movie theatres; millions of regular PBS viewers never send it anything. Frankly, I'd rather watch commercials than PBS's ubiquitous fundraisers!
Gotta pay to play
Re: "Some women just don't know how good they have it" (Christine Flowers column, Oct. 19).
Christine, you've hit the nail on the head, and I am sure that you have made so many men pleased with your article. When we (men) say, "Why should we pay for the condoms for women who want to play the sex game but don't want to take the responsibility to 'pay for the protection' needed to avoid pregnancy?" we are being sexist. I know there are men who fail to take the responsibility to practice safe sex, but if they do, then they have to accept the ramifications of fatherhood. Come on, you active females, protect yourself if you want to play the game and do not expect someone else to pay for your dalliances.
Paul D. Kelly Sr.
Tax policy? Not a clue
One of the most important issues in the impending presidential election is tax policy, necessitating that the candidate's positions be closely examined. In the estimation of this "professor," both receive an "F."
President Obama has repeatedly made it known that he seeks to let the George W. Bush tax cuts expire for higher-income Americans, increasing the progressivity of the tax code to take more from those at the top so as to redistribute their wealth. Not satisifed with a top federal income-tax rate of 35 percent, the president would allow the rate to increase to at least 39.6 percent, the tariff which was in effect under President Bill Clinton.
Mitt Romney had little to say about tax policy until he was pushed by the right wing of the party to propose something dramatic, and he did: a stunning 20 percent across-the-board reduction in current tax rates, which would be expected in and of itself to drain the Treasury of trillions of dollars over a 10-year period. When Gov. Romney was pressed to explain how we would pay for this initiative, he proposed limiting deductions, but to date has not stated which deductions would be limited or eliminated. He expects the American people to elect him on the basis of blind faith.
Candidate Romney tells us that we can reduce tax rates and increase defense spending while reducing the national debt, precisely what former President George H.W. Bush termed "voodoo economics" in his 1980 presidential bid against Ronald Reagan.
Neither candidate has proposed a fair and simple system of taxation, in which the federal income tax would be eliminated in favor of a value-added tax or consumption (sales) tax. President Obama would never propose such a system because it would impact his ability to disproportionately tax the wealthy. One can only speculate about why Mitt Romney has not proposed such a system. Perhaps he is listening to those who benefit from tying the American people into knots as we waste hundreds of billions of dollars and hours each year to comply with the arcane, inane, mystifying and incomprehensible Internal Revenue Service tax code.
It is understandable that businesses are refraining from hiring and spending, given that no one knows what tax policy or rates will be in effect beginning next year. This is a nation that now operates on stopgap spending plans, Congress and the president shamefully having failed to approve a budget even when the Democrats controlled the executive and legislative branches.
The American people and American businesses have every reason to expect the worst in an era in which political grandstanding and hyper-partisanship come first and the people come last. When we cry out for a sane, simple and equitable system of taxation, our "leaders," including the presidential candidates, shout back, "We are not listening to you!"
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
Just like the Old West
"It's time for Pa. to get tougher on straw purchasers of guns" (op-ed, Oct. 22) was right on target. However, it is time we returned to Old Western justice. There are very few trees in Philadelphia, but plenty of overhead street lights that will serve the purpose: String 'em up, with a sign around their neck that reads, "I was a straw purchaser of illegal guns." It may not stop straw purchasing entirely, but it surely will slow it down.