Printed letters, October 2, 2012
After I read Jim Spehar’s column on the county’s jobs and economy, an image of two pyramids came to mind.
The first pyramid consists of a ranking of top employers. The apex is almost entirely made up of the public sector. The broad base is the private sector with about 9 percent missing. My fear is that the public sector will sooner or later crush taxpayers.
If the public sector creates private jobs, as Spehar asserts, let’s have it go out and create those jobs and lower the county’s unemployment rate to the state level or, better yet, to the historical average of around 5 percent.
Once again, repeat after me: The government doesn’t create jobs. Only the private sector creates jobs.
The second pyramid is Social Security, affectionately known to the politically incorrect among us as a Ponzi scheme. A base of 42 workers supported the first retiree in 1940. Today Spehar is supported by fewer than three. Theoretically, he knows each of them. They are his two children and son-in-law.
Every month, Pharaoh Spehar and the other 55 million of us receiving Social Security checks are borrowing $500 each and sending the bill, with accrued interest, to our grandchildren.
Neither pyramid can be sustained. The latter is also immoral.
JOSEPH A. LUFF
National debt will eventually be too heavy for the economy
Jim Spehar’s Sept. 25 column touting public-sector jobs mysteriously ignored the $16 trillion national debt government has run up in part to pay for them.
The private sector produces a profit that is taxed by government to fund necessary public-sector functions. When money paid by taxpayers in the private sector equals money received by those in the public sector, the budget is in balance and citizens are paying for what we get.
This should be the norm, with occasional exceptions for items such as capital improvements and national emergencies, when debt is justified and will be paid off.
But for decades government has routinely spent far more than it takes in to fulfill endless vote-pandering promises and entitlements. It makes up the difference by printing and borrowing money. We are living far beyond our means in this country, and Spehar’s column confirms we also have our local fingers deep in that federal pie.
The accelerating growth of debt to support this standard of living is not sustainable. As tax receivers continue to levy demands that taxpayers cannot afford, whether for make-work government jobs or pure handouts, we move toward the precipice. This will eventually crash down on us like a house of cards with an anvil on top.
Exactly what tax loopholes would Romney eliminate?
Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan have proposed reducing taxes. They say that they plan to pay for this reduction, plus balance the budget and reduce the national debt, by closing loopholes in the tax system. I’m in favor of closing loopholes, but what loopholes are they planning to close?
Romney and Ryan have stubbornly refused to discuss what they plan to propose to Congress. The amount that can be gained by eliminating oil depletion allowances, carried interest and similar preferences that are taken advantage of by only a small number of taxpayers (generally higher-income ones) is far too small to produce the revenue needed to accomplish their goals.
It would seem that the loopholes they have in mind must be items that apply to a large number of taxpayers. It seems probable that they are concerned that revealing their plans would cost them a lot of votes. A likely loophole is the home mortgage interest deduction. Another might be that from charitable contributions. To get to really big savings, could they have in mind taking away the deduction for state income and property taxes?
If, indeed, they took away these common deductions, then it’s likely that all taxpayers would revert to the standard deduction. So, for this approach to be effective, the standard deduction would also have to be eliminated.
Admittedly this is entirely speculation, but until Romney and Ryan produce specifics, we are left guessing as to what their election would do to the common man’s taxes, or for that matter, the other aspects of our lives.
GOP efforts on spending, voting are common sense
Paul Didier’s recent letter lambasting Romney, Republicans in general and anyone who wants balanced budgets and elections neglected the common-sense element of the dilemmas.
Politicians serve their constituents by insisting that we stop spending ourselves into a Greek scenario and demanding a balanced budget.
It is also a no-brainer that these millions of people who supposedly can’t get an ID to vote can offer one to cash checks, get on a plane or collect food stamps and the like, but just can’t find one to vote. Think Acorn.