Published letters, July 30, 2010

Paying taxes is a civic responsibility

I know I’ve said it before but I must repeat this bit of my philosophy again: “I love taxes!”

There, I said it, and you can call me crazy if you wish. But as a loyal and patriotic American, it is the truth of what being a citizen means to me. I believe in doing my part to contribute to the “common welfare.” I am not rich, so it isn’t as much as I would like, but my pittance lets me show I care about my country and my neighbors.

Can someone tell me what those who want tax cuts for the rich, huge bonuses and estate tax bans, but can’t tolerate helping those who have been less fortunate, care about?

And can anyone explain how an American city, Colorado Springs, can allow the rich to pay for street lights in their neighborhoods, but not share the light literally with their poorer neighbors?

There are some individuals who have seen the need to change (i.e. Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, Tim Allen) and are giving half their income to charity. They don’t want tax cuts and should set a new example for those to whom much has been given. At least we can all hope that happens.

I am glad I can contribute to supporting our police, firemen, our roads, our schools and many more common needs. No scare tactics about paying more taxes if the Bush tax cuts expire or 55 percent taxes on my estate when I die will convince me otherwise. Those expiring tax cuts and the elimination of the “death tax” don’t affect me or most other taxpayers because we aren’t in the upper 5 percentage bracket. The message is a scare tactic, not reality.

NANCY KEDDY Grand Junction

Irony abounds in name of financial reform bill

Talk about irony! Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were two of the main culprits in the financial meltdown by encouraging Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make loans to people who could not afford them. Now they will have their name on the new financial reform bill.

DAVE E. BROWN

Grand Junction

First Amendment, not God, controls freedom of press

I have searched in vain through my Bible and several concordances, seeking the source of letter writer Daniel Davis’ amazing statement July 23 that “the free press (is) a right granted by God, not government.”

And all along, most of us thought it is the First Amendment that has been the guarantor of freedom of the press! So Davis’ revelation comes as a great shock. Were it by the remotest chance to be true, it would have consequences he may not have considered. For if God has granted this right he undoubtedly would wish to exercise some continuing supervision.

Would he then be responsible for the (occasional?) errors and lapses to be found in newspapers? And what of the wider press — TV, the web, blogs, etc.? Should God be monitoring and, if necessary, censoring them to ensure the “higher and more fair standards in covering …. news” that Davis demands?

A moment’s reflection will show that invoking God to play a lead role in the journalistic enterprise would introduce more problems than he could readily handle. With so many calls being made to him for intercession in religious disputes, political matters, economic issues and a wide variety of private concerns, he might not find the time to be editor-in-chief of the world’s media.

Therefore, let’s leave the press, imperfect as it is, under human rather than supernatural control, trusting that the First Amendment will continue to do its job for another 230 years.

EARLE MULLEN, President

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers

Grand Junction



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