Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Hal Sundin titles his column, “As I See It.”
Well, this is how I see it. There will never be agreement on how to assess taxes and who should pay or how much. The current method creates classes of people and causes resentment, hard feelings and in many cases, takes away incentive.
The Congress should completely eliminate all forms of income taxes and institute a consumption tax – a one-time tax on anything you buy. Not a Value Added Tax, because it puts a tax upon tax all along the way of making something. If you want three cars, four televisions, six cell phones, pay the tax when you buy them. Don’t want to pay taxes? Fine, don’t buy any more than you need. States, counties and cities should soon follow suit with all their various sales taxes and alphabet-labeled taxes, adjusted to one consumption tax. There are people out there right now who have the ideas and plans to make this work. This also would cover all the money paid to under the table transactions because when that money is spent, they pay a tax.
And Hal, you can talk all you want about global warming. I don’t believe it and most of all do not believe man could cause it. God is in control. He created the universe, this planet, all his people and gave it to man to use and enjoy, including all the resources he put here. When things get out of whack, he corrects it and heals it. When you read the Bible and selectively pick words from scripture to emphasize your points, that’s one thing. To study the Bible is when you learn the context that those parables were taught by Jesus. I’ll close with my own selected scripture for 2012, Psalm 109, verse 8: “Let his days be few, and let another take his office.”
Thank you to John Colson for reporting on the many news items surrounding the gas and oil industry in Garfield County. The public needs to know what is happening and John seems to be the one to “sniff out” the stories.
One aspect I appreciate about John’s reporting is that he tells us what is happening with the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The board has seen fit to not publish the minutes of their meetings for over a year. While one can request a copy from a specific meeting it seems odd that the records going back to 1996 stop at Sept. 8, 2009. Citizens wishing to know what our elected officials are doing have to go through a process to find out. This is not my idea of open government!
Thank you, John Colson, we the citizens need you.
Laura Van Dyne
As a resident of Silt, I read with concern your article regarding the family on Silt Mesa that is experiencing illness which they and their doctor believe is related to the location of their home within an area of moderate gas drilling activity. I was left with many questions. I am writing this letter to urge you to print another story with more thorough research.
For example: What is the actual specific diagnosis related to these symptoms? Perhaps a reporter could conduct an interview with the doctor. Has anyone conducted tests of the family’s water? Do they have a well or do they truck water from the municipal system as many do? Are there any air quality monitors in the vicinity? There certainly are some in the area, what changes, if any, have been recorded by these monitors?
This is a very serious allegation and the citizens of Silt deserve to know if there is a legitimate cause for concern.
In her letter of Jan. 5, Jolene Varley makes several claims about the Social Security system of the United States that are misinformed at best.
1) She says that the rich pay “outrageous” amounts in to the system. This is the opposite of the truth. Only the first $106,800 of wages is subject to Social Security taxes. The wealthy make a lot of their income through dividends, capital gains and the like, which are not subject to FICA taxes. The bottom line is that the well off pay a lower percentage of their wages to Social Security than working people. For some, much lower.
2) She claims that the rich cannot collect Social Security benefits. This is untrue. There is not, and never has been, means testing for Social Security. Some have recently suggested this, but that would change a basic pension program into a welfare program, something many Americans oppose.
3) Ms. Varley also calls the program a “failure.” I’m not sure if she means it’s insolvent or that it does not provide the basic safety net it was designed to. Neither claim stands up to scrutiny. The program is adequately funded through 2041, and relatively minor changes would be sufficient to fix it into the future beyond. As to it’s effectiveness, for seventy-five years not one American who was entitled to benefits under the program has failed to receive them in full, and poverty rates among the elderly and disabled are far lower than they were before the program’s inception. It has been, simply, a rousing success.
Like Ms. Varley, I’ve paid into the system since I was 14, though that’s a few decades longer for me. As long as we do what is necessary to fix the system and not listen to those intent on destroying it, everybody will continue to enjoy its success. I expect to benefit from it when I retire or become disabled, and if I die before that, I am confident my wife will receive the assistance she needs. It’s what she, I and all the American people (including Ms. Varley) deserve.
Jolene Varley has some mistakes in her letter of Jan. 5 that I’m sure will be pointed out by more than just myself. England’s government when we declared independence, was a monarchy, far from a socialist government or society. Not everything worth fighting against is socialist.
The New Deal did not “create” unions, though they were encouraged, to rebuild our shattered economy; unions to unite workers after the same speculation and wall street excesses we just witnessed with our current recession, devastated jobs and the country in the 30’s. Union corruption doesn’t hold a candle to crimes against people and the environment committed by corporations in pursuit of the all mighty dollar, then and now.
Entitlements have no current qualifications, other than age and were created as a safety net, primarily for the poor, and I for one, would not feel bad if the wealthy were asked to give up their unneeded safety net so others might get their due.
If you are seriously talking about a waste of our money, then think about what we could do with the $390,000 estimated cost of one soldier for one year, in our endless wars. (Your founding fathers were, ironically, creating a nation to end George III taxation for his endless wars.) Iraq was costing $720 million a day when Mr. Bush put those costs off budget, in some kind of budget netherworld, however these continuing costs are certainly a giant part of our debt. War benefits no one but defense contractors. There’s the real “con.” Why is this subject not even brought up, let alone debated?
Social Security is only now beginning not to support itself and is a good alternative to old people living on the streets. Where are our priorities?
The word for the day should be “oligarchy,” describing a current situation not being addressed by the right or the left, and, we agree, “education.”
On the front page of the Post, Jan. 5, the statement that Balcomb made to the County Commissioners on Jan. 3 was indeed correct … “We’re on the verge of a very bad time in Garfield County, thanks to the decrease in drilling activities over the past year and a half or so.” So, hearing that statement I would like to invite you to Google the town of Pavillion, Wyoming.
You be the judge on what is ahead of us in this valley. I want to thank the County Commissioners for their intervention, and for the Post Independent for consistent coverage of what is going on in our County.
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