Spending levels needs to be cut or frozen, and the debt paid down. The benefits of paying down the debt would far outweigh any tax cuts. What we really need is a more simple and fair tax structure.
Also, when you look at the profligate spending going on (Mercedes SUVs? C'mon!), it doesn't appear that most people are actually hurting because of taxes, and it certainly doesn't look as if they would be smarter with their money if they had more of it in their pockets (see Mercedes SUVs).
Remember, that tax money may be ours, but the debt is ours as well.
-- Marc Marton, Alpharetta
Taxation without education
Mr. Jones (Flip Side, "Is George W. Bush's Tax-Reform Plan Fair to All Americans?" Oct. 14) needs to attend a basic 6th grade math course. An education will help him understand that Bush's tax plan is fair to all tax payers not just, as he mistakenly believes, the rich.
I, for the first time in my life, earned just over 100,000 dollars last year and was astonished and upset at the amount of money the federal, state, and the local governments take. I brought myself into this income level very gradually and with a tremendous amount of hard work, and contrary to what Clinton and Gore believe, neither the government nor they had anything to do with my success from hard work.
I started at age 11 working on a farm to pay for basic items such as clothing, worked my way through high school stocking shelves at Winn-Dixie, spent six years in the Navy saving money to attend five years of Computer Engineering school and now work as a computer consultant 60-80 hours a week.
Currently I am, as I like to say, 40 percent communist. Another $90,000 a year and I would be 50 percent communist. To put this in terms my 12-year-old can understand and hopefully so can Mr. Jones, I have made a table:
|Yearly household income||$40,000||$100,000||$150,000|
|Taxes paid including Sales & Property taxes.||$7,200||$35,000||$63,000|
|Percentage taken from government||18%||35%||42%|
|What we get to keep.||$32,800*||$65,000**||$87,000***|
*Compared to 15% tax bracket.|
**Earns 2.5 times more than, keeps 2 times as much.
***Earns 3.75 times more than, keeps 2.65 times as much.
As plainly seen, in an across the board tax cut, as Gov. Bush proposes, the rich would get more as a dollar amount not as a percentage of earned income -- they would still get the tax penalty, as Mr. Jones desires, for earning more. However Mr. Bush also proposes higher tax relief for the lower income earners -- not the rich. A basic education in Economics 101 would have also taught Mr. Jones, that the more disposable cash the richer have, the more they spend on creating jobs, save in banks for low interest loans, and the more they spend disposing their income, thus filtering the money down (to be re-taxed). Reaganomics showed us that a tax cut actually brought in more tax revenue.
Why is it fair that the more money I make as a result of hard work and labor the government get more as a percentage? I am all for, as is Governor Bush, giving tax relief for those Americans who are in poverty ($30,000 or less with children), but I am not for penalizing the more fortunate -- as Vice President Gore and President Clinton are.
I don't consider myself fortunate. I have pursued the American dream since I was 8 and knew then what I had to do to realize the dream. I still have higher ambitions and will succeed at those -- including going into to politics to help those that are, in terms Mr. Jones can understand, educationally challenged, especially in areas such as basic math.
-- Clinton A. Pownall, Roswell
Definition of 'positive'
Here's my definition of 'positive': A person who knows exactly what they are; who is willing to use their strengths in unison with the strengths of others in order to advance the cause of living on this earth; and who accepts their own an others' limitations while not allowing those limitations to destroy any advancements.
By that definition, it looks like Jane Catoe's strengths lie in her desire to mate with the teenage members of the Atlanta Thrashers (Jane Says, "Hot Boys on Ice," Oct. 7), while her limitations are shown by her superficial suggestions on how to reach a jumbled philosophical goal (Jane Says, "Accentuate the Negative," Oct. 14). Of course, I might be saying that just to get her to react the opposite way, since by admitting that she's contrary by nature and doesn't listen to anyone, she's also admitting that she has no free will.
Oh yeah, and most of you music writers should find another hobby.
-- Chris Warfield, Atlanta
Race is on at Oglethorpe
As a senior currently attending Oglethorpe University, I would like to comment on the recent charges of racism that have affected my school. First and foremost, I would like to make it extensively clear that the events referred to in your "Frat Racism Charges Run by Oglethorpe University" article (Oct. 21) have deeply affected students, faculty and staff. As a community, we are hurt, enraged and sorrowful for the conduct which affected guests at our campus; we are acknowledging our problems and are trying to deal with them appropriately in order to make positive changes. Imagine, then, opening Creative Loafing and discovering the student quote such as the one reflected in the piece. My heart sunk for the hundredth time in two weeks.
Therefore, please let me make this clear: Matthew Breston does not speak for the entire Oglethorpe community. For him to intimate that the situation has grown to the proportion that it has because Dr. Artie Travis, our African-American Dean of Student Life decided to "make it racial" is nothing short of disgusting. I find it appalling that at such a crisis time as we now face at our university, he would use the name of Dr. Artie Travis as a pawn in the race game. Dr. Travis is a man who has had immense responsibilities placed upon him in recent weeks and he has handled those responsibilities with courage. Furthermore, Dr. Travis did not make what occurred on our campus a racial issue. Because a racial slur was used, it was a racial issue before the news hit his door.
The problem does not belong to Artie Travis -- the problem belongs to the Oglethorpe community at large, and it affects each and every one of us. The responsibility is shared, and until we as an entire Oglethorpe community can come together and honor individuals as each deserving of dignity, respect and honor, it will remain easier to point fingers. Hate speech and violence will not be tolerated on our campus, and neither will such an asinine statement by a fellow student at a university that I am proud to attend.
-- Amanda Savaria, Atlanta
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