Letters to the Editor for June 1


Published: Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 3:16 p.m.

The rich pay taxes, too

In his May 29 letter, "Rewarding the rich," Charles Rowland accuses the Republican Congress of not passing any legislation that does not reward the rich at the expense of taxpayers. He also wishes to be enlightened as to any legislation passed otherwise.

To begin with, last time I checked the rich are taxpayers too.

In fact, according to the latest governmental data, the rich still pay the vast majority of taxes, despite Bush and the Republican Congress. Besides, how much money actually qualifies one as rich?

By the way, I think most of us can agree that executive compensation, in some cases, borders on the absurd. The real problem however, is Congress' failure to follow the basic tenets of our own Constitution: that all men are created equal under the law.

Furthermore, the Constitution is absolutely clear: "No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid." (Article 1, Section 9). Could there be a more direct tax than the payroll withholding tax? In this case, we're taxed before we're even paid.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the 16th Amendment does not legitimize any additional powers of taxation; that is, direct taxation, such as an income tax is unconstitutional. Is it any wonder so many of us find the income tax unfair and vastly too complex?

Don't get me wrong, I believe paying taxes is a necessary part of maintaining any civilized nation. However, I do believe there are many constitutional options available. For instance, the so-called "Fair Tax" not only treats "all men equal under the law," it is also not a direct tax.

Paul B. Blanch,

Gainesville

Let's use our own oil

Over the past couple of years I have received e-mails asking me to boycott Exon and Mobil Oil gas stations in order to lower gas prices. Many people believe that they are the cause of high-gasoline prices, when in reality the cause is a huge increase in world oil demand, with China and India leading that demand.

The cure is to increase supply and the price will come down.

It is time for the people of this country to realize that we have the resources to reduce significantly our dependence on foreign oil.

Large oil reserves off the coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico, in ANWR, Alaska and oil shale out west, are just a few of the resources available to the U.S. Cuba is currently drilling less than 90 miles from Florida shores, while Congress turned down a request to drill 150 miles off the Florida west coast.

The use of atomic powered electric generating plants and an increase in the number of oil refineries will also increase oil supplies.

When you stand on the shore of west Florida, your visibility on a clear day is about 5 to 7 miles, no tourist will ever see an oil rig 50 miles offshore. I sailed merchant marine and one of the most beautiful sites I experienced was the Gulf oil rigs at night. They look like a small town, all lit up, with a perpetual flame adding to the view.

Americans need to contact their congressmen to approve drilling for the oil resources at our disposal, allow mining of oil shale for oil production, allow more nuclear power plants and build more refineries. If the environmental community is allowed to prevail over common sense development of energy resources, it will spell the economic ruin of a great nation.

Al Cavalier,

Micanopy

The challenge back home

It was exciting to hear about the recent success of landing a space probe on the surface of Mars. The technological abilities of the scientific community are amazing.

One of the goals of the mission is to look for water or ice. It reminds one of the challenges of finding and using water here on earth. Water has often been an important issue in cultures of the past. Clever and innovative solutions were discovered.

The Romans constructed aqueducts that were miles long and lasted many years. In Iran underground channels were dug across arid regions of the country.

Presently it seems that the scientific and academic communities do not see water issues as an urgent challenge. Research usually has two goals which include basic and applied research.

From the perspective of a private citizen I believe that there is an over-emphasis on basic research. There needs to be a better balance between basic and applied research.

Many years ago the IBM corporation had a slogan: "The best ideas are the ones that help people." The scientific and academic communities might want to reconsider their research goals.

Larry Schwandes,

Gainesville

The tragedy of abortion

This past Memorial Day I reflected on those who died for our country over the last 232 years; almost 1.3 million precious men and women (as of Jan, 2008).

I wonder what each man and woman could have become had their lives not been cut off. What contributions could they have made, what families could they have produced? I am saddened by the thought, but grateful for their courage and the boundless spirit of Americans.

But then my mind turns to another great tragedy and loss. The loss of 1.5 million children every year in the U.S. because we turned our head and allowed for the convenience of abortion.

What a dichotomy! A country that can have such compassion for others can be so callous to the plight of innocent unborn children. When a child in the womb can become a contributing adult, how can we say it is not worth saving?

I pray we will regain our sense of right and fight to save these precious children. If you do not speak up for them, who will speak up for you? Can you really rationalize their innocent deaths? If so, maybe one day yours too will be rationalized and convenient to someone other than yourself.

John S. Imbres,

Gainesville

Facing a complex world

It seems that every day in the opinion column, there is a letter regarding the teaching of evolution vs. creationism. It makes very little difference how we got here! Whether we were created by some etherial being or can wave to a gorilla in the local zoo and call him "grandpa." The truth is: Here we are!

Our world is becoming more and more technological and complex. Our students need to be well-grounded in language, math and science to compete in a global economy. They cannot fall behind others in developing nations that stress math, technology and science.

So, put the money to good use. Teach our students what they will need to know to make them eminently employable and keep our country competitive. Stop worrying about where we came from or how we got here! It won't help our students!

Jane Manetti,

Alachua

Save this sad tot lot

On NW 6th Ave between NW 4th Street and NW 6th Street there is a sad, seemingly neglected, city-owned tot lot (small playground). This little tot lot sits one block north of the newly streetscaped NW 5th Avenue. This tot lot is patiently waiting its turn for care and attention.

Dotty Faibisy,

Gainesville

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