The Sept. 24 letter, “Obama’s broken promise,” mischaracterized President Obama’s responsibility for the debt and unfairly attacked those who pay no federal income taxes.
Most economists agree that there are three main culprits for our current budget deficits: Two unfunded wars, the Bush tax cuts and the economic downturn that significantly reduced government revenues.
Since when were banks “forced” to lend money to people who could not pay it back?
The banks were responsible for the due diligence on their loans; they were the ones responsible. They took unnecessary risks.
The bankers were motivated by profit and greed and facilitated by deregulation and lack of government oversight. Frankly, the banks did this on their own, with no one forcing them to do anything.
The analogy of the nonpaying drivers on the road was unfair. Everyone who drives a motor vehicle that runs on gasoline or diesel fuel, at least partially, pays federal and state fuel taxes. They are not riding for free.
The earned income tax credit was provided to encourage people to work instead of just handing them a welfare check. People are working and, because of low wages, they use the earned income tax credit to get back the federal taxes they paid, only to find themselves attacked by conservatives as slackers.
The “working poor” pay payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes and more. They don’t pay federal income taxes because their income falls below the threshold of federal tax liability.
Rather than devising ways to help the poor raise their income and become federal taxpayers, conservatives attack them as freeloaders.
Those on the right seem unaware that there are millions of people in this country who work hard, take responsibility for their families and yet have a hard time making ends meet.
Apparently, they are also unaware that part of the 47 percent includes poor seniors, the unemployed and military personnel who don’t have enough income to be liable for federal taxes.
Show Obama the door? No, I would rather show ignorance and the Romney/Ryan style of class warfare the door.
James M. Tighe
Not the right man for the presidency
It’s OK to like President Obama, but vote for someone else this election. President Obama is a very likable person. He is a good husband and father, and, when he appears on shows like The View, he seems like a very genuine person who cares about average Americans.
Those are great qualities, but, unfortunately, he hasn’t been a successful president. The economy is barely limping along, with millions of Americans still unemployed.
We can all look around and see the trajectory of the past four years: Gas prices have more than doubled, food prices are rising weekly, electric bills are up, college prices have increased.
Has your pay risen to keep up with the skyrocketing prices? These price increases have had a devastating effect on the poor and middle class, and Obama is not addressing the problem. Things are not going in the right direction.
It’s going to take more than a nice guy to get us out of this huge economic mess. President Obama is just not the right man for the job.
Let’s give Mitt Romney a chance to attack the problems facing our country. He may not be an exciting candidate, but he has a record of success in his life and that could translate into success for our country.
Issue 2 means better districts
I am urging voters to familiarize themselves with state Issue 2, a constitutional amendment that would establish an Ohio Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission.
All voting Ohioans could apply, except for politicians, lobbyists, political employees and members of their immediate families. Former candidates, paid consultants, party staffers and those who contribute more than $5,000 in a two-year period also would be excluded.
All meetings of the commission would be open to the public, and all proceedings and documents would be recorded and made available to the public.
The amendment mandates that any plan must take into consideration “community preservation,” “competitiveness,” “representational fairness” and “compactness.”
The public may submit plans, and they must be given fair consideration.
Any redistricting plan proposed by the commission would be made available for public comment.
Seven of the 12 commission members must approve a redistricting plan before it could be implemented, and if they cannot agree on a plan, the Ohio Supreme Court would choose the best plan submitted.
If agreed upon by a majority of Ohio voters, the decennial redistricting process would be taken out of the hands of politicians and placed in the care of nonpartisan citizens. It would be a giant step toward a fair representation, and has the potential to eliminate gerrymandering.
This amendment calls upon the Ohio legislature to fund the commission, but not for unlimited funding. The amendment calls for the committee members to be compensated for their effort, not put on the state payroll.
Currently, the legislature (and lobbyists) taps the general fund for these activities, anyway.
The committee would have from Oct. 1 of the year the decennial census is conducted until Oct. 1 of the following year to present its redistricting plan. Then, the commission would be dissolved.
A “yes” vote on Issue 2 is a vote to remove some of the politics from the current redistricting process, which happens only once every 10 years.
It does not establish another governmental department or add people to the government payroll.
It’s not a vote about how complicated the committee selection process is. It is your opportunity to take back a bit of control over your life.
The only hope of this amendment passing is if you spread the word.
Improved levy for the Field schools
I believe in public education. All children should be given the opportunity to be educated.
As a certified public accountant, I am also a strong proponent of fiscal responsibility in business and government. I opposed prior levies because I felt they were not fiscally responsible.
The Field school levy (Issue 38) gives voters the opportunity to fund the district in a responsible, transparent and accountable manner.
Why does it deserve your support?
This levy is for less millage. Two of the mills would be set aside for permanent improvements. Did you know that Field has no current millage set aside for permanent improvements?
The school board passed a resolution setting forth how the money would be spent. The passing of this resolution makes the levy transparent. Because of this, we could hold the school board and administration accountable to spend levy funds as they promised.
Is everything perfect in the Field school district? The answer is “no.” There are still areas where it can and will improve. However, I urge voters to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This levy is a good first step in the long road to re-establishing the trust in the district between the voters and the board and administration.
If you voted “no” on prior levies, I urge you to keep an open mind on Issue 38. It truly is different than those past levies. If you have chosen not to vote in the past, I urge you to come out and cast your vote for Issue 38. You can make a difference in our community.
Thomas P. Serle
Felony for animal cruelty
Are Ohioans going to continue to allow people who commit crimes against animals to receive a slap on the wrist?
Ohio House Bill 108, also known as “Nitro’s Law,” would replace the word “misdemeanor” with the word “felony” in the part of the Ohio Revised Code that addresses cruelty to companion animals in someone else’s care. Ohio is one of only five states that considers cruelty to animals a misdemeanor.
At the High Caliber K9 training facility in Youngstown, Nitro, a Rottweiler, and seven other dogs starved to death in their cages as trainer Steven Croley used the money for the dogs’ care for his drug habit. His sentence: Four months in jail.
Nitro’s owners joined with others in 2009 to form NitroFoundation.com to push for legislation that would make such a crime a felony.
H.B. 108 passed the House in February. It passed the Senate Agricultural Committee and has been waiting to be brought to the floor for a full Senate vote since May 22.
So, where is Nitro’s Law? Senate President Tom Niehaus has not brought it to the floor. Time is running out. If a vote does not take place by Dec. 31, Nitro’s Law will die in committee. Those interested should contact Niehaus, R-New Richmond, at 614-466-8082, and tell him to get Nitro’s Law passed.
Kym L. Hackenberger