This is in response to the Sept. 25 letters “Stop the class division” and “Return ticket.”

I do not align myself with either party; I am an independent. When I worked, for more than 33 years, I was considered by Democrats to be among the wealthy, but in reality, I have always been in the middle class.

I am very tired of the class warfare being waged in print and on TV in an attempt to divide this great nation. A young man in his 20s told me he watched all of the Democratic convention and got very turned off by the rhetoric and hate put forth to divide this country.

I was very impressed by his observation. Instead of President Obama telling all of us which class we are in, he should be enlightening this great country, instead of dividing it.

In response to the second letter, I have to look factually at what has happened in the last four years, a great increase in this country’s debt, unemployment (the current numbers do not reflect those who have dropped out of the labor market), the health of our national economy, which is continuing to go in the wrong direction.

I would like the writer to know that 47 percent of the people in this nation do not pay federal income taxes and that a small portion of taxpayers, who are classified as wealthy, pay well over half the taxes collected.

We need to greatly understand who pays taxes, not the tax rates. I do not care about the current federal tax rates, but rather how much is paid and by whom.

I am very concerned at the massive increase in our national debt over the last four years.

I do not think that is due to our president’s predecessor. I agree that President Obama inherited a bad economy, but what has happened in the last four years to make it much worse? Who is to blame for the last four years?

What is our president’s philosophy? I have not heard or seen how he would correct the problem, or seen it demonstrated during the past four years. If our national debt increases in the next four years like it has in the past four, this nation will no longer exist.

Gary Conner

Akron

Mom knows best?on party differences

My mother told me 50 years ago the difference between Republicans and Democrats. She said, “Republicans are for the rich and big business, Democrats are for the middle class and the poor.” It was true then, and it is very, very true now.

Who are these uneducated voters? Unless you live in a car or under a rock, you know what each party stands for.

Republicans want huge tax cuts for the rich at the expense of seniors and the poor. They want to deregulate everything that protects Americans from corporate crime. They want eventually to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And they want to ban all abortions, with no exceptions.

Democrats want to preserve Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for future generations with a plan to balance the budget. Democrats want to preserve the middle class from becoming extinct.

Lately, Republicans are trying to rig the election by voter suppression and crazy-quilt redistricting. Don’t let them. Vote, whatever it takes. We can keep America for the majority, not the elite.

Kim A. Miller

Cuyahoga Falls

Equal annoyance

Perhaps the immigration issue in Arizona would be more equitably handled if Hispanic officers were free to ask persons who appear to be of Asian, African-American, Arabic or even Slovak descent (like me) to show their papers.

Lawrence R. Cook

Wadsworth

It’s sinful ?not to vote

I found the story about the teacher who might not vote insightful, yet disturbing (“Teacher says candidates aren’t winning her over,” Sept. 23).

Not voting, to me, is a sin. Countries end up in a revolution because their citizens do not have the right to vote.

Yet, here in America, if it is raining on Election Day, turnout is low.

It disgusts me to think about the number of eligible voters who do not vote. In 2005, 8 million Iraqis risked their lives and stood in line for hours to vote. I wish Americans had as much backbone as those Iraqis did.

The other disturbing part of the story was the disregard for the third candidate in the election, former Gov. Gary Johnson, who did tremendous things for New Mexico.

Johnson, running on the Libertarian ticket, should be considered as a serious contender. The two-party system is destroying America. The two parties in power now cannot agree on a single thing.

It has come to the point that Democrats will not vote on a Republican bill simply because it was proposed by a Republican. We need another party in the mix to free the stranglehold they have on government.

For all those who are undecided, seriously consider Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party. They speak for the middle class and sane-minded, middle-thinking folk.

Andrew Payne

Tallmadge

GOP threatens?voting rights

One of the GOP’s many attempts to disenfranchise voters failed in Ohio when a federal judge ruled that a recently passed statute limiting early voting was unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, voter suppression efforts have met with success in Pennsylvania, with a voter ID law passed, and in Florida, with Sunday voting stopped in many areas.

What can one say about a political party that comes up with measures to keep certain citizens (those they know are most likely to support their opponent) from being able to vote?

Are these the kind of people you would like running our country? From curtailing early voting to requiring photo IDs, under the guise of stopping almost nonexistent voter fraud, such attempts to suppress the vote are shameful, extremely un-American and anti-democratic.

How disrespectful to those in our military who have sacrificed — some giving their lives — to protect or establish democracy in other countries.

America should be ashamed of what is going on prior to this coming election, a blatant effort by a desperate political party to suppress the black and minority vote, including disabled voters and elderly voters who may have a difficult time getting to the polls even without these added obstacles. It’s beyond shameful.

D.L. Klumpp

Massillon

Uncaring Romney ?hides tax returns

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the 1 percent of wealthiest Americans, doesn’t feel the need to reach out to the working poor and senior citizens on fixed incomes, who represent the 47 percent of Americans that don’t pay federal income taxes and who are members of the 99 percent of Americans who make up the poor and middle classes.

And even though Romney tells us he has never paid less than 14 percent in federal income taxes, we will never know because he will only release only two years of his income tax records, leaving us with many questions about his offshore bank accounts.

He made money off the backs of the 99 percent by purchasing businesses and skimming off all the profits while placing Americans on the unemployment line. There, many of them probably received checks that were around 80 percent less than what they were making when they had a job.

Romney is expecting us to believe he will represent 100 percent of the American people. If the 99 percent of Americans are smart, and the 47 percent who have absolutely nothing in common with Romney because he does not feel their pain would just play the percentages like Mitt Romney has done in business and as a politician, then I can assume the chances are very good they will be voting for President Obama.

No wonder Republicans are doing everything in their power to suppress the vote. They know they cannot win with those percentages.

Patrick Carano

Tallmadge

In the balance,?a concern for charity

Here’s what I do: Every April 15, I send the Internal Revenue Service what I legally owe the government, and not a penny more. Part of that calculation includes what I give to charity, because I believe the charities I choose to support will spend the money more wisely than the government will.

In the furor over Mitt Romney’s tax bill, the Beacon Journal left off the front page how much money the Romneys gave to charity (“Romney’s tax rate tops 14 percent in 2011,” Sept. 22), which has been documented elsewhere at 29 percent of his income.

How heartless is that?

We’re told in the story that the Obamas paid about 20 percent in taxes, but didn’t say how much the Obamas gave to charity. Or wouldn’t that be flattering?

If you think that the charities you support will spend your money more wisely than the government, then vote for Romney.

If you send no money to charity and send the IRS all of your surplus cash, vote for Obama.

Bud Graske

Akron