Steve: ‘I was doing my taxes today and got to the part about deduction for use of a motor vehicle in a business. If you purchase a vehicle that weighs less than 6000 pounds (like a Prius or any other car or normal pickup or van) you get to deduct up to $10,710. If you purchase a vehicle that weighs 6000 pounds or more (like a Hummer or Suburban or Abrams tank) you get to deduct up to $100,000. Somehow, seeing it when you’re doing your taxes makes it seem worse than reading about it in the Times.’
☞ It’s almost as if the Administration cared more about the oil industry than energy conservation.
Robert Doucette: ‘Why is the question of tax cuts put into terms about how things ‘should’ be. My problem with the tax cuts is that I don’t see how they can accomplish the goals set out for them. Tax cuts to lower- and middle-income groups are spent, right? People buy things. Retailers make money and hire people. Inventory drops and manufacturers hire people. All good things.
‘Tax cuts to rich people are a little more murky. It probably won’t affect their spending, but they may increase their investments. But the connection between US employment rates and their money in a Cayman account is hard for me to understand. Sure, some of these ‘rich’ people may start new businesses, but aren’t they more likely to postpone hiring until people start buying stuff (see previous paragraph)? So, what does an administration want to accomplish with tax cuts? If you want to pump up the economy, tax cuts to the top 5% (which might include me) won’t help.’
☞ It’s almost as if the Administration cared more about the rich people than ‘most’ people.
Doug Jones: ‘The discussion Friday about the hardworking persons in the thankless and necessary jobs we all take for granted reminded me of something. About 10 years ago, our Public Works Department of our local government had a meeting for all staff. The Director mentioned that the most important person in the organization was the receptionist, the public’s first link with Public Works. He raved about how important she was. Some wise guy in the back row (if my memory is correct, I was the wise guy) promptly asked him why, if she was the most important in the organization, the Director was getting paid five times as much as she was. (Remember, this is government. That ratio is much higher in the private sector, or so I’ve heard.) He was quite angered by my question. (Of course, 10 years later I’m still there and he’s not.) The glaring disparity in our wages in this country is something that we shouldn’t be proud of. PS – I forgot to mention that the receptionist wasn’t at the meeting because she had to remain at the front desk to answer phones.’
Mike: ‘Once again your column misses the point. You speak about a woman who gets up at 6 feeds the kids takes a bus works as a domestic makes $65 etc, etc, etc and then says society owes her something. It is her bad decisions that got her in to this mess, just like the janitors who brought the kids to picket at the office buildings for more money a few years ago here in LA. Why in G-d’s name do people earning only a janitors or a domestics income think its okay to bring children into this world? I had low paying jobs before but I didn’t father children until I could afford to and it’s not the employers responsibility to pay for kids that the irresponsible employees make. If the woman you described didn’t have children maybe she would have still went to work at 6 and then went to school after work became a nurse and enjoyed a middle class income BEFORE bringing kids into the world. To raise the taxes of the Davids of the world to support her bad decisions is not right. I have the right to go shopping but not with your money.’
☞ Wow, Mike. You are one tough cookie. You are basically saying that low-income people should not have children (though you want the work done that low-income people do) . . . and that if they are irresponsible enough to have children, and those children should be malnourished or poorly cared for, it’s their own damn fault – they should have chosen more responsible parents. Or, well, maybe it’s not the kids’ fault, but it’s certainly no concern of yours. This stuff about ‘no man is an island,’ or ‘blessed are the meek,’ or ‘there but for the grace of God’ is just so much crap.
Dan: ‘Your column Friday really hits the heart of the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats stress the benefit to the community and want to use government to that end. Republicans focus on the individual and how he may benefit himself. Unfortunately, the Republicans don’t care too much that many people lack the advantages necessary to achieve what we all want (a secure home, healthcare, etc.). Every four years, the Republicans seek allies (right-to-lifers, etc.) for their coalition to allow the ‘haves’ to keep the biggest possible piece of the pie. That’s their issue. Unfortunately, it’s really all about money; the rest is all window dressing.’
Quote of the Day
It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.~Bill Clinton
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