Letters to the Editor - May 8, 2009

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By The Staff

FairTax could be

our salvation

I recently attended a TEA party on April 15 in Ocala. I was impressed by the turnout, the honking horns in support of the protesters and the angry but calm demeanor of the people. Everyone was there to show their displeasure with the unrestrained spending and oppressive taxing habits of Congress. It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation may be, the people know that Congress is out of control.

The rally was a good start as it gave the people an outlet to show their frustration and it brought attention to the problems we all face. However, it was only a start. Now we need a solution.

I have been reading extensively about the FairTax and feel that it may be what we, the people, are seeking. In a nutshell, it takes all the federal taxes based on income (personal and corporate taxes, withholding taxes, gift tax, inheritance tax, capital gains, saving & investment taxes, etc) and replaces them with one simple consumption tax on new goods and services. Imagine, the money you earn would be the money you receive in your paycheck. No more income tax forms to fill out every spring ... in fact, there would be no IRS. The FairTax would encourage the return of all the money sent offshore into Swiss and Caribbean bank accounts. It would attract businesses rather than repel them and make the United States a true competitor again in the world market. It would create more jobs than there are people to fill them. And the part I like best, everyone pays. There are no loopholes for the wealthy to slip through. There would be no need for all those lobbyists in D.C. that the politicians always complain about but never do anything about. The FairTax is “revenue neutral” so the government will receive as much money as they are getting now. The FairTax is easy to understand and transparent and will reduce the federal tax code from more than 67,000 pages down to under 150 pages.

Some say that it sounds too good to work, but I’m here to say that it is too simple NOT to work. But you must make up your own mind. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers and those who will give you misinformation. If you are as frustrated as I am with the “tax and spend” attitude of Congress, look for yourself at FairTax.org and get the information to make an objective decision. I think you will find that the FairTax could be our country’s financial salvation.

Elaine Maiellaro


Eventually, Democrats will

be held accountable

About 132 million voters, ages 18 and up, cast their ballots in the 2008 presidential election. Almost 24 million of these ballots came from the 18- to 29-year-old age group and 16 million or some 66 percent of this group voted for Obama. All other age groups had closer margins. Why was there such a large turnout for Obama by young voters?

In 1963, Bob Dylan sang, “For the times they are a-changing.” Young folks made the song a hit but older folks didn’t much like it. The exuberance and ignorance of the young challenging the experience and dislike to change by the old is a battle that’s been raging since Adam and Eve started the parenting process. Today’s marketers know that differences exist between all age groups so they can aim a specific product at a specific group. The young like movies, music, TV shows, clothes, cars, phones and sex. Why not aim a political candidate at this gullible and inexperienced group?

Obama’s promise of “change,” especially without definitions, was like an open flame in a room full of moths to the young adults. Voting differently from the dull, dumb establishment was another way for them to discard things old and boring and embrace something new and exciting. Obama’s success with these voters gave the Democrats their opportunity of a lifetime. They can now spend our taxes without reservations or control. But their costly plans to recover our economy and restructure our society has put our county in harm’s way.

But Obama isn’t only spending the bucks. He’s also passing them, by the trillions, in u-o-me taxes to our descendants. When our heirs realize we allowed their lifelong servitude to Washington to occur, what they will do on our graves won’t make the grass grow. Eventually, the Democrats will be held accountable and removed from office. Soon we hope. And while we pay off this debt we should require the new leaders to amend the constitution for a balanced federal budget. Also new laws to reform campaign financing, income taxes and lobbyists activities would forestall the occurrence of the next get rich quick scheme. Another good fix would be to insure the Democrats never get another chance to spend anyone’s money but their own.

Bill Farthing


Disagreeing with reasons

to love Israel column

I cannot remain silent regarding this article!

I do not hate Israel, I hate the heinous crimes against innocents they have committed with the flimsy excuse of "national defense." I hate the unholy alliance between the U.S. and Israel (AIPAC) in which our heavily lobbied Congress/president are bullied into bullying and threatening any nation which dares to challenge the overarching power of these two allies! I recoil at the casual attitude Israel and the U.S. take when they stealthily sneak into another sovereign nation and bomb them to smithereens with cluster bombs containing million-year half-life depleted uranium—the gift that keeps on killing!

Please, madam, do not publish your sentimental lists of "why" we should love Israel, while their government is planning the next bombing raid against poor defenseless civilians!

To me, Israel, in its present makeup, is identical to the delinquent kid your mom forbade you to associate with, or you would end up just like him/her! It is an outlaw state and we have been their enabler for at least two decades — feeding them tens of billions of our tax dollars which they misused for more and more weapons of mass destruction (not the least of which are nuclear) and illicitly building settlements on Palestinian land!

Violence and death, are what I think of when the name Israel comes up.

I, too, could write a sentimental list of why we should all love Sweden, the homeland of my grandparents. The huge and glaring difference would be that Sweden in its modern civilized state has not wreaked death and destruction upon all of its neighbors — misery unending and yes, terror, upon innocents! That is the legacy Israel has wrought for itself. Sadly.

Janis Lentz


It’s a real puzzle

I started writing this letter in reaction to a recent letter declaring that this is still a “Christian” country. As I wrote and rewrote the letter in my mind I found myself calming down and getting more and more philosophical.

Every thinking citizen of every country struggles with the “big questions”: my origins, my moral imperatives and the afterlife.

I begin to see the challenge as an infinitely huge jigsaw puzzle. I think of each life experience and each possibility that I consider as a piece to the puzzle. The goal is obviously to get the biggest view of the “big picture” as I can. The task becomes twofold. First, I must examine as many possibilities as I can and accumulate as many life experiences as I can to increase the number of pieces that I have to work with. Finally, I must constantly struggle to take the time to fit the pieces together. Since no two people have the exact life experiences or are exposed to the exact same possibilities, I conclude that no two thinking individuals will come up with the exact same section of the “big picture.” No two Christians have exactly the same religion. Similarly no two Jews, no two Muslims, and no two agnostics will come up with the same section of the puzzle.

This brings my analogy to the concept of extremism. The extremist throws out most of his puzzle pieces by flat out rejecting any possibility that conflicts with his or her preconceived notions. Since extremists have very few puzzle parts to work with, their final view of the “big picture” is very small. Extremists then stretch their little section of the puzzle to encompass parts of the “big picture” that they have no clue about. They stretch and stretch until their section of the puzzle is so thin, so weak and so transparent that their contribution to the “big picture” becomes of no use to the rest of the puzzlers.

Putting a puzzle piece in its proper position can bring great joy. Make sure you accumulate all the pieces that you can.

Happy puzzling!

Joe Peck

Florida Highlands Imaginary

political campaign

Everyone thinks they can do it better (and they probably can), and so do I. Political campaigns are such a joke. An exercise in futility, wasteful, and useless.

This then is my imaginary political campaign.

1. No mailings

Those annoying things you put in the trash without so much as a look see. Our community has huge trash barrels at each postal facility. During campaign season, you can sit and watch residents walk over and throw all that campaign mail in the trash. Do not even want to wait until they go home to dispose of this type of mail. Suppose it signifies a kind of protest. Yet candidates keep it up, over and over, election after election. Why don’t candidates get it? Mailings are a waste of time, money, effort, and trees.

2. No signs cluttering roadsides

Drivers whiz by never even taking note of those signs. Yet, another waste of time money, effort, and trees.

3. My reason for seeking office

Not seeking office to feed my ego or pocketbook. Our government is broken, and needs some mending. Will take my mending kit with me into office.

4. Put the emphasis on input from citizens

Use the electronic media to the fullest extent, and pound the pavement as fast and as furiously as possible. (Walking Lawton Chiles had a pretty good shtick.) While I could not walk the state or district, I might be able to golf cart it.

5. Use funds donated by voters

No government funds. If I cannot convince voters to contribute to my campaign, then I have not convinced them to vote for me. Why waste taxpayer’s (i.e., government) money?

6. Life’s lessons and values

The Great Depression was a terrific school of hard knocks. Struggle and privation are terrific character builders. (Something lacking in the Boomer generation.) Right and wrong may be thought of as strictly religious precepts, but they are pretty darn good life precepts. Too bad the current generation does not see the value in these precepts. Life is so much better when humans have some kind of respect for each other.

7. Citizens need qualified surrogates

Citizens are preoccupied with making a living; therefore, need someone to represent them and their needs in government. This is what the founding fathers had in mind. Today, that is not happening. We are once again closer to a George III type of government than a democracy. Citizens deserve a comfortable living, and should be able to work to provide that comfort. America is a rich nation, and comfort is doable. Why isn’t that happening? Could it be government waste, fraud, corruption, and bloat? Could it be the excessive lobbying by greedy entities siphoning off what is rightfully citizen wealth?

8. Communication after election

Keeping voters abreast of progress or the lack thereof, after an election, is important. Once elected you hear very little if anything from officials. Citizens are clamoring for action on serious issues, and they being ignored. Why? No one bothers to explain this lack of concern.

9. Rescinding unjust legislation

Looking for and proposing the rescission of unjust laws would be a priority for my staff. We are the most legislated society in the history of mankind. Are we so bad that we need all these laws? Or, are these laws the means by which to control citizens, and steal their freedom, and give it to special interests? Laws are needed to control crooks and bad evil people, not good people. Are we all bad people? Do we need to be legislated to death, and beyond?

10. Pork

Pork: That other pressing problem will be at the top of the agenda. Pork deprives citizens of their freedom, and their funds. When citizens have freedom and funds, they are empowered. They can make judgments for themselves. If citizens control spending, they control price as well. Could you or would you pay $100,000 for an operation? Not me. They could never charge those kinds of prices. They can only charge what the traffic will bear. When government pays, there are no limits. When citizens pay, they are empowered to set limits. So, pork must go. It is not in the best interests of citizens.

11. Protocol

Do I realize there are strict protocols? That newly elected are supposed to keep quiet. I do. Do I care? I think not. You show respect for those who deserve respect, not to those who do not deserve it. If protocol is used to stifle dissent, then protocol be damned. Power to the people.

12. Votes

How many votes could a candidate who ran such a campaign expect to receive? Would they get your vote?

Freedom is, still, not free. Citizens must expend a little time and effort to retain it. Look what has happened when we were not paying attention. We have been politically and financially raped, and legislatively controlled. When you are told: How, when, and where to do everything, you are not free.

D. Larson