' recent editorial "Who Do They Work For?" continues to propagate the myth that the natural-gas industry is not taxed. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have recognized that the industry is taxed - in addition to business taxes, including Pennsylvania's highest-in-the-nation corporate rate, drillers also pay impact fees on their wells. This impact tax brings in approximately $230 million annually, providing critical funding to local communities in every county across Pennsylvania.
A severance tax is not a cure-all for the state's financial issues. Today's low gas prices mean a severance tax won't bring in anywhere near the amount of revenue that tax proponents claim. Even the Wolf administration has said its proposed severance tax would bring in far less than originally estimated. The market has already forced the natural-gas industry to make significant cutbacks in jobs and investment. An additional tax on this industry would exacerbate this problem - and would have far-reaching negative economic repercussions on job creators and working families, including those who work at refineries and in manufacturing in the Philadelphia region - while bringing in minimal additional revenue.
Government affairs manager,
Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry
In regards to Stu Bykofsky's column on inner-city violence, facing the problem means taking responsibility - something no black Democrat is ever going to do. There are no votes or money in it. It means biting the hand that feeds them. It means saying we are dysfunctional. It means condemning 70 percent illegitimacy, music that glorifies violence, the teacher unions that condemn generations of black kids to functional illiteracy. It means giving up the politics of grievance and returning to the model of Booker T. Washington, education and achievement. It means rejecting Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. It means having Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson as role models not some semiliterate jock with a ghetto name and tattoos.
The racial events in this country the past few years should come as no surprise to minorities. America has been moving inexorably back toward overt racism. In the past decades with the civil-rights movement of the '60s and fallow attempts toward racial equality like affirmative action, it became politically incorrect for whites in power, whether political or economic, to divulge how they felt. These people had to keep their true feelings inside them. However, the present climate of the country is moving back toward racism, as the 5 percent of the people who control this country have decided to use racism as a vehicle to rob America. They have decided that in order to maintain their stranglehold on the country economically, they need to distract the very Americans that they are abusing, white, black and other minorities.
They've found that if they distract a group of people they can continue to rule them and forward their economic agenda which the subverted classes are not a part of. So the 95 percent of the people that are suffering in this country are being manipulated. Instead of us joining together to ensure that the wealth and opportunity of America are equally distributed, we are too busy fighting and hating each other over trivial racial differences. The wealthy then fan the fire by releasing racially motivated incendiary comments that only serve to forward their agenda.
So whites who are losing their homes and cannot feed their children or find jobs are taught to blame it on minorities who are on welfare and robbing the country blind, they are taught to hate people who do not look like them and blame them for their no longer being able to get a piece of the American dream. Meanwhile, white millionaires - like one in Texas who stated that blacks would be happier if they were made slaves again - make and read racist remarks.
So how do they do it? By using a carefully crafted game of distractions, by dummying down our educational system, by moving jobs out of this country in the name of profits, by making Americans pay their taxes but allowing multinational corporations to operate and make profits here but not pay taxes. And by having a system of government that has long ago forsaken the Americans it is supposed to serve.
The distractions continue as they parade reality television stars and so-called celebrities (who are nothing more than high-paid performing monkeys) and tell us how important it is that we worry about what Katie Holmes, Beyonce, Jay Z, Kim Kardashian and an endless list of fools both black and white (like "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Duck Dynasty"), which only serve to reinforce how stupid and easily distracted the average American is.
I have seen America come full circle in my lifetime. From Jim Crow to affirmative action back to Jim Crow, I have witnessed the power of racism and seen it from the lynching of black Americans to the economic rape of both black and whites. America runs like a complex machine, but like any machine it needs fuel to run, and racism is the fuel that runs America.
Robert L. Glover Jr.