We're seeing reports that the upcoming economic stimulus is getting larger and interest groups are lining up to get their personal pork added. But will the bill President-elect Obama signs provide real stimulus?
A better approach would be to suspend all employee payroll and federal income taxes for six months, suspend all corporate income taxes for three months, and eliminate capital gains and dividend taxes for 2009.
This would have an immediate effect, as take home pay would increase the day after the bill is signed. It gives people more money to pay their mortgages, businesses money to hire and expand, and consumers money to spend.
I'm only now beginning to hear some slight opposition to the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Of course this is just plain silly.
Some people think anyone pursuing a position of power needs to show a history of good decision-making. Or that they have a resume of experience representing constituents. Or that they pledge a willingness to put the nation's interests above their political careers.
These people are delusional. Americans want movie stars. We want wrestlers. We want family empires. We want to stand in a faceless crowd, shouting, cheering, and adoring our leaders for who they are and not for what they know. Go, Caroline! Grab that seat before someone more qualified, but with a lesser known name, takes it!
Vince Dowdle Jr.
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Where are all the philanthropists? Why is it that a coalition of moneyed Philadelphians is so willing to spend millions to move the Barnes Foundation to Center City but doesn't see the wisdom of keeping Philadelphia libraries and pools open? Could it be there are other motives besides philanthropy in what these businesses and institutions support?
Rick Santorum's commentary, "The Republican Party needs a leader who leads," last Thursday demonstrates why he and other high-ranking Republicans have been voted out of office. They didn't - and still don't - get it. Santorum blames the war in Iraq, ethics scandals, the budget deficit, and, "most importantly," the Republicans' inability to articulate who they were as a party.
He conspicuously neglects to cite the presidency of George W. Bush and the policies promoted by the Republican Party for the last 15 years as factors being more important than ones he highlights.
Kenneth L. Coghill
Re: "Trials show no benefits to supplements," Monday:
Medical researchers were never enthusiastic about these "wonder pills." The enthusiasm came from the industry that sold them, non-physicians who prescribed them, and media reports that did not investigate the basis for the claims.
Most responsible scientists agree the only good medicine is medicine supported by data. Complementary therapies have been most often supported by laboratory data, which are notoriously unreliable when translated to humans, and anecdotes, which are considered the least reliable type of clinical report.
Kenneth Gorelick, M.D.
Re: "A triumph of light - and of life," Sunday.
In these days of countless stories about "happy holidays," spending money to help the economy, and shoe-throwing as a political or cultural act, a story of those whose lives are described as "miracles" made for admirable reading. That these Holocaust survivors simply enjoy each other's company, chat, sing, learn and celebrate monthly is truly what living is about.
The shoe thrower
There has been much tittering about the shoe-throwing incident involving President Bush. Of course no one has asked what would have happened to this journalist had his anger been directed toward Saddam Hussein. That the journalist will have his day in court is proof-positive of the changes in Iraq. While its nascent democracy is not perfect, it has made amazing strides.
Joseph D. Smack Jr.