The epitome of class warfare
I found Mike Brownfield's views well-presented, even if I disagree with them ("Buffett Rule is politics over policy," Friday). However, he crossed the line with his last statement about President Obama promoting class warfare by wanting to tax the wealthy at a higher rate.
Why is it only class warfare when the wealthy are asked to sacrifice? When the captains of business shipped thousands of jobs to China to take advantage of lower labor costs and sent many middle-class people to the unemployment lines or to low-paying service jobs, I guess that is considered good business by Brownfield. When businesses take away medical insurance and pensions from their employees and try to break their unions, Brownfield doesn't consider that class warfare?
The insatiable pursuit of more and more money, without regard to the well-being of the country, is the epitome of class warfare and the definition of greed.
Rich DiFelice, Havertown
Ignore Obama's promises
As we move into the coming barrage of rhetoric and promises, it's time to recall the promises made in the campaign of 2008. These include closing Guantánamo, ending earmarks, changing trade agreements to keep jobs from going overseas, keeping only those programs that work, and transparency. This is just a short list.
Why should any attention be given to President Obama's promises this year? Instead of "Yes, we can," his new slogan should be, "No, we didn't," though I don't think you will find that on a bumper sticker.
William Gates, West Chester
Mandate necessary and proper
Since the opponents of the Affordable Care Act have argued that the law cannot work without the mandate, the necessity of the mandate is not in dispute. Thus, the only question is whether requiring people to buy insurance is "proper" under the Constitution's "necessary and proper" cause.
The social compact between citizens and our government under the Constitution is a two-way street. Just as there are limits to the exercise of governmental power, there are limits to the freedom of citizens to disregard the welfare of the country as a whole.
The health-care crisis must be dealt with on a national basis, or we will end up with a patchwork of state health-care laws, some patient-friendly, others not. Those with a poor health-care system will either have to suffer or migrate to states that provide better coverage, depriving the abandoned states of their most valued asset — human resources. Meanwhile, the skyrocketing cost of health care will continue to destroy our quality of life.
Thus, the mandate is plainly necessary and proper to prevent the deterioration of our society and way of life.
Herbert Sablove, Cherry Hill
Confront the NRA bully
I ponder the Bill of Rights as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich kowtow to the National Rifle Association ("NRA hears GOP candidates," Saturday). Certainly the oppressive forces of the government cannot be allowed to infringe on our "sacred" Second Amendment. Yet, we have allowed the leviathan to "trample" on other amendments.
We may not slander, libel, or make terroristic threats (First Amendment). Government can regulate the time, place, and manner of our public assemblies (First Amendment). We can be intimately searched at airports and in police detention, and searched without warrant in certain situations (Fourth Amendment). Private property can be taken for private use (Fifth Amendment). We can be denied bail, and kept in solitary confinement on death row for decades (Eighth Amendment).
In a nation that has been able to limit some rights, it is amazing that our local, state, and federal authorities cannot place reasonable limitations on our right to bear arms. The NRA lobby, which funds some candidates and threatens others, has blood on its hands. We need leaders who have the strength to confront this bully, which sows the irrational fear that reasonable limitations will lead to a total ban on gun ownership.
Al Hanssen, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pretending to grow the economy
David Lightman points out that the "Buffett Rule" millionaire tax would produce $47 billion in revenue over 10 years ("Is 'tax the rich' the winner Democrats hope?" Monday). That $4.7 billion collected in one year would wipe out almost 3½ hours of our national debt. What a worthy discussion! Further, $47 billion would wipe out 35 hours of our debt. Almost a full day and a half over 10 years.
The point is, we — the 99 percent — know what the rich do with their money. They sit on it. They certainly don't invest it in things like factories or businesses that generate jobs. If they did, they'd risk using their money to make money. It's better that the government take that money in taxes, curtail investment, stifle growth and innovation, and then redistribute — increasing the size of government and pretending to grow the economy. Yeah, that'll work.
Vince Dowdle, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Start looking at the issues
In the editorial "Santorum's out, Romney's in" (April 11), you state that Mitt Romney is a moderate. However, he has been on a soapbox every day swearing, "I am a conservative." Also, you only mention one issue, the Affordable Care Act, and suggest that "it now looks as if he and Obama will get to debate that question in direct confrontations." Actually, Romney has promised to repeal "Obamacare." Let's face facts: The nine black robes will have a major impact on the Affordable Care Act no matter how they rule. In the meantime, we should start visiting lots of major issues, including jobs, jobs, jobs, and women's issues, women's issues, and women's issues.
Bill Myrtetus, Bryn Mawr
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner took issue with Mitt Romney's claim that female workers have born the brunt of job losses since President Obama took office ("Geithner blasts Romney's data," Monday). The article goes on to say that, although Romney is "technically correct," his claim is "highly misleading."
What is really misleading is the administration's claim that unemployment is now at 8.2 percent. Although technically correct, this fails to account for the fact that, since Obama took office and spent billions of dollars to stimulate the economy, the percentage of employable workers participating in the workforce is at a 30-year low. If the July 2009 number of potential workers was applied, unemployment would be north of 11 percent. This means there are fewer people to contribute to economic growth, to pay taxes, and to help us earn our way out of a $15 trillion debt hole. Instead, Obama claims that the Buffet Rule, which will generate $4.7 billion a year, will reduce this deficit.
Joseph Nezi, Medford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinto for auditor general
I was greatly disappointed in The Inquirer's endorsement in the primary race for auditor general ("Maher for auditor better for GOP," April 10). Frank Pinto is the better choice. While not a Harrisburg insider, Pinto is familiar with the workings of the Capitol from his extensive experience as a lobbyist. He is also honest, courageous, industrious, and he has the best interests of the people in mind.