Don't complain about tax hikes
Anyone against a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans is either one of the wealthiest Americans or probably doesn't understand our tax system ("Obama, Boehner trade new offers," Wednesday).
Federal tax rates have always been graduated. Presently, they start at 10 percent and increases rapidly to 25 percent for "single" taxpayers who have a net income of more than $34,500. They increase to 28 percent for incomes above $83,600. After that, the progression slows considerably. It increases to 33 percent for income above $174,400, and tops off at 35 percent for net income of more than $379,000.
Historically, maximum tax rates were much higher than they have been in recent years. And while tax rates for the rich have declined, the middle-class tax rates have varied little.
It's obvious that the wealthiest 2 percent have had considerable influence on Congress when it comes to lowering the maximum tax rates. Considering what they have paid in the past, the rich and their friends in Congress should not be complaining about the small increase that President Obama is proposing.
Larry Momorella, Warminster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Big government = big revenue
It's amusing to watch the same people who just weeks ago enthusiastically voted for a larger, more intrusive, and more expensive federal government whine about how their taxes will increase unless our dysfunctional politicians are able to reach an agreement to resolve the fiscal cliff.
As the citizens of Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, and the other European social-democratic societies are becoming painfully aware of, there is no free lunch, regardless of what language you speak. Our current social-welfare state is modeled after these European ones, and they require massive tax revenues to support the massive spending. The reality is that if tax increases are limited to the rich, there aren't enough of them to pay the bill. Only by substantially increasing everyone's taxes can the government have the funding to pay for the programs that sound very appealing if someone else is paying for them.
As President Obama has suggested, "We're all in this together." So stop complaining. As Obama has said, "Everyone needs to pay their fair share," and "shared sacrifice" is "patriotic." So let's celebrate sacrifice and patriotism by raising the taxes of all citizens. Yes, we can.
Jack Penders, Rose Valley
Stay and get the job done
As bad as the fiscal cliff might seem, there is something worse: Our elected Congress will go on vacation and not put in the overtime to get the job done. Is President Obama immune? No, he is going to Hawaii. Imagine if you walked off your job in the middle of a project.
If our elected leaders walk away, this is what they should come home to: Protesters outside their offices with signs that say, "Get back to work," and protesters outside their homes, with signs that say, "You will be fired next election."
David Belitsky, Bryn Mawr
Tax law inhibits job creation
Your editorial "Change tax law to entice companies to come home" (Monday) focuses on symptoms and not the real problem.
Businesses don't move jobs unless it makes sense economically. Expenses, including whether to move jobs or keep them, are deductible. That is not a loophole. Eliminating that deduction will simply mean the jobs will never be created at home.
To be competitive with other countries, the U.S. corporate income tax rate should be reduced to about 20 percent. Or, at a minimum, we should eliminate the 35 percent rate for taxing foreign-generated profits. The companies already pay taxes in the foreign country. This U.S. rate makes our products uncompetitive abroad, and has resulted in the establishment of foreign subsidiaries in order for the companies to compete.
There are billions of dollars of profits being held abroad, while U.S. domiciled companies are borrowing money domestically. This capital could be brought to the United States and invested here if this tax anomaly were eliminated.
Tom Friedberg, Medford
Trust the voting public
All these years, I thought our democracy was based on the principle that the majority rules. Now, Silvio Laccetti informs us that the Founding Fathers devised the Electoral College to protect us from the "tyranny of the majority" ("College try," Monday). Actually, it was a fear of the uneducated masses that led to the college's formation.
I would hope that we have sufficient trust in the voting public today to choose the president by direct popular vote. I fail to see how making the awarding of Electoral College votes proportional would boost turnout.
Get over it, professor. The president won by more than four million votes. The majority has spoken (voted).
Marlene Lieber, Medford
Constant climate change
Cynthia Tucker claims that climate-change discussion has been stifled or minimized by the media ("The climate outside is frightful," Monday). The opposite is true. I am tired of the media barrage concerning the topic, particularly about man's role in it and what we should do about it.
During the last ice age, New Jersey's coast was about 50 miles out from where it is now. Ten thousand years ago, the North Sea between England and mainland Europe was dry land, with people living on it. A recent National Geographic article documents human artifacts and remains found on the bottom of the North Sea that date from that time. As sea levels rose, the people simply moved to higher ground.
Climate change is a continuous process. It doesn't matter if man's activities affect it or not. It will change with or without us.
Raymond McCarty, Tabernacle
Public likes tastelessness
Your editorial "Radio hoax reflects society" (Tuesday) doesn't address the elephant in the room. The public likes tastelessness. The television shows Jersey Shore, Real Housewives (of anywhere), American Hoarders, and Duck Wars, just to pick a few, are the very soul of tastelessness. This is obviously what their viewers want.
To blame the Australian broadcasters for the British nurse's death is ludicrous. She must have had some serious emotional issues if she killed herself over her minor transgression. I think she was taunted and ridiculed for being so naïve.
Whether or not you think the radio prank was in poor taste is not relevant. The fact is, this is what the public wants.
Joe Orenstein, Philadelphia