Always next year
The current Congress finished its first year as the least productive and possibly least popular in history. Nowhere were the costs clearer than in lawmakers' failure to reform our broken, inhumane immigration system ("From hope to anger on immigration reform," Dec. 15). But while gridlock reigned in Washington, the movement for immigration reform grew stronger here in Pennsylvania and across the country.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants took days off work and put themselves at risk to fight for an end to cruel deportations that remove parents from children, for equal protection under labor laws, and for reform that promotes family unity and provides a pathway to citizenship. Pennsylvania United for Immigration Reform, a coalition of 30 diverse groups, organized more than 60 events highlighting the contributions of immigrants and the urgent need for reform. Public support continued to grow, with three-quarters of Americans now backing comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.
In 2014, we will step up the pressure on Congress. The growing ranks of new Americans have demonstrated the courage and commitment to stand up for their rights and dignity as hardworking, contributing residents of this country. Now Congress must do its job and pass comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that will repair our broken immigration system.
Natasha Kelemen, executive director, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Philadelphia
Ramsey at risk
In setting down rules to defend the rights of citizens in homicide investigations, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has acted laudably and from a progressive viewpoint ("Ramsey changing rules on suspects," Dec. 20). He deserves praise for taking on the risks of going against the practices preferred by abusive police officers and their cops-can-do-no-wrong unions.
Don DeMarco, Philadelphia
While Gov. Corbett should be applauded for coming out in support of antidiscrimination legislation ("Corbett: Add civil rights for gays," Dec. 18), how is it possible that someone who served for eight years as the state's attorney general and almost three years as governor did not know until recently that Pennsylvania had no such legal protections?
I don't know what's worse - that our former highest law-enforcement official didn't know this, or that he has so little self-awareness that he would admit this embarrassing lapse in public.
Bob Kagan, Merion Station
We have a weak economy because of massive inequality ("Economic inequality hasn't resonated with voters. Will it next year?" Dec. 15). Fueling this dynamic is the least progressive tax code in 80 years. It is beyond insane that someone making millions a year pays the same marginal tax rate as someone making $250,000. Democrats should lobby for a "McCain tax," based on then-presidential candidate John McCain's definition of rich as earning at least $5 million in annual income. Add marginal tax rates of 40 percent for McCain's rich, and progressively higher rates for those earning more.
Joe Magid, Wynnewood
After watching the television news Sunday, I turned off my set in disappointment. Ninety percent of it concerned the weather, and no mention was made of Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, or South America. Then I gratefully picked up The Inquirer to find out what was going on locally, nationally, and internationally.
We get a tremendous amount of information from television and radio, but nothing replaces the in-depth coverage of a newspaper. I live in hope that The Inquirer will restore Saturday's opinion page and other features that were victims of cost adjustments.
Ralph D. Bloch, Warrington