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Can millionaire tax pass constitutional muster?

To the editor:

The proposal by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to put a surtax on all millionaires is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, states: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Note the word "uniform."

Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

The definition of a bill of attainder is: A bill passed by a legislature imposing a penalty or inflicting a detriment on a particular individual or group of individuals.

Sen. Reid should read the Constitution before trying to punish the rich to achieve his liberal agenda.

Leon Stevens

Las Vegas

Bank protests

To the editor:

In response to your Wednesday editorial concerning the Wall Street demonstrations, in which you mention "separating bank and state":

First, I found it disheartening to read how jaded your editorial was. As if people should just give up because nothing will ever change. I don't know whether that's true.

The banks and Wall Street took the risks without capital requirements. They took the economy down. They took the bailouts, and then they took the bonuses. They laughed in our faces all the way to the bank.

You quote John Lennon at the end of your editorial: "We'd all love to see the plan," concerning how to create meaningful change in our system. Well, there is a plan. I invite people to get off their duff and check it out at www.getmoneyout.com. Get involved now because you never know if you don't try. It takes only a couple of minutes.

One other point: If you have them, cancel your accounts with Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or any other big national bank that is now on average 20 percent bigger since the financial meltdown. If you have suffered through these tough economic times, then make sure you're not supporting the same companies and people who helped create the situation in the first place and are now making more money than ever before.

Investigate local or state banks that would love to have your business, and then sign on with them. I will be doing the same by the end of this week.

John Bauman

Las Vegas

Wrong target

To the editor:

The current protests against the banking industry and Wall Street are misdirected, wrong-headed and aided by members of the media who are more interested in viewership and newspaper sales than accurate and truthful reporting.

Protesters are railing against new banking fees and the loss of credit card rewards that they believe are the result of greedy banks and Wall Street members. But the forgotten villain is Congress and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, as amended with a rider added by Sen. Dick Durbin.

At the time this legislation was passed, it was widely criticized by the opposition for potentially driving up the cost of providing current services and forcing institutions to ratchet back innovations and services while increasing fees.

And don't forget, some members of Congress have proposed a 1 percent tax on every financial transaction. Want your Social Security check deposited directly into your bank account? That will be 1 percent, please.

Now banks are planning to close consumer-friendly branches at grocery store locations, reduce the prerequisites on credit cards and raise fees for certain bank services. I will stick my neck out and predict that in the future, consumers on the margin will respond by relying less on banks for their transaction needs and more on alternatives that are available. In other words, everyone loses.

The protesters are right to protest, but they are protesting the banking industry for predictably responding to misdirected legislation passed by our incompetent Washington representatives. The protesters should be railing against Congress.

As for media members, shame on them. They know why the banks and Wall Street made fee adjustments. The question is: Why don't the media do the honest thing? Publicize the root cause of these market adjustments to onerous governmental regulation and re-direct the ire of the protesters to the cause of their concern: our elected officials in Washington.

Ron Ecklund

Henderson

Williams comment

To the editor:

The controversy over the remarks Hank Williams Jr. made concerning President Obama and Speaker John Boehner is typical behavior from the left-wing mainstream media. It is clear from what Mr. Williams actually said that he was not comparing anyone to Adolf Hitler. The point he was making was that the golf outing by Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner just didn't feel right.

Which is exactly right.

After all, this is pretty tame stuff compared with the vile speech that was tolerated during the Bush-Cheney years. Time after time, we heard how President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were war criminals and much, much worse. And this garbage was coming from people who were supposedly responsible politicians, not entertainers.

Let's put this thing in perspective.

James Moldenhauer

North las Vegas

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