Don’t forget the rich when it comes to taxes

To the editor:

In Stephen L. Carter’s Sunday commentary about taxes, he proposed cutting 2 percent of every federal employee’s salary. He admits it wouldn’t yield much revenue, but said it would be a “symbolic gesture.”

But when it comes to raising taxes on upper-income people, he doesn’t think it’s necessary because “it wouldn’t make a dent in the nation’s debt.” It may not in one year, but it certainly would over 10 years.

Mr. Carter uses the oft-quoted mantra of the Republican Party that almost half of all Americans pay no income tax. It is, however, the Republican Party that is responsible for this. The Earned Income Tax Credit, which allows deductions from payroll taxes, was first was enacted in 1975 under President Ford (a Republican). It has been expanded since then by President Reagan and both of the Bush presidents.

Republicans don’t want this welfare program to appear on the budget as a spending program, which would make them look like socialists, so it appears as tax relief. They are in the strange position of having eroded the tax base and now are complaining there’s not enough Americans who pay taxes.

I agree with Mr. Carter that we need more taxes, and they aren’t evil in themselves. If poor people have to pay more taxes, however, they will buy less stuff and the company that sells the stuff will lay off someone to pay for it. Meanwhile, those in the upper brackets won’t have to change their buying habits, but won’t be able to add as much to their record wealth.

During World War II, taxes on the top bracket were 93 percent and we had a booming economy. You would think with the rich paying less in taxes, they would be satisfied. But too many people such as Mr. Carter think we should ask more of the poor and less of the rich.

Janice Herr

Las Vegas

Bush’s fault

To the editor:

I don’t know how the Review Journal can endorse Mark Amodei for Congress (Sunday editorial). Mark Amodei ran a bunch of false ads on local TV. He even voted himself a pay raise when there are 14 million unemployed workers looking for a job.

President Bush was the one who started running up the U.S. deficit when he started two wars for no reason. I am still waiting to see Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

If you think that the U.S. economy would be better off today if John McCain had won the 2008 U.S. presidential election, I have a bridge that I would like to sell to you.

David Schwartz

Reno

9/11 attack

To the editor:

At this time in our uniquely American history we’ve been forced to focus on our troubling economy and it’s harmful effect on our national spirit. In a few days, we’ll be shifting our focus to an event which has transformed our lives and our generation. An event which brought home the horror of war and of the sacrifices required to keep our country safe.

We will rightfully remember and honor the living and dead men and women who were victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack. There can be no doubt that this was the beginning of years of grief, suffering, recover, and pride. Yes, pride in how Americans saved each other and are raising a new symbol of freedom from the rubble.

The 9/11 memorial will honor every hero who was impacted by the misery of that day. The workers, the tower staff, and all of the first responders who came to their aid even after learning that the buildings would fall. Each person played a role that day in saving, comforting and ultimately sharing in the fate that took their lives.

We need to remember the families of the fallen who will carry this memory to the end of their lives. The comfort this new memorial will bring them will be a blessing. It will be a blessing for our nation, as well. Let’s allow our prayers as well as speeches to be heard in those moments.

The spirit of those who died and survived has carried us through the worst of times. Real courage was shown in the way they helped each other through the trauma. Our situation, like theirs, is one that requires us to reach out to each other and meet needs that are both material and spiritual. When we think things cannot get worse for us, let’s focus on the heroes from the towers and our military who faced much worse and let their spirits carry them through.

This is America. We’ve been through wars, depressions, recessions and national crisis. We can beat this situation if we keep the spirit of 9/11 alive in all of us.

Jeff Dwyer

Las Vegas

About students

To the editor:

Schools don’t fail; students fail. Until this understanding sets the direction of our efforts to improve the academic achievement of Nevada public school students, our history of implementing so-called school improvement programs will continue with the same discouraging results.

Students themselves hold the key to the door of academic success. The focus on school improvement should be replaced with a focus on helping students develop an appreciation for learning. Students need to understand the value of their education and how academic achievement corresponds to success in life. And, most importantly, students need to accept personal responsibility for their own academic outcomes. The time has come to stop blaming teachers and administrators.

Too many Nevada students are disinterested in their school programs and, as a consequence, are not motivated to put forth the time and effort to learn. Changing classroom technology, curricula, teaching strategies and the like will not bring about the desired result of strong academic growth until students accept responsibility for their own learning. If we could only import the strong achievement motivation of the students in China and instill it in our students, things would change.

Michael J. Di Bella

North Las Vegas

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