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Those who have much should give much

To the editor:

I find it offensive that Publisher Sherman Frederick says because 47 percent of U.S. households pay no income tax, the productive are punished to give the unproductive a free ride. Unbelievably, he even calls them lazy (April 11 column).

It’s not like they didn’t pay any taxes whatsoever. Only the federal income tax was credited because of the big, bad stimulus plan’s temporary tax credits to get us through the damage caused by the Bush administration’s handling of our economy. They paid their fair share of other taxes.

I agree with him when he writes that all Americans ought to pay something to enjoy the freedoms of America. ExxonMobil paid zero taxes on its record $45.2 billion in profits for 2009. General Electric, which generated $10.3 billion in income, paid zero taxes on it. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.

The last General Accounting Office study found 68 percent of U.S. corporations paid zero taxes, 74 percent of foreign corporations doing business here paid zero taxes, and of the largest U.S. corporations, only 24 percent paid taxes at an average rate of 5 percent.

Looks to me like the “productive” are getting a free ride on the backs of hardworking Americans who do most of the pedaling.

Those top 10 percent of earners own a whopping 70 percent of the wealth in this country. They pay a smaller percentage in taxes on their dividends than those bottom 40 percent of income earners.

No, you’re not asking too much. Those who have much should give much.

Mike Hardisty

Las Vegas

Flag flying

To the editor:

There are buffoons in our community flying the U.S. flag upside down in protest of the direction the current administration is taking. While I may agree with their thinking, I take the disrespect for our flag as a personal insult.

I would like to remind some and educate others on flag etiquette. All flags must be flown in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code.

Flag Code states: “Respect for flag — No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

“(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

An individual’s emotional distress is not a valid reason for flying the flag in a disrespectful manner.

Gerry Brodeur

Las Vegas

Stood around

To the editor:

Concerning North Las Vegas firefighters: I would like to tell of my experience with them.

My grandmother lived in North Las Vegas and was sick one day. I called 911. The ambulance came, as well as North Las Vegas firefighters and two police officers.

While the ambulance paramedics helped my grandmother, the cops and firefighters stood and took up space in my grandmother’s bedroom. Their big contribution: writing down her medications, which they still got wrong.

Erick Fichtenbaum

Las Vegas

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