Letters To The Editor

Monday, June 30, 2003 at 1:00am

Minnesota teaches us tax-cut lesson


The rich have it easy in this country, yet it seems every day some hotshot executive is being convicted for financial malfeasance. Tax cuts aren't enough for these guys; they want to cheat customers, the government and investors as well.

Ordinary Americans are supposed to feel good when the rich throw out a crumb or two for charity, but it simply is not enough. Unemployment is at a 10-year high, and college tuition costs are rising astronomically. Soon colleges will begin to cut programs and staff, leading to the further dumbing of America.

The tax surplus could have gone to states and counties to help keep college tuitions low and provide pre-school programs for many underprivileged children, not to mention health care.

And how are the rich spending their tax relief? One guy in California is using his wealth to try and recall the duly elected Gov. Gray Davis. Here in Nashville, one Metro Council member is trying to convince voters that another duly elected member is not really a resident of his district. Other teeth-gnashing, ne'er-do-well rich conservatives are buying up secondary media markets to try and force their image of America on the rest of us.

Anyone who thinks tax cuts will stimulate the economy should look at the state of Minnesota. Gov. Jesse Ventura took over an administration with a $4 billion surplus, then he gave away $2 billion in tax relief. Now Minnesota has a $4.5 billion deficit, and Ventura is history. But President Bush is a lot smarter than Ventura, right?



Right to Life targets one issue


Letter writer Rebecca Clark correctly notes her involvement in the early formation of Nashville Right to Life, one of 36 local chapters of Tennessee Right to Life (June 24, "Both unborn, born need our protection," p. 3). As co-founders, Ms. Clark and I worked together for several months toward the specific goal of forming a visible and effective pro-life movement. Our organizational focus was, and remains, the promotion of respect and protection for lives threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

However, Clark's involvement with our organization was short-lived as she determined to expand her focus to include a myriad of causes not related to the mission of Tennessee Right to Life. Unfortunately, in appropriating the name of our organization while promoting her views on unrelated issues, Clark's letter does a severe disservice to the local pro-life movement she helped to begin.

By falsely tying our organization to one or the other side of unrelated policy debates, Clark violates that which is perhaps most remarkable about the 30-year history of the Right to Life movement: our singular focus to the premise that every human life deserves legal protection.

To that end, pro-life advocates have built one of the broadest political and religious coalitions in the history of American social reform. We represent every part of the economic and social stratum. We are black, white and everything between. We are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. And we come from every imaginable religious background, including some members who name no affiliation at all.

Contrary to published assertions, Tennessee Right to Life takes no position on the matter of a state income tax or any other issue not directly related to abortion, infanticide or euthanasia. It is likely that many of our members have strong opinions on both sides of the tax issue or any other. What binds us together, however, is our willingness to agree to disagree on everything else to prevent the 3,800 unborn Americans that currently die every day from 'choice.'



Man makes Social Security statement


Have you received your annual statement from the Social Security Administration? I received mine yesterday. This statement provides us with some interesting information about our work history. For example:

* Years I have been in the workforce: 19;

* My average salary over those 19 years: $23,000 per year;

* Average monthly amount I have paid into Social Security/Medicare over those 19 years: $300/month;

* What I would have today had I been allowed to save that $300/month in an average-performing mutual fund: $257,800;

* What that $257k would grow to by the time I reach age 67 with me never saving another dime from this day forward: $9.6 million.

If you had $9.6 million at age 67, would you really care whether or not Congress passed a prescription drug benefit?

Let's work to set our children and grandchildren free from Social Security and Medicare. As the numbers above illustrate, the opportunity costs of these two social programs are far too high.



Senate's drug plan is ahead of its time


I think putting a doctor in charge of the Senate has made a huge impact on its ability to understand the health-care problems people are facing today more fully.

This prescription drug plan it has is really ahead of its time, and by 2006, when it is in full effect, I'm sure Democrats will control something and, as usual, somehow take credit for the progress.



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