Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Berkeley Daily Planet

The Berkeley Daily Planet
Wednesday March 09, 2011

Front Page Opinion Columnists Arts & Entertainment Contents Full Text
Letters to the Editor
Wednesday March 09, 2011
What is Kaiser Permanente Doing? Repeal McCarron-Ferguson to Control Insurance Costs;The Founders on War;The White Elephant Sale; Vote For the Balanced Budget; Berkeley Library Funds;Who Are the Anti-Abortionists; Get Rid of Guns

The Founders on War
James Madison's often quoted dictum, "No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," reflected a view that was widely shared by the Founders. That concept was a basis for our Constitution's provision that only Congress can declare war. Yet, today, America's presidents start wars as if they were kings in old Europe. (Those wars, it should be noted, were a major reason our forefathers risked all to leave Europe.)
United States produces 9.0% the world total oil. In 2009, the U.S. imported about 52% of the crude oil and refined petroleum products that it used. In other words, America could have saved that much oil simply by being more conservative in their consumption rather than having to go to war to try to get back. But they'd rather go to war & lose tens of thousands of lives, & all the billions of dollars a war will cost, & God only knows what else!
We take a stand for the principle inThomas Jefferson's first inaugural address: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none.Imagine how much this war is costing them! If they would double the price of gasoline for years & years, that still will only be a minute drop in the bucket to what this war is costing them.
Ted Rudow III, MA .........................................................................................................................Corporate Taxes
Well, corporate income taxes in this country are one-third lower than they were in 2000—even though corporate profits are up 60 percent and corporations have almost $2 trillion in cash. They’re approaching $7,000 of cash for every man, woman and child in the United States. They’re not investing this money. They’re not creating jobs. They are hoarding this money that they have pulled out of the economy. It’s one of the reasons we’re in so much trouble.
Now, as to the argument that our tax rate is too high, it is because of all these special favors. The reason the tax code has grown and grown and grown and grown and grown isn’t because of people like you and me and the audience; it’s because of all these favors being bought from politicians. How we could raise a trillion dollars a year—that would double the revenue we get, it’s equal to the revenue we get from the individual income tax—by shutting down loopholes and favors for businesses, particularly the oil and gas and pharmaceutical industries. The fact is, the very largest corporations, the ones who are the vast majority of wealth in America, they pay an effective tax rate of about 15 percent of their profits.
Ted Rudow III, MA

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