Speak Out 8/19/10

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hanging wires

AMERENUE surprises me. It replaced a power pole behind my house and left lines hanging to the ground. It has been three weeks and no word about it even after trying to call.

Action or obstruction

IN response to claims that Republicans are obstructionists, I say good. I'd rather not have our representatives passing laws like their jobs depended on it. I'd rather have them do nothing and stay out of my life. I'd rather them have to work normal jobs and spend less time in Washington, D.C., scheming and plotting.

Honesty first

JUST between you and me, I'm getting sick of hearing our president say, "Let me be clear." How about, "Let me be honest."

BP's mistake

A recent comment said BP should raise its gas prices so we end up paying for the cleanup of the Gulf oil spill. When other companies have been fined by the government or have had a crisis of their own making, they've done that. Remember, they are one of only a few companies that do not use oil from the Mideast. BP had an accident. Have you never made a mistake that was your fault? I hope those around you didn't carry a grudge and make you wallow in guilt forever like you expect of BP.

Catching speeders

AS for small towns catching speeders near the interstate, I think that's great. Speed limits are clearly marked, People coming off the interstate often drive fast because they're used to doing so. However, high speeds are a danger in residential areas and should not be tolerated. There's no excuse, and speeders deserve any ticket they receive. Good job to these police forces.

Problem gambling

CAPE Girardeau voters are being asked to consider a potential casino in November. It would be well for all of us to educate ourselves on what is being offered. The Missouri Gaming Commission has a website: www.mgc.dps.mo.gov/. The menu on the right-hand side has a "Problem gambling" link that discusses the signs of addiction to gambling. This is worth considering before casting your vote.

No exceptions

PRESIDENT Obama made a clear statement about whether or not a controversial Islamic center should have the right to be built near the site of the World Trade Center. His position is that of an ardent supporter of the Constitution: No such rights can be infringed upon, regardless of public sentiment. The tea party movement professes to unwaveringly stand by the Constitution, yet they're among the loudest voices condemning the president for his position. Along with this condemnation is a list of reasons why this particular case is an exception to the Constitution, but exceptions are exactly what the great document was designed to withstand.

School work

THOSE complaining that Cape Girardeau School District administrators dropped the ball on renovations and improvements by waiting until now to get the work done are on target. These renovations could have been tentatively scheduled pending the outcome of April's vote, and they obviously weren't. As a result, the work is just now being done. The noise is extremely distracting to students and teachers. Once again, our administration let those of us at the classroom level down. I'm sure excuses will be given. Please look past those excuses. Hold them as accountable as they hold those of us at the classroom level.

Fair taxation

IT is amazing how many folks adopt political positions counter to their interests. In terms of annual income, we have now reached a point -- thanks to the Bush economic plan (also the current Republican plan) -- where the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States earn 23.5 percent of all income earned, and the top 20 percent earn nearly 50 percent of all income earned. While the incredibly rich have acquired a greater share of all income over the last few decades, those of us in the lower percentages lost out. The folks who argue that sales taxes represent a fairer tax than income tax are forgetting that when it comes to basics, we all only need to buy so much food. Thus, the less affluent always will pay a higher proportion of their salary on essentials (and thus taxes) than will the affluent, who will squirrel their earnings away and not pay sales taxes on them. Sales taxes are regressive. placing a greater proportional burden on the less affluent. This is not a fair tax. A basic principle of taxation should be that those earning more should pay a higher tax rate. This is the essence of progressive taxes. It is fair and just. If I am earning millions of dollars, I should expect to pay a greater share than someone earning a tenth or a hundredth of what I earn.

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