Replace tax code with a fair tax
The sale of Facebook to the public has been making big news. Kudos to the founders of this immensely successful corporation, which now employs thousands of workers in good-paying jobs – all with no help from the government (taxpayers). Sadly, because of our confiscatory income taxes, one of the founders has renounced his U.S. citizenship and is taking his fortune with him.
To discourage such occurrences in the future, we should scrap our entire convoluted income-tax code while putting the dreaded IRS out of business. It should be replaced with a fair, simple and unobtrusive consumption tax like our state sales tax, which is simply collected at times of purchases. There are no records to keep, no complicated forms to fill out and file every April 15, and no more apprehension about an IRS agent knocking on our doors.
A consumption tax bill, appropriately named the Fair Tax Act, has been before Congress for several years. But it is consistently opposed by our entrenched senators and representatives to protect power afforded them by the income tax. They frequently insert into totally unrelated bills tax breaks for a few chosen political supporters.
Eliminating the income tax would solve this abuse along with many other opportunities to game the system.
Buses benefit all
Regarding an Opinion Line comment opposing any sales-tax increase to help our bus system: We all deal with higher fuel prices, insurance premiums and property taxes. I’d like to see this Opinion Line contributor ride the bus for one year. If so, the person would support a tax increase.
I’ve lived in Wichita all my life, and I’ve been riding the city buses since I was in junior high school. A better bus system would benefit all, whether or not they ride the bus.
State Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, supported the measure to keep the state institutions from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes as a vote for women’s rights, noting that “they stone women to death in countries that have Shariah law.”
While it is shameful that any Kansas legislator voted for this discriminatory bill, it is disingenuous, given Wagle’s 100 percent voting rating by Kansans for Life, for her to suggest she is in favor of women’s rights. Obviously, her support for women’s rights does not extend to Kansas women. Wagle is opposed to a woman’s rights to choose when it comes to personal decisions about pregnancy and abortion.
Wagle calls herself “pro-life,” yet her definition of “pro-life” is narrow. She ignores the lives of Kansas women who face increasing restrictions in order to exercise their right to get an abortion. Women are adversely affected when legislators get involved with what should be a decision made by a woman and those she chooses to involve.
Women’s lives do count. I think women’s lives count enough to give them the right to make personal reproductive decisions.
Blame gas prices
I really don’t understand the big confusion and drama about the economy and economic information. When the price of gas rises, consumer confidence and hiring fall. When the price of gas drops, they rise. The big gas shocks of 2008 directly correlate with the beginning of the recession.
I don’t understand why the government won’t do anything about the gas speculators and the erratic costs of oil. My only guess is that the government wants to move us from a gasoline economy and wants to do it at a rate that is slow enough to avoid a depression and yet fast and steep enough for us to swallow all of the changes that will be required (electric vehicles, etc.).
Can’t we just accept that gas prices are the real culprit month to month?
In the past year, people all over the Arab world have stood up against oppressive regimes to claim their political rights. Ironically, the region’s “only democracy,” Israel, is still keeping 4 million people under military occupation. Yet the world community does not seem too concerned about it.
Since the six-day war in 1967, Israel has more or less maintained the occupation. It has subjected the Palestinian population in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza to daily injustices and systemic collective punishments – including travel restrictions, land confiscation, house demolitions, arbitrary arrests, detentions without charge and extrajudicial killings. Meanwhile, Israeli settlement expansion continues, in breach of international law. The “security fence” that was supposed to wall off the West Bank goes through Palestinian lands and cities, often splitting off people from access to their agricultural lands, schools, hospitals and fire stations, and leaving more than 100,000 people on the “wrong” side of the wall.
A solution is possible, and has been close to implementation in the past. Forty-five years is too long. As one of Israel’s strongest supporters, the U.S. is in a unique position to pressure Israel to end the occupation. It is high time to exercise that power responsibly.