Letters to the editor on fiscal cliff, homeless shelter, cursive writing

12/14/2012 5:22 PM

12/14/2012 5:22 PM

False premise of the fiscal cliff

The arguments about the fiscal cliff are based on a false premise – that general prosperity is dependent on government taxing and spending.

It is said that you can’t tax your way to prosperity, but neither can you cut your way to prosperity. The argument against taxing is that every dollar government increases in taxes is one less dollar in someone’s wallet to spend as he desires, and so stimulate the economy. But every dollar that government cuts in spending is one less dollar going into someone’s wallet to spend as he desires to stimulate the economy. Taxing or cutting merely changes whose wallet is a dollar lighter.

This gets to the real problem. Everyone agrees that sacrifices must be made. But everyone has a reason why he already has sacrificed enough and should be exempt from further sacrifice. And so no sacrifices are made.

In our attempts to minimize our individual losses, we are losing collectively. If you are unwilling to give up something in the name of fiscal responsibility, then you are guilty of adding to the irresponsibility. As long as the focus is making someone else give up what he wants, the problem will not go away.



Simple solution

It seems to me that the Obama administration has at its disposal a relatively simple strategic solution that could overcome the primary hurdle posed by Republicans: Simply allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on Jan. 1 and immediately introduce a bill to reduce income-tax rates for people earning less than $250,000 to 2012 levels.

This would require legislators to vote only for a tax cut, not an increase in tax rates. (And who would vote against a cut in tax rates?)

Once this big hurdle is out of the way, the president and Congress can take some time to work out other necessary tax issues and budget cuts. A 5 percent across-the-board permanent reduction (with absolutely no exceptions) of the federal budget (with the pain spread evenly on all of us) could be a fair solution. No one would die from this, and the economy would get both a substantive and psychological boost.



Shelter change

I would like to clarify information in “Building’s auction could mean homeless shelter will close” (Dec. 6 Eagle). The Warming Souls Winter Overflow Shelter operates from Nov. 1 to March 31 with separate men’s and women’s overnight shelters. The men’s shelter is located in a series of downtown churches.

Before last winter, the women’s shelter was housed at one of Inter-Faith Ministries’ buildings and used staff already in place at its 24-hour facility. Last winter the women’s shelter was located at the Mosaic Church site mentioned in the article. In order to house the shelter at this building, the total budget for the men’s and women’s shelters was increased by about $32,000 to cover the director’s salary and overnight staff. It was an experiment intended to provide better service, but it did not work as well as we had hoped and the extra cost was unsustainable.

This winter the women’s overnight shelter has returned to Inter-Faith’s facility and has been improved by its capable staff. The extra $32,000 required to operate the overnight shelter last year at Mosaic was eliminated from this winter’s overall Warming Souls budget. The winter shelter operated by Inter-Faith and downtown churches is funded by donations and still in need of funds.



Advocates to End Chronic Homelessness


Teach cursive

I’m a fourth-grader. I think it is important that we keep cursive writing in schools, because students will use it all of their lives. By learning cursive, we learn to sign our names. Cursive is a quicker way to write. When writing letters, it’s also a nice way to write.



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