Letters to the Editor -- July 27, 2012

Bodenweiser gets support from Beatty

I am writing to explain why I support Republican primary candidate Eric “Bodie” Bodenweiser for the state senate in the 19th District, (Bridgeville, Georgetown and Long Neck).

I am running for state representative in the 34th District as an Independent. Many might find it strange that I would support a Republican candidate downstate and will even work on his campaign. To me, there is no conflict. I don’t endorse parties; rather, I support candidates that I believe in. Eric Bodenweiser is somebody I believe in without reservation.

Eric and I have some fundamental disagreements. After we are elected — he to the Senate and myself to the House of Representatives — we will no doubt be on opposite sides of some issues. I support Eric because he stands up for what he believes in. Eric respects the views of others even when they disagree with him and is able to disagree respectfully.

Like myself, Eric has been blessed in this life; we are both not ashamed to say that those blessings come from God. Like myself, Eric feels a duty to give back something in the form of public service.

One very contentious issue this year has been the fight over the proper role of the office of the sheriff in the State of Delaware. I sat in the Senate gallery and watched as not one Republican stood and spoke in support of the office of the sheriff. In fact, six of the seven Republicans senators wound up “not voting” at the end.

Not one senator from Sussex County voted in favor of HB 325, the bill that removes almost all arrest powers from the sheriff. The mostly Republican Sussex County Council originally requested HB 325. In the end, it took Democrat senators to pass this unconstitutional bill with only one vote to spare.

Citizens are not permitted to speak during the floor debate, so I sat in silence as Sen. Deluca spoke unopposed. Struggling for reason, I saw Eric on the other side of the gallery. Eric was calm and at peace outwardly. I knew right then and there that if Eric had been on the floor, there would have been a debate; he wouldn’t have towed the party line. Rather, he would have spoken his conscience.

I can count on Eric to do what he thinks is right and explain his positions. While we will serve in different chambers, I can count on Eric to be frank when he disagrees with me. You can count on Eric to be true to his values, even if it’s not popular.

If you want a senator that will not compromise on principle for political expedience, then you want Eric “Bodie” Bodenweiser. Vote for him on Sept. 11 in the Republican primary. Don’t be shocked if you see this Independent in front of your polling place, standing in support of my friend and colleague Eric Bodenweiser.

Doug Beatty, Candidate (I-34th)

Urge Congress to end Bush tax cuts

Next week, the U.S. Senate reportedly will vote on whether to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans (households making more than $250,000), while extending them one year for the other 98 percent.

The U.S. House of Representatives reportedly will vote to extend all the Bush tax cuts for one year the week of July 30. The budget plan passed by the House in April would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, confirming that is the ultimate goal of the House leadership.

Compared to continuing all these tax cuts over the next decade, ending them for the richest 2 percent would make it easier to effectively tackle our significant long-term fiscal challenges by saving nearly $1 trillion (including debt service savings), according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

Many middle-class Americans rightly feel our tax system is unfair because it favors the wealthy and big corporations at their expense. There is no better example than the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. In fact, wealthy people earning more than $1 million a year get an average tax break of $143,000 from these tax cuts, but middle-class people making about $50,000 a year get an average tax break of only $1,000, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (Table T11-0209).

Some people claim that small businesses would suffer by ending these tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. But less than 3 percent of small-business owners make more than $250,000 a year, according to a recent Treasury Department report (page 21), so ending these tax cuts for the richest 2 percent would not affect one of our nation’s most important job creators.

In addition, every American still would get a tax cut under the president’s proposal; it just limits the tax break to the first $250,000 in household income. For example, households making between $250,000 and $300,000 a year would retain an average of 98 percent of their current Bush income tax cuts, so they still get a tax break of more than $10,000, but it would reduce the income tax cut for households making $1 million to $2 million by 87 percent, according to the Citizens for Tax Justice.

Some members of Congress have proposed a compromise that would end the Bush tax cuts for households making more than $1 million a year. But compared to the $250,000 threshold, that “compromise” would reduce the savings by nearly half, to $366 billion, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation. And half of these tax cuts would go to people making more than $1 million per year because they would get additional tax breaks on income between $250,000 and $1 million, according to Citizens for Tax Justice and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Americans applaud financial success. But when the rich get tax breaks they don’t need and the country can’t afford, the middle class has to make up the difference — and that’s not right. It’s not right that a hedge fund manager making millions of dollars from speculating on oil futures pays a lower tax rate on his profits than a teacher pays on the salary she earns from educating our children. It’s time the tax code was fair to everyone who works hard and plays by the rules, while making the wealthiest pay their fair share. We simply cannot afford to continue to give large tax cuts to those who need them the least.

If we continue unaffordable tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, we won’t be able to address critical national priorities demanding attention, from reducing our deficit to improving education, strengthening Medicare and creating jobs to improving our infrastructure and helping the millions of families struggling to get by. Finally, tax cuts heavily tilted towards the wealthy have proven to be a failed economic strategy because they create many fewer jobs, compared with alternatives.

Every $1 invested in public benefits and services generates much more than $1 in new economic activity, according to recent congressional testimony before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee by Moody’s Analytics’ Chief Economist Mark Zandi (see chart of page 7 of testimony titled: “Fiscal Stimulus Modifiers”). Examples include increased infrastructure spending ($1.44) and general aid to state governments ($1.34).

In stark contrast, every $1 in Bush tax cuts generates less than 40 cents in new economic activity, including only 39 cents for making the dividends and capital gains tax cuts permanent and 35 cents for the personal income tax cut.

Once again, we urge you to write as soon as possible that it is time to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent and to oppose even a temporary extension of them. We don’t want to kick the can down the road, as Congress did in 2010, when it extended all Bush tax cuts for another two years.

Sean Crowley, Communications Director
Americans for Tax Fairness

Reader responds to previous letter

Just a quick reply to Mr. Castorina’s lengthy letter of July 20 in the Coastal Point: He does not say he does, but my best guess is that Mr. Castorina has healthcare insurance. That’s nice. He’s a lucky man.

I was just wondering why, in the richest country on the planet, he thinks healthcare for everyone is a bad idea. He seems to think that it’s just too expensive, kind of like the expense of our military, which consumes about half of our federal budget. I guess there’s just not enough dollars for both, right, Mr. Castorina?

Paul Ransavage
Bethany Beach

Steele returns to the ‘Letters’ section

Ineptocracy — (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy): A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Now, ask yourselves, does this not best represent what we have now?

If you want to wear this on your body, you can go to Amazon.com and type in “ineptocracy tees” and there are a number of sellers of this tee. I have three. Order them for yourself and friends. Wear them proudly!

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach

Justice for all seen in Penn State judgement

The seriousness of the NCAA judgment on Penn State is a long-awaited consequence for the endemic deterioration of the principle of justice for all. Whether the perpetrators are coaches, bankers, administrators, priests, insurance payers or politicians, our glorious America should judge their actions by the harm those decisions have on the rest of us, whether children, minorities, the poor or ordinary citizens.

Organizations are not greater than individuals and corporations are not people. This is a great breath of fresh air and I hope that all those watching begin to understand that when injustice is done to one of us, it is done to all of us. What kind of a country do we want?

Catherine Ward