News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

February 15, 2014

READERS FORUM: Feb. 16, 2014

Wrong direction on income issues

It’s unfortunate that our state’s leaders seem to think that removal of corporate property taxes will encourage more job growth. The question is, will it help create more living-wage job opportunities, or will the saved corporate tax dollars go to company stockholders?

According to the economic ladder recently printed in the paper, the wage gap has grown wider in the past four decades and it continues to do so.

The incomes of the top 1 percent wage earners has increased 13 times over what it was, while the income of the top 50 percent has increased only five and one-half times in the same time period.

When we dare speak of the income inequality or of ways to more equalize the wealth, we hear the word “socialism” from dissidents. No matter what it’s called, we can’t continue as we are. We’re no longer a nation of equal opportunity for all.

Where do we go from here? The income gap grows larger each year. If the dealer (the 1 percent) keeps taking a larger portion of the pot, and there’s only so much in the pot, where does that leave the rest of us eventually?

— Patty A. Wright

Shelburn


Vet, staff at Brown gave caring service

My family would like to take a brief moment to thank the amazing staff at Brown Veterinary Hospital for their overwhelming compassion and support during a tough time.

This winter seems to have dragged on and we have endured repeated “one thing after another” problems, the worst of which was losing our young dog Zoey to cancer. Zoey’s health was in rapid decline, and the staff at Brown Veterinary Hospital did everything imaginable to ease her suffering and make a very difficult time more bearable. Running test after test, consulting specialists and ultimately giving us all the time and attention we needed to say goodbye.

The staff at Brown Veterinary Hospital made sure that Zoey was well taken care of during her stay at the hospital, and they went out of their way to make us feel comfortable during every visit. Dr. Brown and her staff are the most wonderful, caring and compassionate people and we could not have been happier with their services.

Thank you for everything.

— Steve Lockard, The Lockard Family, Terre Haute

Worried about governor’s words

“I don’t want to negotiate this in public.” That’s what Gov. Pence said recently about his proposal to eliminate the business personal property tax, which currently sends hundreds of millions of dollars to schools, police, firefighting, parks, streets, libraries and other local services every year. I guess the governor prefers to negotiate important public policy in secret?

The governor, and the Republicans in the legislature, want to cut this tax and make the cities and counties figure out how to make up for it by raising local income taxes or regular property taxes. The state has a surplus, but they don’t want to use it to make up for this tax. They talk as though the city and the county didn’t spend that money on things that help us all, things that make Indiana a place for freedom, equality and shared prosperity.

No, they’ll starve our public services to save a few people a lot of money, and claim that’s somehow responsible. Of course, they’ll let the local folks decide whether to cut police or fire, parks or streets, art class or music class, basketball or football, library branches or library books.  If the tax is eliminated, most of us will lose more in services than we save in taxes. Some of us will end up paying more taxes to save money for big businesses.

If the regular property tax rate rises, owners of fairly modest houses, assessed between about 70K and 100K are the only homeowners whose taxes will go up. The houses worth more than that are already at their cap, so the same few people who saved thousands at our expense when the property tax caps cut their taxes, but left taxes on cheaper homes the same, will pay nothing extra. This is why Gov. Pence doesn’t want to negotiate in public.

If you believe in the public services that make this a democracy and give everyone the opportunity to get a good education and live a safe, healthy life, you should oppose this plan. If you believe in honesty and fairness in government, you should worry about the governor’s words.

— Samuel J. Martland

Terre Haute


Drying up stream of public support

What is the definition of “unduly harm”?

“Doublespeak”!

Doublespeak is a word that was coined in Orwell’s novel “1984”. It seems that the word applies to the Pence phrase “unduly harm” and should be a one-word definition of the governor’s meaning. Is it not obvious that Indiana is fulfilling, as described in prophesy in Hosea 8:7, “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”?

I speak of electing a Tea Party candidate to be governor. Mitch Daniels, it seems, was not enough. It is a well-known common-sense fact that if you dry up enough streams you will dry up a river. It seems that the best way to cure what has been described as “the welfare state” in Indiana is to eliminate its funding.

Therefore, the order of the day is to indiscriminately eliminate paying taxes. This is exactly what has been done in Indiana. Never mind that this “shotgun” method of taking the Cadillac from Ronald Reagan’s infamous but imaginary “welfare queen” is also destroying local governments, fire protection, police protection and public schools. (And probably fueling the Meth epidemic that is filling up Indiana prisons.) It has taken over 30 years but “Mission Accomplished!”

(Wait a minute. Did I say public schools? Excuse me. They have been a target of the rabid right for years and years, right along with the fictitious “welfare queen.” So scratch that.)

Please remember that on page B10 of the Sunday edition of “Perspectives” is printed what should have been the headline on A1. Namely, Morton J. Marcus’ piece titled “Wage gap of Hoosiers to overall Americans widens.” So who will be the first Tea Partier to label Morton J. Marcus a socialist? Well, of course he is. He is right up there with the folks who advocate raising the minimum wage and those who fought the right-to-work legislation that is now law in Indiana.

Let the socialists that are being called “middle class” pay taxes for their own government services. Just eliminate business taxes and raise their property taxes. That will fix them.

And while you are at it, let us reinforce the Republican “super majority” by re-electing Morrison and Heaton and by electing even more Tea Party candidates to public office. Let’s make Indiana a paradise of vacant, condemned houses and buildings so that more businesses will locate here just like they have in Detroit.

— John Garner

Terre Haute


We have passed the tipping point

I hope this letter will further explain our grave situation in America.

The members of Congress are the ones to blame for the mess we are in. Over half of them are millionaires and are out of touch with reality. They exempt themselves from laws they pass. They say anything to get elected and once they are in; their top priority is to get re-elected and devote all their energy to that end. They have high-paying, cushy jobs with all kinds of perks and will do anything to keep them. I am no spring chicken, but some of those parasites are too old and senile to be let out by themselves.

Congress was never meant to be a full-time job but that is exactly what it has become, with some members being there over 35 years. We desperately need term limits but the people who need to enact them are exactly the people who do not want them (they would have to go back and work for a living and they love their power and prestige). They have been so corrupted by special interest groups that it is despicable.

We have an impostor, a usurper, sitting in the White House. This counterfeit president lies so much that I doubt he even knows how to tell the truth. Look at his background: He was raised in a foreign country full of Muslims, ruled by a dictator, by a white mother who hated America. By a communist father he rarely saw, with communist Mentors like Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers who hated America. There is no way a child can be raised from birth to the age of 12, all his formative years, under those circumstances and not hate America. He has no love of this country at all, just disdain.

Obama and his minions are determined to destroy this country. They want to spread the wealth by taking it away from you and me and giving it to them and theirs. Congress just sits there fat, dumb and happy and doing nothing to stop the guy who is acting just like a dictator. He even brags about evading Congress by saying that he “has a pen and a phone.”

I am afraid that we have passed the tipping point. It has been said that government is controlled by four boxes. The Soapbox, the Ballot box, the Jury box and the Cartridge box. The soapbox does not work anymore because if anybody speaks out they are demonized and investigated by the IRS, the ballot box does not work because they have election fraud down to a science, (a fact) and the jury box is done for because Obama has appointed all his cronies and controls the courts. So what does that leave? The Cartridge box. God help us all if it comes to that.

Obamacare was rammed down our throats. Not a single Republican for it. The Democrats own it. They used fancy procedures to get it passed and it is destroying the country and costing us millions of jobs. I think Obamacare was designed to fail. I have a video of Obama saying, “he preferred a single payer system but we can’t get there in one step.” Therefore, what better way to get to a single payer system than to make sure Obamacare fails.

Large insurance companies (AETNA) are saying that things are so screwed up with Obamacare they may have to drop out. So what is going to happen after the health care industry has failed and all the insurance companies quit? We are going to be stuck with single payer because that will be all that is left.

Obama is a follower of Saul Alinsky, Cloward, and Piven who both say that “in order to effect change you must first destroy the existing system.” Therefore, Obamacare destroys the existing system and they get single payer, which was what they wanted in the first place.

I could go on and on, however. Do you know what is scarier than Obama? All the liberal thinking, un-informed, hood-winked, apathy minded and welfare recipients who voted for him along with those playing the race card just because he is part black.

— William P. Thiel

Terre Haute


Making sure the poor get poorer

I gave up some time back trying to convince the poor/middle class, or middle-class poor, that the top 1 percent, aka the tea party, have them marked for extinction. The top 1 percent now have 40 percent of the wealth and power in America, but they want it all, thereby controlling the entire country. What proof do I have of that? Let me submit the following.

The right-to-work-for-less law is designed to take away your financial independence and destroy the union. The voters suppression laws are solely designed to take away your voice in the state and national Congress. The birth of Citizens United is solely designed to buy elections. The elimination of public education to charter schools is done to teach “conservative values.” The privatization of the post office will give it to UPS and FedEx, two of their biggest campaign donors. The privatization of Social Security will reduce benefits and keep you working longer, and are a part of their future goal.

The super GOP dictatorship here in Indiana is leading the way in accomplishing the above goals using the nullification of the Democrats. The latest contribution to destroying public education is making them pay all of their bills up front. But in 2013 the super GOP majority voted to “forgive” an $85,000 loan they made to charter schools.

While other states are considering raising the minimum wage by $2 to $3 dollars, the GOP is refusing to raise it by $1, which keeps people on food stamps that your tax dollars pay for while the powers that be here in Indiana talk about education workers and creating jobs, the following is what they’re doing.

Their priorities are banning same-sex marriage, giving more tax breaks to business, which will raise your local taxes, and banning teenagers from using tanning facilities.

These are at the top of the GOP super-pac list of things to do. At the same time Indiana has one of the highest unemployment rates, highest poverty rates, and lowest annual income rate. That’s their formula for getting you off food stamps and joining them in the upper income bracket.

— Ron Hastings

Clinton


It’s all relative

For those who think “this is all moving a little too fast,” keep in mind the LGBT community has been waiting (indeed, expecting) about 2,014 years to be treated as an equal.

— Terri Smith

West Terre Haute


Support needed for Catholic school

For the past 14 years, John Paul II Catholic High School has had an amazing school set up for many young adults in the Terre Haute area. We strive to expand the minds of young Christians looking to better their futures.

Seeing that we are the only private Catholic high school in Terre Haute, we are not noticeable to the public as much as we hope to be. At the time we have 15 students, but with the help of the public you can help us expand our school and our minds.

For the past two years we have struggled to keep this school open and that means closing the doors to our students and future students who look for a better education and knowledge toward Christ. Not only does this school offer the classes from a public school, but you will grow a better relationship with God. With help from you and a small donation we can help to pay for expenses needed to keep this school open.

This year our goal is $150,000 and we hope that you will be able to make a contribution to help save this great school. To put it in the words of John Paul II, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”

Thank you in advance for your support.

— Cassie Mitchell

— Audrey Richey

Students of John Paul II

Catholic High School

Terre Haute


Great response from center

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge a local business, Don’s Service Center of Terre Haute. I recently had a serious service issue with my car at a different service center (I will not use this as a forum to trash the other business), and due to that company’s mistake, had to have my car towed to another location for a check-up and repair.

I have done business with Don’s at other times, and requested that my vehicle be towed to their location. This was on a Friday evening after normal business hours. Not expecting any contact with anyone from Don’s until the following Monday, I was shocked to receive an email and a phone call from Don himself on Sunday afternoon, just to let me know that he was aware of the situation and would do everything in his power to make sure it was taken care of and remedied as soon as possible.

I just want to thank this business for taking the time and consideration to contact me outside of normal business hours, for fixing my car quickly, for always being honest and operating with integrity, and to further suggest that if anyone needs great care from a business that is locally owned and operated they should definitely consider Don’s before going anywhere else.

Again, thank you very much.

— Jacqui Ellis, Greencastle

 

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