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Published: Saturday, 12/25/2010

Tax cut is Boehner's bone

You could label the new tax law for Ohio Rep. John Boehner and call it Boehner's bone (“President signs tax bill,” Dec. 18).

The issues for this economy and the 2012 election are not taxes, as Republicans like Representative Boehner would have you believe. A tax reduction will not turn the economy around. The major issues remain high-paying jobs, affordable health care, and a stable retirement, which includes Social Security.

Will a GOP-led Congress pass laws that favor sending jobs overseas? Will lawmakers gut Medicare and leave the nation at the mercy of Big Pharma and health maintenance organizations? Will the Social Security payroll tax be reduced by Republicans who vow to destroy the retirement we paid for?

Now that we have been tossed a bone, where's the beef, Mr. Boehner?

Paul Szymanowski

Curtice, Ohio

John Boehner's tendency to open his tear ducts brings to mind the words of Mr. Dooley, the Irish barkeeper who lived in the writings of Finley Peter Dunne during the Progressive Era. In a discussion with his loyal customer, Mr. Hennessy, Mr. Dooley opined: “Among men, Hennessy, wet eye means dry heart.”

Lawrence M. Friedman

Sylvania

With the cave in to the Democratic “don't ask, don't tell” bill, I've given up on the Republican party (Senate ends military's ban on gays,” Dec. 19).

I've been a Republican for more than 30 years. From now on, I'm an independent, even if it means splitting the vote and allowing Democrats to win. It's time for a different party to stand on time-honored conservative morals and principles.

Cliff Whitenburg

Monroe

The Dec. 18 Readers' Forum letter “Kasich ran off the tracks on rail line” observed that an Amtrak train the writer took to New York and back recently was filled both ways. He also noted that there are three trains a day between Chicago and Detroit and five between Buffalo and New York City. None of these observations correlates to profit or loss.

If passenger rail service is a panacea, why aren't other railroads getting in on the action? The answer is simple: It will run at a loss.

The federal government holds out a $400 million carrot and taxpayers get saddled with the bill. Will we ever learn?

Dave Anderson

Perrysburg

I own property in Florida where water rates are increasing by 2 percent. Why can't Toledo do the same thing (“Water rate proposal rejected,” Dec. 22)? Surely seniors could handle a 2 percent raise for 10 years.

The city must stop these raises. Many people who are out of work cannot afford the increases.

Dolores Gorsuch

Grantley Road

Your Dec. 18 editorial “Schools of profit” failed to acknowledge the merits of career colleges. You denied your readers the opportunity to make an informed judgment about these employment-oriented institutions.

Students at career colleges have a 38 percent higher completion rate than their counterparts at community colleges. Career colleges account for a disproportionate percentage of graduates in health care, data processing, and related fields — areas that are expected to add 1.8 million jobs through 2016.

Career colleges have proven to be a good value for taxpayers. They provide, on average, twice the return on investment for each dollar spent compared with community colleges.

You failed to mention that the Government Accountability Office report that formed the basis for much of the criticism leveled at these schools was revised to soften many of the harshest examples cited.

Imposing draconian measures on career colleges will deny millions the chance to pursue the education they need in this economic environment.

Phil Singer

New York

Editor's Note: The writer does public relations for Student Access Student Choice, a career college organization.

The issue of attaching signatures to documents that have not been reviewed has cropped up regularly (“Troubling vote count,” editorial, Dec. 16). Aside from well-documented robo-signers at mortgage companies, evidence has emerged that attorneys for those firms have had staff falsifying their signatures. Your editorial highlights another aspect of this trend.

This problem has arisen because of the confluence of two forces. In these troubled times, we all try to do more in less time, which means skimping on work such as reviewing documents. We have gotten too used to clicking “agree” to Web site accounts or software licensing terms.

The contracts are frequently not shown unless we access a special button or link.

Add the convoluted, lengthy nature of these contracts, which are typically laden with legalese, and you have the perfect environment for the degradation of the value we place on our signatures.

Because most, if not all, of our legal framework relies on making our mark, this trend may lead to a breakdown of the law unless it is stopped. We need to address the issue of click-through licensing agreements, by requiring the user to initial each paragraph or by removing legal weight from the agreements.

If we don't act soon, we may be faced with chaos in the courts, in which parties to any contract may deny the signatures they made are bonafide and legally binding.

William Horvath II

Sylvania

WikiLeaks has done truth-starved Americans a service by being a watchdog of our federal government (“Assange vows to press on with exposing official secrets on WikiLeaks,” Dec. 17). The same goes for Jesse Ventura's TV show, Conspiracy Theory.

A Senate investigation of the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Administration in the cover-up of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Gulf of Tonkin, and the events of 9/11 is long past due. We are slowly losing our liberties, thanks to the 9/11 cover-up.

Ron Heringhauser

Brownstone Boulevard

Bishop Leonard Blair's Dec 19 op-ed column, “Catholic teaching consistent, saves lives,” tried to explain the Pope's view on condom use by prostitutes. It provides a selective reference to a Washington Post op-ed column.

Bishop Blair only uses references favorable to his view. When he refers to the church speaking and acting “on the basis of moral and medical truths, not ideology and fiction,” he ignores other articles that do not show the church in a moral light.

The Post reported in 2009 that the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., threatened to abandon social-service programs if the city passed a proposed same-sex marriage law. It reported last February that the archdiocese had ended its 80-year-old foster care program rather than license same-sex couples.

Last March, the Post reported that the archdiocese had told Catholic Charities employees that it was changing its health coverage to avoid offering benefits to same-sex partners of its workers.

The bishop ignores immoral conduct by the Washington archdiocese against gays and lesbians and their children.

Guy T. Barone

Sylvania Township



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