Charles M. Blow's July 22 op-ed column, "They, too, sing America," was well reasoned. I am tired of hearing people with capital repeat that they are the producers in society, therefore more deserving of the benefits of our way of life.
The people Mr. Blow wrote about are the real producers. Hospital workers, teachers, firefighters, police, and others like them work hard so that the community will be safe, children will learn, and the dirty jobs are done to make money for those with capital.
I gladly pay my taxes. Yet our nation is facing default so that those wealthier than I am do not have to pay more taxes. Enough.
'Education' quote right on target
I found Nicholas D. Kristof's July 23 op-ed column "Eviscerating education cuts hope from the war on poverty" particularly interesting because of what former Harvard President Derek Bok said: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
Church and state should cooperate
Your July 20 editorial "Freedom from religion" condemns Texas Gov. Rick Perry for crossing the line separating church and state. A group of atheists and agnostics have filed a lawsuit. God forbid we rile up the unbelievers.
If religion can be defined as a belief system formed by education and life experience, then agnosticism is religion. Forcing Christians to remain silent by imposing some fanciful fair-play doctrine of religious neutrality, by default, establishes nonbelief as the dominant ideology in society.
The separation of church and state argument is nonsense. Restructure the tax exempt status afforded religious communities. I don't want special treatment, just equal access to the village square.
The spirit behind the tax-exempt edict cries out for churches to help the needy in their community. Government entitlements share the same goal, to help those in need. Why are we at odds?
Foreign aid given by the United States to Third World countries is often gobbled up by corruption. Why not let the willing hands of religious communities distribute the aid?
Daughter Project builds safe harbor
While the proponents of House Bill 262 have great intentions for protecting the rights of victims of sex trafficking, it should be noted that a safe harbor for exploited children is under construction in northwest Ohio ("Aid to trafficking victims urged in Ohio," July 25).
The Daughter Project, a nonprofit organization, is building its first recovery home. The Daughter Project shares the concern of legislators that there is a severe shortage of facilities to house, rehabilitate, and educate girls who are victims of trafficking.
The first of several planned homes should be completed in September and ready to receive up to six girls ages 10-17 who have escaped or been rescued from this crime.
The Daughter Project will offer holistic healing in a safe, homelike setting with loving people and a supporting cast of professionals who will provide education, counseling, medical care, legal services, and spiritual mentoring.
Let Obama raise ceiling on his own
Since it seems the lawmakers in Congress can't do their job, President Obama should raise the debt ceiling unilaterally ("Dueling debt plans prepared," July 25).
That will hold the ceiling until after the 2012 election, at which time voters can decide who we want in Congress to finish the job.
Want to be poor? Back Republicans
If you want to be poor, lose your home, lose your job, lose your health care, unable to feed your family, and to line up at the soup kitchen every day, then vote Republican.
Republicans are trying to replace Medicare with a voucher program. They want to continue tax breaks for the rich.
Republicans don't give a darn about the middle class. Keep voting Republican if you want to end up in the poor house.
Congress should take tip from NFL
"Both sides finish talks feeling like winners," said the headline in The Blade on July 26. Congress? Nope. The NFL. Lessons could be learned here.
If private, turnpike would cost more
Gov. John Kasich insists that a leased Ohio Turnpike will generate more revenue for a private operator and the State of Ohio ("Turnpike plan touted by Kasich in Toledo," July 26). How does a road generate more revenue except through higher user fees?
Based on his analogy to a vacant lot next door, the governor must want to turn grassy areas into truck gardens.
These are taxes by other names
Ohio lawmakers balanced the budget without raising taxes. However, if Governor Kasich leases the turnpike, tolls are sure to go up. Wouldn't that be the same as a tax?
With cuts to education, we notice a rise in school levies, which represent taxes.
If my income shrinks because of government action or inaction, to me that is a tax.
What our Republican governor really meant was no new state taxes. He deftly shifted the mess to schools, counties, cities, and, of course, onto the backs of working men and women. These are simply backdoor taxes, and Republicans have many people fooled.Right or wrong, at least Democrats call a tax what it truly is.
'Fundamentalist' label incorrect
I protest the characterization of Anders Behring Breivik as a Christian fundamentalist ("Portrait of suspect emerging," July 24).
Ignoring that Christians generally do not advocate violence, fundamentalists neither advocate violence nor are violent. They have a minimalist, conservative approach to Christian life and doctrine. It is a misapplication of the name to apply it to any conservative violent group, either Christian or not.
The man in custody for the mass killings in Oslo is said to have posted on fundamentalist Web sites, but posting privileges are easily obtained.
Please find another label for this accused murderer.
Out-of-towners should help city
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell should put a tax on tickets for downtown events, concerts, and other entertainment. That way, out-of-towners would pay for city services.
Chris and Janice Kohn
Tax surcharge levied for Vietnam
The writer of the July 13 Readers' Forum letter "Issue calls to mind 'Against the wind'" said that President Lyndon Johnson did not increase taxes to pay for the Vietnam War. In 1968, there was a 10 percent tax surcharge to partially pay for that war.
Kennedy's plan would work today
In his book In Search of History, Theodore H. White writes about President John Kennedy's plan to withdraw troops from Vietnam after the 1964 election.
"Easy," Mr. White quotes Mr. Kennedy, "put a government in there that will ask us to leave."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked us to leave. What additional incentives do we need?
Barry B. Walters