Where did the Republicans' no-new-tax pledge go? Apparently, a new tax is OK if it is on the middle class, not the wealthy, and is easily hidden.
That is the message Republicans in Congress sent when they insisted that the two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut be paid for by people who buy or refinance a home through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae ("Payroll-tax agreement achieved in Senate," Dec. 18).
One of the largest drags on the U.S. economy is the number of homes that are under water. Government should encourage home sales. But Republicans insisted on a new tax on home purchases.
If there has to be a tax, it should apply to all home purchases. This tax only applies to mortgages insured by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are typically for lower-income and first-time home buyers, not the wealthy.
And home buyers won't know what the fee is for. Financial disclosure forms will list it as an insurance-fee increase without noting that it has nothing to do with the cost of insurance.
The next time Republicans pontificate about new taxes killing job creation, remember that their actions suggest that new taxes are OK as long as only the middle class has to pay them without knowing about it.
Giving the devil too much due?
Your Dec. 31 editorial cartoon depicts Kim Jong Il, Osama bin Laden, and Moammar Gadhafi toasting in Hell with the devil clapping delightedly.
For those who believe in the devil, does the idea of making his day disturb you a little bit?
Soccer photo a poor choice
I can't believe you published a photo of a female soccer player being kicked in the face as one of your best photos of the year ("Best photos of the year," Jan. 1). Is that the best you could come up with?
A photo of a member of the 180th Fighter Wing returning home and hugging his child, one of the dogs you endlessly write about going to an adopted home, or Lucas, the Toledo Zoo's baby elephant, next to his mom would have been better choices.
South Park Lane
Jet sale to Saudis spurs wonderment
In response to your Dec. 30 article "U.S. to sell fighter jets to Saudis": What are our lawmakers thinking?
Not only are we selling the Saudis "the most capable and versatile fighter jets in the world," but we also will help with training, logistics, and maintenance of the jets.
The lawmakers who made this decision also should do the training and maintenance in Saudi Arabia.