Tax bill throws out personal exemptions

Sen. Andre Cushing said in his Dec. 15 BDN OpEd that under the tax bill a family earning $24,000 will pay almost no taxes with the doubling of the standard deduction. They paid little or no taxes under the existing law with personal exemptions the GOP has eliminated.

He said families making $35,000 will owe taxes on less income but failed to mention those personal exemptions his party has eliminated. He fails to mention all those itemized deductions they have taken away from us.

Combining the lost deductions and personal exemptions, the vast majority of middle-income households will see their taxes increase. Yes, the people at the very bottom who pay very little now might pay less. But the real winners are the wealthy elite who reap huge tax cuts at the expense of the middle class and future generations from the exploding deficits.

Do not believe what Cushing expects you to buy.

John Albertini


Crying wolf

I generally read Lance Dutson’s columns, but when reading the recent one on Democrats “crying wolf,” I am beginning to question his memory. Has he forgotten Willie Horton? Swift boats? Bimbo eruptions? A Muslim born in Kenya? And very recently emails, Benghazi and “lock her up”?

What do we call these, among many more, put out by the GOP? Crying sheep?

I like Dutson’s columns and often agree with what he says, but he was pretty off base here. I believe reading back in history, the opposition party always has, in our great country, tossed eggs at the opposing party. (“A blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphrodite character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman,” Thomas Jefferson said of President John Adams in 1800.) It’s often entertaining, sometimes completely wrong, a few times pretty vicious, but it’s routine.

Fortunately for us, this is a free society where all sorts of opinions fly around every day, and that’s a good thing. Yes, the Democrats are out of power, but the Republicans aren’t doing so well either.

Yes, it would be really pleasant to have reasoned debates, particularly where there are differences in views on such things as the tax plan. People do legitimately disagree, even with Sen. Susan Collins. The loud, obnoxious, extreme cries of complete partisans on either side make this difficult, I agree, but neither party has ownership of “crying wolf.”

They are both guilty — and on it goes.

Katharine Evans


Politicians must be good role models

I agree with Michael Cianchette when he writes in his Dec. 15 BDN column that, “if Republicans are going to win elections, they need to put forward candidates who have an achieved success in their non-political lives.” There is no question this is true, especially with regard to the recent election in Alabama. It is important for any candidate to step back and consider before doing so if throwing his or her hat into the race is the best choice.

If a candidate is facing allegations or presents an argument that is flawed from the beginning, such as “despicable crimes, or mak[ing] foolish comments about witchcraft or rape,” then the candidate should step back and think if this opportunity is really for him or her. By promoting points of views that cannot be supported by clear scientific evidence or statistics, candidates are only hurting their own self image.

In doing so, they are detracting from the type of faith we put into our leaders and what we hope for them to accomplish. Political leaders should be serving as good role models and not sending a message that through ignorance there is still a chance you can get what you want.

Whether it is to support the likelihood of a politician being elected to an open position or setting a good precedent for others, those involved in politics need to carefully consider how they promote their image. Without doing so, it could affect their chances of being viewed as a worthy candidate for the position.

Benjamin Bucklin