A taxing problem

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently stated: “In 1980, the top 1 percent and 5 percent of income earners paid 19.1 percent and 36.9 percent of total federal income taxes. Today, the top 1 percent and 5 percent pay 37.4 percent and 59.1 percent. Meanwhile, 41.6 percent of American earners now pay no federal income taxes.”

I examined my phone bill from AT&T recently and my monthly service cost was $26. The government taxes and fees accessed to my bill totaled $12.96.

That is an effective tax rate of almost 50 percent.

Meanwhile, the government is running up trillions of dollars in debt and the current Senate has not passed a budget in over four years. This situation is obviously unsustainable.

Washington is out of control. Congress is passing laws such as Obamacare and exempting members and their big donors from it by issuing waivers. Our Constitution is constantly being violated by politicians who took an oath to uphold it.

We are no longer being governed. We are being ruled. The youth who participated in the “99 percent” protests got it all wrong. Washington is the 1 percent the rest of us are the 99 percent.

It is time for all Americans to get informed and involved and to hold the politicians accountable for their actions, or just imagine the America that our grandchildren will be living in.

Scott A. Cracraft

Pignatelli Crescent

Mount Pleasant

Don’t rush it

On Aug. 26, The Post and Courier lead story above the fold described the consternation of various parties over an alleged delay in making an arrest report available to the media and the public.

Those responsible for making the report available wanted sufficient time to “get it right” while others believed enough time had elapsed to get it right and get it out to all of us.

Our instincts should tell us that any time shots are fired and someone is injured or, as in this case, killed, everyone involved had better be very deliberate in proceeding to the truth.

Any time someone is arrested and charged with a crime we are asked to remember that he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, as opposed to the court of public opinion as informed by media coverage.

Jay Bender, speaking as legal counsel for the South Carolina Press Association, who also represents The Post and Courier, appeared to deny the Hanahan Police Department the benefit of innocence in the absence of court of law proof to the contrary when he stated, “It sounds to me like it [the report] would be more detailed because they are giving them time to go behind the horse shed and get their stories straight.”

The report was released that day.

I will thank Mr. Bender, his association and this newspaper to allow me to make up my own mind after we all have a chance to study it.

Please allow Hanahan and the police officers involved the same right as all citizens enjoy — the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

John S. Gilsenan

Purcell Lane

Daniel Island

The real Reid

I recently read an article about my friend Ronald Reid in The Post and Courier. I am one person who can truly speak for his character because I was his coach and teacher many more years ago than I care to remember.

One conviction for disorderly conduct?

I probably could have had many more than that myself.

My own two boys were just as devilish as Ron, and I was probably even worse. No matter what Ron did, ever since I’ve known him he always owned up to it and told me the truth. He never shied from taking responsibility.

I held him up as a role model to my own boys.

I feel sorry for the people who lost their lives, but it is time to just drop the charges and move on.

JAMES S. YARBOROUGH

Waring Street

Summerville

Ducking blame

Let’s hope that Congress is not duped into bailing President Obama out of his reckless decision to “red line” his decision on Syria.

He is in a can’t-lose situation if Congress decides to act on his request for authority to act. The president got himself into this mess, and only he should be held responsible for cleaning it up.

Tom Mack

Tranquility Lane

Edisto Island

Pointing fingers

I usually do not agree with much of what the Rev. Joe Darby writes. His recent column was written “to offer a little information to help future writers get their facts straight,” and much of his column did that.

However, as is usually the case with liberals, he had to take a gratuitous shot at the Tea Party by stating that “writers concerned about ugly words and the possibility of rowdy behavior look not at the African-American community but at Tea Party rallies.”

Does he have the Tea Party rallies mixed up with Occupy Wall Street rallies where there were many vulgar words and actions?

When a Tea Party rally is over, the people do not leave garbage and a mess for others to clean up as occurs at many other rallies of various types.

The other issue which the Rev. Darby did not address concerned the fact that where the Confederate flag now flies in Columbia was the result of a compromise in which another African-American leader, Sen. Robert Ford, played a prominent role.

There was one other comment that I felt was beneath the dignity of a man of God. Mr. Darby first sounded tolerant by stating that people who embrace their “Southern heritage” can do so with flags on car bumpers and in their yards and businesses.

He then made a snide comment, stating that this “helps some of us to know who to be wary of and what businesses to avoid.”

This comment suggests to me that he believes such people are all racists.

How sad.

Bill Hausler

Out of Bounds Drive

Summerville

Hospitality tax

Your Aug. 29 article on multiple uses by various cities of the “hospitality tax” was very interesting. Apparently, our cities are taxing visitors with no actual need to do so.

I know I’m a dinosaur these days, but in my (humble?) opinion, taxes are not just something for lawmakers to dream up, but are supposed to be covering costs that the city has to cover.

We get taxed for our garbage pickup and taxed for our roads and taxed for the dubious privilege of supporting our lawmakers. It’s simple: Cost of government equals taxes.

But now we have a tax that, apparently, has no costs that it needs to defray.

How else to explain that, though there’s a tax to cover governmental costs, nobody seems to know what it’s supposed to cover.

Clearly, recipients of taxpayer bounty think all tax money is just our little gift to them to do whatever their hearts desire.

And if that’s what they think, maybe they should just say that the next time they want us to approve a new tax.

Maybe we’ll say “no.”

Gloria B. Jenkins

Stonewood Drive

Charleston

Risky wording

Imagine my alarm on Sept. 1 when I woke up to the front page (sub)headline, “Millions of residents at risk for life. ...”

While having your identity stolen can be a life-shattering event, it is not life-ending.

I realize headline real estate is limited, but still ...

Maybe, “at risk for the rest of their lives”?

Norby Fleisig

Toomer Kiln Circle

Mount Pleasant