What a shock to see the title of the Jan. 9 column by Charles Krauthammer, “Time is right to increase gasoline tax.” I had grown accustomed to such articles extolling an increase in the state gasoline tax, but this rational conservative was suggesting an increase in the federal gasoline tax.
My respect for him was restored when it came to light that every cent collected would be returned as a reduced FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax or an increase in Social Security payments. Not a penny for infrastructure. His premise was to raise it by $1 to discourage the use of oil and to create an option anyone could use to pocket some money by driving less.
His assertion that “the only time you can even think of proposing a gas tax increase is when oil prices are at rock bottom” seemed prophetic as I read the next day of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce pushing the governor for a 25-cent state gas tax hike.
That very same day the newly appointed Senate in Washington put forward a proposal that raises the federal gas tax 12 cents a gallon over the next two years.
There are plenty of ways to tax, as Charles Krauthammer writes. Instead of indexing to inflation as the federal gas tax proposal does, perhaps inversely indexing to the price of gas could work. So when the price of gasoline is between $1 and $2 for a defined period the tax could be 50 cents. When it is between $2 and $3 the tax could be 35 cents. Maybe 20 cents if it is above $3. Imagine a tax that goes down with economic stress.
The way the gasoline tax is now being presented is regressive. It will have a far greater impact on the poor and middle class than the rich. And the transportation industry will pass this cost increase on to further that impact.
Even state Rep. Chris Murphy and Sen. Sean Bennett, while favoring an “appropriate increase,” acknowledged in their Jan. 13 column that the gasoline tax “is not the silver bullet solution.” They concluded than comprehensive reform must accompany any funding.
We can only hope, as they debate solutions, our elected officials will be innovative and consider those alternatives most fair to the citizens they serve.
Becoming the mayor of Charleston has to be one of the top electable positions in this country. There is already a great list of candidates who have put their names in the hat, and from what I have read there are several more extremely qualified people who have not made up their minds.
To fill the shoes of Mayor Joe Riley and have the chance to run one of the greatest cities in the world will be a dream come true for someone.
I ran for the state House of Representatives last year and had a great time. I didn’t prevail but came close. It was my first attempt at an elected position.
One thing I learned is how good and decent the people of the Lowcountry are. I thought briefly about putting my name in the city mayoral race but have decided to focus on running for the state House again in 2016.
I think I speak for everyone in saying that the race for mayor will be a good one to watch, and I’ll be on the sidelines watching it too.
When giving a donation to a place of interest or an organization, be very suspicious if you are asked to send it to a personal address. Don’t do it.
This recently happened to someone I know, and when the person giving the donation looked at the back of her returned check she noticed it went into someone’s personal checking account.
There are many honest organizations that desperately need our help, but there are those that are not honorable. Always thoroughly research where you will be donating.
Once again David Brooks of The New York Times, with whom I often agree, raked “fundamentalists” over the coals — a favorite theme of his. He made no distinction between Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists.
“Fundamentalists,” he writes, “take everything literally. They are incapable of multiple viewpoints. They can’t see that while their religion may be worthy of the deepest reverence, it is [like] most religions … kind of weird.” (“Honor Hebdo by dumping Speech Codes” Post and Courier, Jan. 12.)
What Brooks fails to realize is that if a Muslim takes literally the teaching of the Koran, he will become a jihadist. Over 100 verses in the Koran call for the suppression, repression and killing of infidels who pose any threat to the supremacy of Islam.
But Christian fundamentalists who take the Bible literally will not take up the sword and kill their enemies. If they follow Jesus, they will love their enemies, forgive them, turn the other cheek and pray for them.
Christian fundamentalists may not make the coolest guests at a cocktail party. As someone mocked: They “won’t change their mind, and they won’t change the conversation.” However, let’s not lump all who take their sacred scriptures with great seriousness in the same boat.
Reading the Bible “literally” — something 16th century reformers like Luther and Calvin strongly recommended — does not mean reading it without a sense of nuance or relevance or subtlety. Quite the opposite. It means getting to the heart of the meaning. Hence the myriad of Bible translations that exist in hundreds of languages.
Technically, the Koran cannot be translated like the Bible. Only one official version of the Koran exists, in Arabic, and it alone is the Word of Allah. Modern translations do not have the authority of the official version. Moreover, every verse of the Koran is equally authoritative for the devout Muslim. There is no development in the Koran as in the Bible where the codes of the Old Testament no longer have authority for Christians who see the law fulfilled in the supreme fact of Christ.
On Jan. 1 Egyptian Prime Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a reformation in Islam. It needs to be remembered that he and his scholars are stuck with those portions of their Holy Book where God commands jihad.
Honest readers will discover that the sacred scriptures of the two largest world religions are starkly different.
Peter C. Moore
High Battery Circle
With all the expensive ideas that have been discussed to try and eliminate heavy traffic in Charleston, the least expensive and fastest to complete would be commuter parking lots and the use of busing to control the traffic. Hundreds of cars would be eliminated from the roads.
Secure parking lots in outlying areas of Charleston would allow people to park their cars, hop on a bus, use their smartphones and tablets and be driven to work.
The reverse would happen on the way home.
The cost of constructing a parking lot would be minimal, CARTA profits would increase and all would be happy.
I am sure that the people who have been working on this problem will be able to fine tune the use of commuter parking lots as many other states have done.
Some states even have a special lane on the highways for the buses.
Less traffic, fewer accidents, less time spent on the road and peace of mind to relax on the trip to and from work — a win-win situation.
Also, a less expensive way to cut down on traffic would mean less to pay in a tax increase to develop the expensive ideas we have heard about.
Pro football has been around for a long time. All of the ways to cheat should be fairly well known.
Why on Earth would the management of pro football let the teams provide and maintain their game balls? It is apparently obvious that balls are easier to catch if they are softer, so why doesn’t the league just supply the game balls?
N. Hermitage Road