Legalizing drugs will solve many problems
President Obama says drug legalization is not a silver bullet, but it is preferable to a police bullet.
The war on drugs has fueled the warrior mentality police need to survive. Our society depends on us voluntarily obeying the law. We pay our taxes voluntarily, maybe grudgingly, but we understand the need. Drug abuse is a public health issue. That is why the medical marijuana model makes so much sense. We can lock everyone up, at great cost, and never solve addiction.
Maybe I am naive, like Obama says, but I believe that if we regulate drugs and take the money away from cartels and terrorists, the world would be a nicer place and police will once again see themselves as the public’s protectors. I also believe that government regulation and taxation hurts business and will do the same to the drug industry.
I know many jobs will be lost in law enforcement, so the savings must be used to retrain anyone unemployed. Time for a paradigm change to legalize drugs. Support candidates that are brave enough to tell the truth.
Worried about people at busy intersection
For several months now when driving home from work, I have witnessed individuals standing on the side of the road at the end of the Exit 4 ramp off I-890 West across from SCCC, often times at dusk, asking commuters for money as they wait for the traffic light.
While it saddens me to know that a person’s circumstances can be that desperate, I am also disturbed that this is allowed to take place at such a busy intersection on a daily basis. When I expressed my concern for the safety of these individuals, as well as the distraction to drivers, I was told by the Schenectady City Police Department that it is not illegal for these persons to “panhandle” at that location and nothing can be done to prohibit it.
Now, I will admit I have never given these individuals money, but I can assure you I am not heartless, since on one occasion on a frigid day in January I gave my gloves to a young woman who was standing there, inappropriately dressed for the weather, for which she seemed grateful. In addition, I am a regular supporter of the Schenectady Inner City Mission through my church and am aware there are several worthwhile organizations and programs that provide resources for the unfortunate homeless in our community.
So what can be done to prevent this unsafe and distracting situation? I’m not sure there is an answer. However, I think the next time I see someone standing there, I will hand them a listing of places where they can go in Schenectady to get food, shelter and warm clothing.
Excessive spending fuels our rising taxes
There is angst on Wall Street that the consumer is not spending more since the fall of the price of gasoline, that he is not picking up the ball for the 67 percent of national spending, ignoring that the other 33 percent comes from him in the form of government spending.
One answer might be taxes. For the longest time, I calculated my state income tax at about 10 percent of my IRS bill. But last year, I paid nearly as much in state taxes as in federal taxes.
I wrote the state for a review; they did not change the number.
The higher state taxes from the past are probably due to increased Medicare and Medicaid spending. The former covers retirees, some of whom are in nursing homes. Medicaid pays for those with special needs.
These high taxes ignore the everyday taxes on fuel, cigarettes, restaurants, clothes and any luxury needed to run a home. Also, ignored are real estate taxes, which even renters pay indirectly.
The old joke that April 15 is not only income tax day but also the day when one finally earns enough to pay next year’s April 15 taxes is smirked at.
New York state, with its fleeing population for reasons such as the above, finds itself paying for a bigger percentage of its income for the aged and disadvantaged than when our well-meaning progressives wrote the laws. Even Gov. Andy Cuomo is trying to get rid of some of the pet ideas of his father, Gov. Mario. Lavish pensions and lifetime health insurance for civil servants cannot be forgotten in analyzing this predicament.
It would be helpful if the state comptroller would do a study of this tax vice we find ourselves in. The more we’re being squeezed, the more New York Okies will be hitting the road searching for a better — if not cheaper — life.
School election letters
The deadline for submitting letters relating to the May 19 school budget vote and school board elections is Friday, May 8, at 5 p.m.
Because of the anticipated volume, election-related letters received after that time — either electronically or by regular mail — might not be published prior to the election.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor