Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, May 10

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Recognize signs of gambling disorder

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the millions of Americans who face the reality of living with a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, mood disorder or personality disorder
But did you know that problem gambling can lead to another diagnosable and treatable mental health disorder called gambling disorder?
Problem gambling and mental health are connected. Nearly two-thirds of gamblers surveyed reported that their mental health has suffered as a result of their gambling (Nash et al, 2018).
People with depression may engage in gambling to elevate their mood. People with anxiety may gamble to manage their symptoms. People with bipolar disorder may use gambling to elevate their mood during depressive states or impulsively engage in gambling during their manic states.
Some individuals may gamble to deal or cope with various forms of psychological trauma. Gambling disorder has one of the highest rates of suicide than any other addiction. One in five problem gamblers have attempted or died by suicide (Moghaddam et al, 2015). Problem gambling does not just affect the individual who is gambling, but also their loved ones.
Each person struggling with gambling problems affects at least 10 people closest to them.
In one study, over 90% of those affected by someone’s gambling behavior reported feeling emotional distress (Nash et al, 2018).
The Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center is here to support anyone affected by problem gambling. Call 518-801-1491 or email [email protected]
For more information and resources visit www.NYProblemGamblingHELP.org/Northeast.
Brandy Richards
Albany
The writer is a team leader at the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center.

Saeed has insight, skills for Niskayuna

Aliya Saeed is running for a position on the Niskayuna Board of Education.
She is a highly qualified candidate who can both understand and then advocate for the needs of students, families and educators within this district.
I have personally worked with Aliya on two major projects, a mental health needs assessment of the residents of the town and school district, and on the recent review of the Niskayuna Police Department. While working with her on each of these projects I had a chance to observe how she considered the needs of multiple groups of individuals, advocated for their needs and how she worked with the various members of all groups to achieve the best possible outcome.
During more than 50 years, I have worked with many individuals, families, businesses and groups within the Niskayuna School District and as a result have a good understanding of what it takes to help a committee make the best decisions for a community. Aliya has both the insights into the community and the skills to help the school board reach the best decisions needed to make our schools and the community a great place for students and families to grow and thrive.
Bob Winchester
Alplaus

Time for budget reset in Niskayuna

As a Niskayuna resident, taxpayer and parent, I will vote NO on the Niskayuna School Budget.
In a year with unusual boosts in state and federal aid and millions in surplus, we see teachers cut, sections close, class sizes swell and an athletic supervisor added.
Our unappropriated fund balance north of $5 million is a sacred piggy bank. Like a mantra, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in school district audits urges schools adopt budgets with fund balance appropriations to fund operations in a manner beneficial to taxpayers.
The district banks on the goodwill of Niskayuna parents and our consistent record of budget approval.
A failed budget brings school officials back to the table for some soul-searching. The threat of a contingency budget is a scare tactic, while the tax cap folly ensures taxpayers feel grateful for increases under 2%.
We open our wallets and our hearts each year to the promise of academic excellence that we are led to believe can only come from higher taxes.
We need free-thinkers and mavericks on the school board.
We need fiscal oversight, not rubber stamps. We need a superintendent who shows respect, and we desperately need voters to reject continued grifting.
Therese Assalian
Niskayuna

End debt in U.S. with unique lottery

Here is a unique way to end debt in America nationwide. In every county, there will be a new way to have successful lotteries.
We all have participated in 50/50 lotteries. Why not 80%-20% lotteries? The only monies that are not given back are tied to logistics and funding the super lottery.
Lotteries will be held once a week. If $10,000 is raised by ticket sales, $1,000 goes to the firehouse, or EMT’s or the library, $8,000 is given back as prizes $1,000 goes to the super lottery in which every state participates.
Only checks are acceptable and there is only one check per person. You may not buy more than 10 tickets at $10 per ticket.
To qualify for the super lottery, you must have won one of the smaller lotteries. You may invest up to $1,000 to buy ten super lottery tickets. I predict every six months, the super lottery will have at least $500 million in the prize fund. Instead of just one huge prize, why not give 500 winners $1,000,000 per person?
All state-sponsored lotteries will disappear overnight. Lottery winnings are taxable.
Richard Moody
Middleburgh

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

13 Comments

Joseph Vendetti

Mr. Moody:

We as a society don’t have enough gambling or lottery outlets for you? Power Ball? Mega Millions? Lotto? Quick draw? Take 5? Casinos? Scratch offs?

All these have pools that go to State Education, subsidies for local fire & police, tax offset and pools that go to winners

LOUIS RESTIFO

“The top Republican in the House on Sunday publicly endorsed the ouster of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from the party’s leadership team, paving the way for Cheney’s removal as early as this week and sending a clear message that allegiance to former president Donald Trump is a requirement to hold power in the GOP.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) threw his support behind Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) to become the new Republican conference chair, the No. 3 job in GOP leadership, backing a onetime centrist who emerged over the past year as a staunch defender of Trump who helped spread his false claims of election fraud.”

These Republicans that are selling their souls to trump bring to mind a story about an attorney who made a deal with the devil:
The devil proposes to the lawyer, who had never won a case, that if he agrees to sell his soul, as well as the souls of his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, as well as his great-great-grandchildren, that regardless of how long he practices law, he would never again lose a case. The lawyer asks, “let me get this straight, your deal is that I have to sell you my soul as well as the souls of my direct descendants for four consecutive generations beyond me and I will never lose a case for the rest of my life?” The devil responds, “yes, that is exactly correct.” The lawyer then asks, “what’s the catch?”

These trump loyalists have lost their moral compasses. They’re selling America’s soul for their personal agendas.

RAYMOND HARRIS

I actually don’t mind if the GOP splinters big time. The COPP (Cult of Personality Party) will be so small that they could never win a national election. It is amazing how many republicans have been brainwashed by Trump who is in it for revenge and the money which he’ll need for all the lawsuits he faces.

What does scare me is how either faction of the GOP set their sights on winning state and local races. Democrats need to do more than just “get out the vote”. They need to do a far better job messaging, including pointing out what the republican’s anti-democracy campaign is all about and how they voted against Biden, but still take credit for what the Dems have done.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Agreed. The Democrats must persist in being vigilant regarding elections at all levels. Complacency and overconfidence are not a winning combination.
I would never in my wildest dreams have thought trump to be the the republican presidential nominee, let alone become the POTUS. In the new political climate, nothing can surprise me, anything is possible. Perhaps the “my pillow guy” will be the next wack job to hold a high political office. Move over Marjorie Taylor Green.

I guess I’d like to cheer on the Republicans as they follow their disoriented spiritual leader over the cliff, but I’m getting increasingly concerned that, in the absence of a real strategy and platform, in the absence of any moral compass, they’re under the belief they can literally steal election victories and don’t need to worry about who has the most votes and all that other quaint stuff they used to believe. ‘That’s for stooges’, they seem to think, and they’re not gonna be stooges anymore!
I’m concerned that the Republican Party’s platform is simply to win at any, ANY cost, and secure this country for the White race. I’m also concerned that they believe they have their god’s blessing on this. All their actions reveal this as their motivation. By their devotion to a person, and subscription to a corrupt ideal that rejects the American democratic ideal, I’m very concerned about what if they actually had control.

Here’s that “deal” codified, Lou. Truly creepy stuff, and they apparently have no idea how creepy:

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM

WHEREAS, The Republican National Committee (RNC) has significantly scaled back the size and scope of the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte due to strict restrictions on gatherings and meetings, and out of concern for the safety of convention attendees and our hosts;
WHEREAS, The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement;
WHEREAS, All platforms are snapshots of the historical contexts in which they are born, and parties abide by their policy priorities, rather than their political rhetoric;
WHEREAS, The RNC, had the Platform Committee been able to convene in 2020, would have undoubtedly unanimously agreed to reassert the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration;
WHEREAS, The media has outrageously misrepresented the implications of the RNC not adopting a new platform in 2020 and continues to engage in misleading advocacy for the failed policies of the Obama-Biden Administration, rather than providing the public with unbiased reporting of facts; and
WHEREAS, The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;
RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention;
RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention calls on the media to engage in accurate and unbiased reporting, especially as it relates to the strong support of the RNC for President Trump and his Administration; and
RESOLVED, That any motion to amend the 2016 Platform or to adopt a new platform, including any motion to suspend the procedures that will allow doing so, will be ruled out of order.

https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Resolution_Platform_2020.pdf?_ga=2.165306300.2055661719.1598124638-455285808.1584478680

William Marincic

Lou, you keep saying faults claims but according to the Detroit news a Michigan judge just ruled that the Secretary of State illegally validated mail in ballots which is what Trump said from the beginning.

Richard Moody, please refer to Brandy Richards’ letter. We can’t gamble our way out of debt. But we could ask giant corporations that pay no taxes, to start paying their fair share. Asking poor people, who are disproportionately affected by problem gambling, to fund a broken financial system that was created by the rich and powerful, is morally bankrupt (pun intended), and it won’t solve the problem.

Joseph Vendetti

Matt

Corporations large & small pay 94% of all revenues raised by the IRS, EPA, Department of State, Commerce Dept, etc, etc. Those revenues run the US. The US spends more then it brings in and has been deficit spending since late 50’s.

The misconception that large/small or any corporations pay “zero” tax is flat out wrong & impossible if that corporation is making money. Unless they use multi-national loophole shield.

The loophole that needs to be changed is for multi-national corporations that stash corporate profits in off shore banks. This loophole has been around before Ronald Reagan, thru Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, etc. Not one president, congress, etc has recommended changing it. One of the largest corporations Amazon has an estimated $75 billion stored in off shore banks. So when Jeff Bezos says sure raise corporate taxes – it doesn’t effect Amazon one bit. Why it hasn’t been closed? Because they contribute heavily on both sides of the aisle.

Just US S Corps – We pay estimated quarterly taxes ahead of time, we pay shareholders tax, we pay unemployment taxes, Medicare, etc etc . The small profits are usually reinvested or pay for expansions into new offices, creating.

I’m not for backdoor taxes like Lottery or Cigarettes or Alcohol- that is just another consumer tax.

Personally where I believe the problem is –

We have roughly 116,000,000 workers in the US. Another 106,000,000 million people eligible to work that don’t work, 52,000,000 over 65, and 46,000,000 under 16 years old. About 1/3 of the US collecting from an entitlement program.

If we are going to continue to subsidize individuals & families for not contributing to economic out put, or paying into a tax system that pays for schools, roads, hospitals – when do you think we get to the breaking point ? When our tax rate as individuals is in the 50-60% range? Or corporate taxes are over 38%?

Or do we lower spending? Make people prove eligibility for free housing- groceries- etc?

At some point and obviously we are very close to that point because as a country we elected a nut like trump and over 70,000,000 ppl voted for him again. That point is a cost benefit that everyone does – when am I wasting my time and effort to work? My tolerance is “X”, my tax burden is “y” – when individuals can sit home and collect a benefit – food, rent, insurance that is higher then a working wage minus taxes. So the working stiffs like me, you, etc we have our own families to provide for and because of the federal & state burden “of no spending control” or “ new program control” – we have to pay for a whole 2nd family (that decides their welfare or subsidy is greater then the wage they could earn). I don’t blame them. I blame the gov’t for creating these programs and allowing the lack of proof for eligibility. Welfare, subsidized housing, food stamps, etc – programs at the beginning that had great intentions as stop gap, temp relief programs that were for residents that lost a bread earning spouse, someone returning from a war theater, a temp fix until they got back into the workforce, has now turned into income and support for over 106,000,000 Americans (& others).

Even if we used a really high probability that 50% of that 100+ million were some how physically or mentally incapable of working that would reduce

LOUIS RESTIFO

“Corporations large & small pay 94% of all revenues raised by the IRS, EPA, Department of State, Commerce Dept, etc, etc.”

Call it whatever you want, loophole etc., but corporations that have the capability to make taxes voluntary, not mandatory, is a crock of crap:

“Fifty-five of the nation’s largest corporations paid no federal income tax on more than $40 billion in profits last year, according to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a progressive think tank.
In fact, they received a combined federal rebate of more than $3 billion, for an effective tax rate of about negative 9 percent.
“Their total corporate tax breaks for 2020, including $8.5 billion in tax avoidance and $3.5 billion in rebates, comes to $12 billion,” according to the study’s authors, Matthew Gardner and Steve Wamhoff.
The findings also underscore the favorable tax environment for big businesses in the wake of the 2017 Trump tax cuts. Twenty-six corporations have paid no federal income taxes since 2017, according to the report, including such household names as Nike, FedEx and Dish Network. Combined, the 26 companies have booked more than $77 billion in profits since 2018, while receiving nearly $5 billion in rebates, for an effective three-year tax rate of negative 6 percent.”

William Marincic

Joe, you are not a democrat, you have common sense. You are a Republican or maybe an Independent but certainly not a Democrat.

Joseph Vendetti

Lou – you made my point for me. These multi national corps use off shore stashing of corporate taxes – but 77 billion while it seems like a boat load to you & I – thats less then 2% of all revenue collected by the federal govt, so just think what 38% tax on 2% would be??

Yes that loophole should be closed but it won’t be – because politicians Republicans & Democrats haven’t allowed it to be closed for over 40 years.

We need a combination of more ppl working and less gov’t spending to ensure that another “Trump” or something like that doesn’t get elected again.

Oddly, no Republican wants to take responsibility for it, and for shutting it down now that more of the world is pointing and mocking. How proud and brave the Republicans are!
It’s also being reported that they have no intention of stopping at AZ, but going on to all the other states they want elections upended. I expect they’re going to run into a bipartisan buzzsaw if they try. Then can we admit Biden won?
One other thing that should make thing easier in GA, Lin Wood is reporting high profile arrests soon:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“In a video posted to Twitter early Monday by @PatriotTakes, Wood tells an unnamed interviewer that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoffrey Duncan, Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, and Attorney General Chris Carr will all be arrested soon,” reported Cammy Pedroja. “Wood didn’t specify the allegations against the Georgia officials that led to this predictions. Last year, Kemp, Duncan, Raffensperger and Carr repeatedly refused Trump’s request to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state.”

“It’s called election fraud,” said Wood. “That’s not a good crime to commit … That’s pretty close to treason.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yep, the party of open minds, where everyone ELSE is the racist!

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