Ease school funding crisis by keeping tax on stock trades
In recent years, public school districts in New York state have faced considerable budget pressures. Many districts are cutting programs and staff. Taxes are far too high for too many homeowners.
The high-quality education that many suburban and some rural districts offered five years ago is being compromised with additional program cuts projected as far as any one can forecast. Urban districts, with their high percentages of lower-income families, cannot possibly achieve the federal and state government demands for vastly enhanced performance (standardized test scores) with reduced or stagnant resources.
A survey released a few months ago by the New York State School Superintendents reported that 60 districts (9 percent in New York state) say they will become insolvent (not able to pay their bills) within two years and 40 percent will be insolvent in four years.
What will our public schools look like in five or 10 years if this permanent austerity continues unabated? The formerly top-performing districts will be at best second-rate and probably third rate. New York state residents may flee to other states so their kids can obtain high-quality public education. How can we construct a prosperous economy with declining public education?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo insists he is best capable of advocating for the children, but he offers no way out of the school district budget dilemma. He says, “You can’t get water out of a stone.”
The state needs new tax revenues and there is an easy way to get them. Since World War I, New York has had a .05 percent (one-twentieth of 1 percent) tax on each stock trade, but since 1981 the state has rebated the tax to the stock traders; this costs the state $16 billion in revenues each year.
Simply keeping these tax revenues would considerably ease the crunch school districts and taxpayers face. Imposing a one-half of 1 percent stock trade tax would probably be sufficient to fully fund all public education in the state — enough to eliminate the property tax as a source of school funding.
Logic should tell us that gun control won’t work
It bothers me that the Gazette has run day after day columns, letters and political cartoons calling for gun control. One letter even ended with the paper’s annotation: “The writer is a clinical psychologist.” And that makes him an expert on guns? How?
For the record, I don’t own a gun and never have, but many [of my] friends do and I know they sleep well. To steal from my old friend, Mr. Spock of Star Trek: “Logic dictates, Captain.”
For those of you looking to remedy the pure evil that took place in Connecticut with gun laws, let’s look at it logically.
For the elimination of guns to be effective, all guns must be eliminated. Compliance with legislation would largely occur among the law-abiding, leaving the outlaws with a substantial advantage in armament. But let’s suppose we do get all the guns in this country. The black market would swoop in faster than Al Capone did with whiskey barrels. But let’s suppose we get all the guns in the world (crazy, but bear with me). The technology is available to build more as demanded. So how long before the black market would be alive again?
OK, one more crazy leap — suppose we shoot a ray gun from a satellite and eliminate every memory of how to build a gun. We’d still have Oklahoma City, 9/11, and a host of other mass killings that didn’t involve guns! So, Captain, logic dictates that we get off the stupid gun thing and start facing the real problem — a society so wrapped up in itself and its everything-and-everyone-must-be tolerated mentality, that we roll out the red carpet for the charging rhino!
The Hollywood star who screams about gun control but blew away 40 people in his last movie and has armed body guards in real life, shouldn’t be carrying a lot of credibility here.
The cure, people, is to pay attention to our families and neighbors, and find some rules that we can live by. Until then, the only way to counter bad people with guns is to have good people with guns!
Great gun control ideas that would do nothing
I am writing in response to a Dec. 20 letter [“Several steps can be taken to control guns”] submitted by Mr. Henry Molt. In his letter, Mr. Molt offers numerous ideas to tighten gun control regulations. I especially like his idea of a $1,000 application fee and six-month waiting period.
Just imagine how many of the more than 50 shootings in the Capital Region could have been delayed if the street thugs had to wait six months to purchase their guns. (How about in Chicago — there have been nearly 500 shootings there!).
Of course, robbery statistics would likely increase as the young shooters begin saving their pennies in order to pay the application fee.
Here’s an idea — how about a $1,000 letter-writing fee and waiting period for letters like the one submitted by Mr. Molt.
Thomas Murray Jr.
Stop harvesting organs of prisoners in China
I think it is important to be aware of a crime against humanity that is going on in China at the present time: the involuntary harvesting of organs from living prisoners of conscience detained in concentration camps throughout China.
China’s transplant trade is very profitable.
China is second only to the United States in total number of transplanted organs. Unfortunately, there are no organ-donor standards in China. Most of the transplanted organs come from formerly living Falun Gong practitioners.
Do we in the United States wish to be party to this ongoing atrocity?
Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (dafoh.org) has initiated a petition asking the Obama administration to investigate and publicly condemn this heinous practice.
Please go to the following website and sign this petition so that the United States can expose these crimes against humanity: http://wh.gov/5Jmn.
Regrettably, neither the administration nor most of the media in this country have reported on the organ-harvesting issue in China.
Please share this information with those you know and ask them to sign this petition.
W.F. McCoy, M.D.
No wonder why EPA chief chose to resign
Re Dec. 28 AP article, “Leader of EPA ready to give up difficult duties”: News today that the head of the U.S. Environmenal Protection Agency [Lisa Jackson] is resigning.
Wonder why? Well, put yourself in Jackson’s shoes.
What to do about climate change? I know. Stop carbon emissions! Of course, then the lights would go out and our cars wouldn’t run.
I know! We can replace all the energy that modern life consumes from fossil fuels with, now let’s see, solar, geothermal, wind, hydro, etc.
Wait! You say that in 2008 the total U.S. consumption of energy was 83 percent from fossil fuels while all the above amounted to less than 4 percent, with the most of the rest from nuclear reactors (oops, can’t use that).
Boy, that’s gonna be tough to pull off. I know! We can talk about it! You know, have conferences, make plans, and the like. Of course, that won’t actually get accomplished.
Wow! I’m sure glad I’m not in charge of this!
What? You say, I am? I resign!
Cops and strippers none of anyone’s business
Re Dec. 27 article, “Police stripper party probe should be done soon”: How about full disclosure of everyone’s personal business. This is apparently what some readers want.
The last I knew, police that are off duty, minding their own business at a private party, engaging in activities that, last I knew, are legal, don’t have to answer to anyone.
No one was hurt. No one complained. They were at a location where there is not one residence within a block, at the very end of a dead-end street.
May I add, it is one of only two locations in the city where exotic dancing is legal. They chose this location because they wanted to have a little fun and not bother anyone. Maybe they should all move out of the city and have nothing to do with it except police work. (Oh, I’m sure someone will have a snide remark about that, too.)
How about some of [you] get a life of your own so you don’t need to worry what others are doing all the time? How about you worry about what goes on within the confines of your own household and family? — like people did when I was growing up. This is the real problem in this city.
What’s next? Put any police officer who has a Christmas tree in their house on charges for not being sensitive to other people’s beliefs? Go ahead. Open the taxpayers’ wallet and pay for that ridiculous investigation, too!
And yes, I’m a former police officer!
Anthony DiCarlo Jr.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our Web site: www.dailygazette.com.