Seniors warrant $350 tax rebates more than high-income parents
When I read the March 25 article about the state budget and the $350 tax rebate checks, it was noted that to be eligible you have to have at least one child and an income of between $40,000 and $300,000 a year.
I am appalled that someone with one child, and an income of nearly $300,000, will receive $350 when most of our senior citizens do not have any children at home and do not have an income anywhere near $300,000. Our seniors need the help of this tax rebate much more than the upper-income middle class does.
It appears to me that the Legislature — with the backing of our governor — is, by delaying this rebate until an election year, trying to buy votes to assure themselves reelection to their highly paid part-time jobs.
I hope all senior citizens remember this ploy and vote against all incumbents in the next election.
Harry J. Bartik
No good reason to cancel chemistry class
Re March 18 article, “Class cancellation upsets students”: Superintendant Christine Crowley claims our organic chemistry course was canceled due to the subject matter being too hard for high school seniors.
This rings incredibly hollow when you realize that at the end of the second marking period, every one of us was passing, and not by thin margins. True, we were getting grades lower than we were used to, but that was to be expected. We realized fully that this course would be unlike any other we had taken and that greater efforts would be required.
But the fact is that we were handling it, and it was preparing us for what we would face in college. The majority of the students, their parents and the teachers wanted the class to continue.
Duanesburg [high school] offers not a single AP [advance placement] science course, so this was a unique opportunity. Next year we will be competing with students from schools that provide plenty of such courses, and the organic chemistry class was a chance to catch up, in some small measure.
Then, it was snatched from us — no explanation given. The board claimed it was unable to divulge the reason due to confidentiality. And now, Superintendant Crowley brings to the Gazette (having never voiced this concern to the parents or students before the class was cancelled) an unsubstantiated explanation that the course was too hard.
We suspect the debacle may have had to do with a student who would benefit by the course becoming pass/fail, resulting in a “P” on the transcript, with no numerical grade to reduce cumulative grade-point average.
Jacob V. Tanzman
Defend us from anarchy in Schoharie County
Thank you for your March 20 editorial [“Schoharie County’s ‘insurrection’”] regarding the stand the Schoharie County supervisors and our sheriff took against the SAFE Act.
Their actions made me wonder if we can flaunt any law we choose and not worry about repercussions. I think that is called anarchy.
We will have to form the militia, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and would probably need a gun — whether we want one or not.
New budget helps most those who need it least
Congratulations to Gov. Cuomo and legislators, who are in the process of passing an on-time budget — a budget that according to Independent Democratic Conference leader Sen. Jeffrey Klein’s March 21 quote, is the most family-friendly budget ever.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver [says] the new minimum wage increase will help turn the economy around to create jobs. Some of us are actually going to receive $350; that is if you are a “middle-income” family, earning $40,000 to $300,000, and have at least one child. These checks won’t be sent out until 2014 (election year), so if you only lack the child part, get busy; you may still qualify.
The future is even looking up for those earning the minimum wage. Gone are the days trying to survive on a gross weekly pay of $290, and yearly wage of $15,080. In three years, you will be earning $9 per hour. You will still miss out on the $350, because even at $9 for a 40-hour week, 52 weeks a year, your gross wages will only be $18,720.
So who is Gov. Cuomo really trying to help? A family earning $40,000 a year with children is probably just making it in this economy and deserves that $350. However, they are earning $19.23 per hour. Giving $350 to a family making $300,000 is an election campaign joke. This family would be making $144.23 per hour, $5,769.23 gross per week. How many Gazette readers are currently making that kind of money? Just stop for a moment and think what you could do with $5,000 per week. My every need and desire would be fulfilled, with plenty of money left over to give to individuals, churches, schools or other places of need.
The new budget extends the state’s millionaire’s tax, [but only] temporarily, bringing in $2 billion per year. However, for election consideration this tax will expire next year. Who needs an extra $2 billion? In another year we will have more people on their way to earning $9 per hour, and they can be taxed.
Response to gun law seems out of proportion
While I personally do not own any guns, I have a number of friends who do. Almost to a person, they are feverishly afraid of the current movement to restrict assault rifles and the size of ammunition clips.
Again almost to a person, they are stockpiling ammunition and buying new guns. I asked one of my friends why. His response was, “Don’t you know? This is the beginning of the government goal to take away everyone’s guns.” I don’t quite see the connection between a reasonable response to a tragedy and a gun-buying frenzy. “A” doesn’t always lead to “B.”
If someone can’t do what he or she needs to with a standard, seven-bullet ammunition clip (killing a varmint praying on farm animals, for example) then they are pretty lame and incompetent, and shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.
So have a test to see if people can shoot straight, and if they can’t, take away their guns. That will fix it.
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.