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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Why are spending, taxes rising faster than the rate of inflation?

Why are spending, taxes rising faster than the rate of inflation?

*Why are spending, taxes rising faster than the rate of inflation? *Why is Catholic Church held to h

Why are spending, taxes rising faster than the rate of inflation?

From all indications, Chicken Little is alive and well on both the national and local levels.

Nationally, we have seen federal spending go from $3 trillion in 2008 to $3.8 trillion in 2012 — up a whopping $800 billion, or 27 percent. During the same time, inflation has gone up only 8 percent. If federal spending went up at the rate of inflation, spending in 2012 would be $3.25 trillion, a difference of $550 billion.

At the same time we read of the dire consequences of reducing spending by $85 billion (2 percent). In reality we should be able to reduce spending $550 billion and have the same level of services.

Instead of having elected officials connected to the real world, we have fear mongers who preach gloom and doom.

At the local level, we have Niskayuna school representatives wringing their hands and telling us what a great job they have done in reducing the proposed tax [levy] increase from 11.8 percent to [7.16 percent]. How many households in Niskayuna have seen their income go up [that much] over the last four years, let alone in one year?

It would seem that having a tax cap of 4.7 percent, over twice the rate of inflation, would provide more than ample room to craft a budget. This is especially true since the district has been increasing spending at least twice the rate of inflation for the last decade.

I would urge all voters to reject any spending above the cap. One has to wonder how our representatives can say what a great job they are doing with a straight face. Do they treat their personal finances as they treat the taxpayers’ money, allowing spending increases of three to four times the rate of inflation?

While New York ranks the worst state in the country for taxes and is in the top five states for residents moving out, there is a little good news. It appears the state is trying to rein in spending with its proposed budget.

Gov. Cuomo had it right when he said it’s time for local school districts to face reality and consider mergers and consolidations.

Maybe some year voters will get it right and elect representatives who want to deal with the tough issues we are facing today.

Jim Vincent


Why is Catholic Church held to higher standard?

Attacks against the Catholic Church from the liberal atheist media continue, even now that Pope Francis I has been elected.

They accuse him of not doing enough during the Argentine civil war. But is that the role of a religious person? Jesus didn’t fight against the Romans, who occupied Palestine during his life. Why do they expect something different from the pope?

It’s true that in recent times, unacceptable things have happened in the Catholic Church, but it is also true that the same has also taken place at all levels of society, and I suspect also in many other Christian churches.

Many of our government/civilian leaders have caused plenty of scandals, [committed] plenty of immoralities, told lies, cheated, made up wars for business/private interests and broken the law many times. Yet they have gotten away with it.

Thanks to these immoral leaders, our country has had several unjust wars, one in Vietnam (with over 52,000 Americans dead), the Iraqi war (with almost 5,000 dead and 30,000 wounded), the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, and extramarital affairs in the White House. These U.S. presidents should have been fired, but weren’t!

And what about CEOs of U.S. companies stealing millions from their employees and investors, neglected the safety of their workers, and cut corners for more profits, without any regard for human lives or the environment! U.S. sports superstars have cheated and denied for years that they took performance enhancing drugs.

Society isn’t clean and pure. So stop accusing the church.

Ottavio Lo Piccolo


Organic chemistry has no place in any high school

Re March 18 article, “Class cancellation upsets students”: As a 25-year chemistry professor at a community college, I feel I can comment on this issue.

In the first instance, organic chemistry should not have been offered without a prior AP [advance placement] course, which is similar to a general chemistry course at the college level, covering such topics as thermodynamics, kinetics and equilibrium and an introduction to mechanisms of chemical reactions.

Second, it is highly unlikely that a high school would have the sophisticated glassware, fume hoods and personal protective equipment to deal with sometimes hazardous organic chemicals and reactions. In order to be a college-level prep course for the professions, all of this would be necessary.

The decision to offer organic chemistry at Duanesburg High School was a poor one. The cancellation of the course was, in my opinion, correct.

Jane Slezak


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