Union Democrat staff

Extend the tax cuts

To the Editor,

Unless Congress and the President act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, they will expire Dec. 31. President Obama plans to let them expire. He insists that his aim is just to assure that the rich pay their "fair share", and that you won't have to worry unless you make over $250,000.

President Obama doesn't disclose that the expiration will raise taxes on a whole lot of people who aren't "rich."

Prior to the Bush-era, all married couples suffered under a so-called "marriage penalty." Two single people living together paid notably less tax than a married couple. The Bush-era tax cuts righted this wrong.

Today, the bottom two tax brackets for married joint-filing couples are twice as wide as those for singles. This helps keep the marriage penalty from biting lower- and middle-income couples. If the tax cuts are allowed to expire December 31, the joint-filer tax brackets will contract, causing higher tax bills for many couples.

Currently, the standard deduction for married joint-filing couples is double the amount for singles. Starting next year, the joint-filer standard deduction will fall back to about 167 percent of the amount for singles.

All this means that many lower-and middle-income couples are facing higher tax bills due to a harsher marriage penalty.

Higher capital gains, dividend and several other taxes will also sock the middle class.

Mr. Romney and the Republicans in Congress want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts indefinitely. Contrary to what Mr. Obama says, they are not "just trying to protect the rich." They are trying to protect your family and mine!

George Kellerman


Against cutting taxes

To the Editor:

America's "progressive tax system" taxes you more the wealthier you get. This is because the wealthy benefit most from our nation's infrastructure, incentives and resources. However, cutting taxes returns most to the wealthy. The Bush tax cuts return $8 of every $10 to the wealthiest 10 percent. Since these tax cuts are unfunded, they increase our national debt $6 trillion each decade.

Cutting federal, state and local taxes redistributes our share of the national economy to the wealthy. We lose much more than we gain. Conservatives criticize the "nanny state" entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education. They ignore the annual $1 trillion entitlements benefiting the wealthy; tax breaks, no bid contracts, subsidies. Even tax evasion has been encouraged since downsizing the IRS allows $300 billion a year to escape collection from the wealthy - Barlett's Great American Tax Dodge. Fifteen years of Bush tax cuts plus tax evasion equals our national debt. The Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Committee recommended cuts to programs as well as tax increases. Obama and Boehner agreed. The Democratic leadership supported Obama, Boehner received no Republican support. Why? Because the Norquist "No Tax Pledge" doesn't allow compromise. Norquist's organization will unseat any Republican who compromises. Republicans elect representatives but it's Norquist's vote that counts.

Conservatives claim to be patriots but continually bash our government. Would anyone give up our government for any other? Norquist says his goal is "to reduce the size of our government so he can drown it in a bathtub." In pursuit of "small government" we deregulated the banks. Was that good for America? Likewise, cutting taxes rewards the few at the expense of the many.

Robert Carabas


Positive hospital experience

To the Editor,

I just wanted to let people who have reservations about going to Sonora Regional Medical Center about my experience there.

Recently I had major surgery there and an eight day stay.

I received absolutely wonderful care there; from financial help to doctors, nurses and therapy and all responsible for my recovery.

I cannot praise them enough, or thank them all enough.

Sue Canto