To the editor: Gov. Perry has made his career running on a “no new taxes” platform [see story, page 10], but is it true? For years Texans have been paying extra “fees” and “surcharges” with the promise the money would be used for targeted purposes, but it isn’t. That’s a tax, Skippy!
Since 2003, Texas sportsmen have paid extra sales taxes on sporting goods purchases to the tune of $250 million. Only 25 percent of that money made it to the targeted state parks, while 75 percent went to “balance the budget.” Promised money from the sale of specialty license plates isn’t getting to our parks either.
Ditto 1998’s monthly 65-cent surcharge on electric bills. Proceeds from that fund, conceived to help the poor with high summer bills, have neared $1 billion. To date 17 percent has gone to that cause, while 83 percent goes to “balance the budget.”
The “Clean Air” surcharge on diesel/heavy equipment added $481 million to clean up our air, yet 82 percent of that revenue has gone to “balance the budget.” And only 23 percent of the $500 million in stiff surcharges from the Driver Responsibility Act has ever made it to the state’s trauma facilities, the targeted recipients.
Meanwhile multibillion-dollar corporations walk away with tax abatements, exemptions, and incentives from Perry’s $6 billion “economic development” and “rainy day” coffers. “High-risk” natural gas wells, anyone?
Our overly fat, overspending, self-serving government is mishandling and misappropriating our hard-earned funds. While I appreciate another point of view on who pays taxes, I am very certain it is we, the taxpayers who are being bled to death, not the government.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas recently stated, “Massive federal debt threatens to destroy our prosperity for decades to come. The destruction of our money through the actions by the Fed continues at an alarming pace. ‘Quantitative Easing’ is just the latest name for the government’s evil attempts to steal wealth from unsuspecting citizens via debasement of our paper money system. New government programs are started daily, and future plans are being made for even more costly government expansion. All are based on the false premise that we’re in this mess because free-market capitalism and sound money policies failed. The obsession is with more spending, bail-outs of bad investments, more debt, and further dollar debasement.”
It is time for us to demand that our government act sanely and stop bleeding us to death!
Too Much Like ’Nam
To the editor: Gwynne Dyer’s “Today Libya, Tomorrow Syria?” column (March 30, 2011) was a well-written essay about the United States’ and United Nations’ concepts of whom to assist (forcibly) while other leaders get away with treating their own people inhumanely, just because they are bigger and more powerful.
Now that we’ve deployed CIA personnel to Libya, it’s clear that the U.S. military air exercises to force Qaddafi out could open the gate of hell for us — the situation is getting to be all too reminiscent of the Indo-China war to which we sent “military advisors.” The U.S. can’t be the world’s caretaker, but we seem to always get asked to intervene, thus causing many casualties.
Remember that Vietnam cost us 59,000 lives.
Let’s stay out of Syria and get out of Libya.