Could we balance the budget if some of the proposed tax law changes below were enacted?
• Sales tax charges on trading stocks and bonds comparable to groceries.
• Taxes on medical devices, most are patented and much higher than in Europe (saves $1 billion annually under Obamacare.
• Inherited gains on stocks.
• Import tariff of 5 percent with countries which we have persistent trade deficits.
• Corporate/business/Internet revenue tax of 2 percent before write-offs, loopholes.
The Republican Party(the modern Herbert Hoover Party) favors the privileged at the expense of the many. Yet, the public continues to favor them because of their unique ability to invoke religion, freedom and patriotism (not to mention race) in the same sentence, while referring to balancing the budget as the Holy Grail! It is incumbent upon the public to examine their hypocritical sermonizing with more discernment.
JOHN EARY, Ringgold, Ga.
Like Thomas Lloyd, I am a former Marine and offended by the spectacle of a protester waiving the Marine Corps flag and Confederate flag together in front of the White House. Most Americans appreciate the importance of having two vibrant political parties, but it is time for responsible Republicans to stand up to and retake their side of the national conversation from those who have hijacked it to the detriment of the country. We desperately need more Bob Corkers and Lamar Alexanders and fewer Ted Cruzes - ideally, none of the latter.
As I watched the triumphant exit from the Capitol of those members of the House of Representatives that caused the government shutdown, I found myself giving thanks that these were not the representatives that convened in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. Had they or their predecessors of like mind been in charge of the Continental Congress, the vision that produced our great country would have been stillborn.
STEVE A. BOVELL
The article about the health care industry's efforts to switch to digital records was illuminating. It was predictable that allowing the "free market" to come up with a solution that would satisfy the needs of diverse users would suffer the problems being experienced. The main problem is that the different systems will not communicate with each other. The Veterans Administration has had a highly-successful system in operation for several years that was paid for by the taxpayers. It could certainly have been used as a starting point even though it probably would not handle all the problems in the larger medical community, and additional features could be added by a single system provider. With the approach that has been taken, the taxpayers get to pay twice and wind up with an inferior system.
JOHN D. BECK, Ooltewah
Conservatives claim that raising the minimum wage will reduce jobs.
This idea might make intuitive sense to some, but it is empirically questionable.
In a survey at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Economics, hardly a hotbed of economic liberalism, economists agreed by a 4-1 margin that the benefits of raising the minimum wage outweigh the costs.
Example: To boost productivity and minimize employee turnover, dynamic retailer Costco starts employees at $11 an hour, $3.75 above the current minimum wage.
American economic research tends to focus inwardly. But when we look overseas at our trading partners we find their minimum wages are higher than ours, some substantially higher. Australia, the only developed country to escape the 2008 recession, recently increased the minimum wage for fast food workers from $17.03 to $17.98
The non-partisan Economic Policy Institute projects that raising the U.S. minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would generate $30 billion in new economic activity and create 140,000 new jobs to meet the increased demand.
Why can't conservatives realize that in a free-market economy as people make more money they spend more, create more demand, more is invested, more taxes are paid and everybody prospers?
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville
I am tired of hearing criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz. The tea party is talked about as obstructionists, and conservative Republicans as radicals. House Speaker John Boehner did a poor job of framing the impasse. Not raising the debt limit and shutting down the government was the only tool left at their disposal. The only time our spending binge comes to light is when spend-crazy politicians have to raise the debt limit. And they are having to raise it more and more often. Here it is simply put: We are taking in about $2 trillion a year and spending about $3 trillion. Entitlements and the interest only on the public debt accounts for about 63 percent of our budget. That means that for every dollar we take in, we can only use 37 cents. And it is getting worse. By law, President Obama must present a budget to Congress, which he has not. By law, the House and the Senate must reach a compromise and approve a budget, which they have not. This is simple, but politicians ignore it. That is why their approval rating is at only 12 percent. We are spending our children's money. I am with Mr. Cruz; this must stop.
GERALD WHITELY, Ringgold, Ga.