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Tax reform greatly needed, but 9-9-9 plan isn't solution

In a recent Another Voice column, economics professor Peter Morici suggests that Herman Cain's proposal to replace all taxes with a 9-9-9 plan would simplify the tax code, help the economy and encourage people to save money. He even suggests it would allow us to eliminate Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Let's look at this a bit more closely. While it's true that it would simplify the tax code, it would not directly help the economy unless you believe in trickle-down economics. Adding a 9 percent sales tax on consumers would simply reduce the amount of consumer spending, resulting in more economic problems. Moreover, this plan would shift more of the tax burden onto the already overburdened middle class. As far as making taxes more equitable, he suggests only that poor people should be paying more. A 9 percent tax on corporate profits would do very little to address the fact that some multibillion-dollar corporations pay no tax since their accountants are very good at their jobs.

Instead, let's propose replacing the corporate income tax with a sales tax directly on corporations' net sales to be paid quarterly. This would be a graduated tax in that the largest corporations would pay a higher rate than mid-level companies, and small businesses would pay the least. Since this tax would be levied on all sales in the country, the percentages would be quite small given the huge size of the U.S. economy. There would be only one deduction allowed, based on the number of employees who live and work in the United States. This would directly encourage businesses to hire more U.S. workers.

There is a great need for tax reform, but the Cain 9-9-9 plan is not the answer.

Jim Rudnicki

Lake View

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Keep unruly students off school buses

I am writing in response to Larry Scott, an area school psychologist who noted in his Oct. 23 Another Voice that the reduced use of external school suspension is a productive way to correct problem behaviors over time and to keep a watchful eye on school bullies. I support his opinion, however, take one exception -- the bus ride to and from school.

Clearly it is preferred that a problem student has structure and should rise from bed, report for school and serve an in-school suspension, quiet study situation or other options versus hitting the couch and watching movies or playing Xbox while the parents are at work all day. However, the school bus is no place for horseplay or bullies.

School bus drivers today are dealing with increased student loads, tighter run times, difficult traffic/weather situations and have fewer options to deal with the growing onboard behavioral problems they must deal with, often at 35 miles per hour. The high-back seats coupled with the noise of the children and engine provide an environment that bullies can take advantage of, flying under the radar where even bus camera systems cannot see or hear them.

School bus drivers cannot repeatedly take their eyes from the road to deal with behavior issues and the troublemakers know this and take advantage of it. Yes, students must be in school, however, parents may have to work closely with administrators when bus-conduct issues exist by supporting bus suspensions when appropriate and driving their children to school for the safety of all students.

Michael P. Dallessandro

School Bus Driver Instructor

State Education Department

Grand Island

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Child porn offenders don't deserve a break

I read The News article, "Aiding child porn's often forgotten victims," on Oct. 28. My question to the families that are so humiliated by their family member's actions: What normal person thinks that looking at child pornography is OK? We should not differentiate between first-time offenders and repeat offenders.

I feel for the family members of those convicted because they are put into a very difficult situation. But the offenders are at fault for where they are now. These families believe that their loved ones will not reoffend, but how can they be sure? Can we risk one child's innocence in the belief that intensive counseling will help them realize the error of their ways?

Child pornography needs an audience and if we are to believe that these men were just bored with adult pornography and needed excitement, then they are exactly where they belong. Do these families really believe that a person can be excited by child pornography and at the same time not be attracted to children? How would they feel if a child within their family had been targeted and their family member was responsible for it?

How can the licensed clinical social worker say, "exposure to pornography is almost inevitable"? I have used a computer for many years and not once did I come across child pornography.

We have laws to prevent the abuse of children, and if we start giving first-time offenders a pass for "certain types of crimes against children," then we have minimalized what happens to children as a whole. We need to stop this now!

Pam Badame

Lockport

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It's sad to see people promote class warfare

Envy. How sad that some Americans are buying into class warfare. In Donn Esmonde's Oct. 30 column, we are painted a picture of the middle class being shunted aside in an American decline. A retired Delphi worker is used as an anecdotal "expert" on why/how his company shrank. It was those bad guys in management -- you know, the guys who provided him a living for 30 years -- as the evil entity.

It seems like everyone needs a boogeyman now. How about looking at living in the highest-taxed state in the union, overbearing contracts, inferior products by car companies for 20 years (thankfully corrected) or corrupt politicians who are re-elected by the same people who rail against the system.

Do some research and you will find that the lower 25 percent of wage earners move up the ladder in time. Redistributing wealth is socialism. As Margaret Thatcher said, "The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money to spend." That's not how this country was built or founded.

John J. Pilato Sr.

Buffalo

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Animal cruelty is wrong, but abortion is far worse

Repeatedly, we read and hear about cruelty to animals in the Buffalo area. All well and good. Animals should be well cared for and protected. But when will we read and hear the same, hopefully more intense and sincere, level of outrage about cruelty to humans -- aborted babies -- in our area and throughout our country? The babies are not beaten or starved, they are intentionally killed each and every day. Misplaced compassion! It is against the law to be cruel to animals, but it is lawful to kill babies in the womb.

Stella L. Ryndak

North Tonawanda