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Nation's dairy farmers? can create new wealth

The Republican vice presidential choice, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, cut his political teeth as a member of Jack Kemp's Empower America. Western New Yorkers know that Kemp parlayed his football career and an economics degree into being elected to Congress. During that time a generation ago, I was already convinced that a major source of new wealth came from agriculture. I sent Kemp information to that effect and he sent me information about the gold standard.

Last year, when the state of Wisconsin was battling the teachers' union, I sent Ryan similar information pointing out that the dairy farmers of Wisconsin had not had increases in milk payments to pay the raises the teachers wanted. It is important to point out here that the new wealth from milk circulates through the economy, just as does that which is borrowed into circulation. The difference is that new wealth from a raw material does not have to be paid back with interest. Ryan has spent his whole life less than two hours from the most productive dairy county in Wisconsin, the second most productive state in the nation. There was no response from Ryan. At least Kemp responded.

If all parts of the GDP are equal, it shouldn't matter if health care is 15 percent and agriculture is 1 percent. Ryan was pictured in the Aug. 19 News with a pamphlet titled, "The Path to Prosperity." Does he think the economy can be cut to prosperity?
A fact that should be of interest to politicians in New York and Wisconsin is that in 2009, milk prices to dairy farmers were at a 30-year low. New York's budget deficit nearly tripled from $7.4 billion in 2009 to $21 billion in 2010. It would be interesting to see the Wisconsin statistics. I wonder if Ryan ever worried about the fact that half the dairy farmers in the United States went out of business since he joined Empower America.

Marlene Schotz

Wilson

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Spend less on defense ?and more on health care

We are being told by both parties that Medicare is in crisis and cannot continue to be funded as it has been into the future. Yet every other industrial country on earth manages to fund free health care not only to its seniors but to its entire population. Why is this? Can it be because we spend significantly more on defense each year than the next nine highest-spending countries combined? And, in fact, nearly half as much as every other nation on earth combined? Just wondering.

Gary W. Waldman

West Valley

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Survey on closing costs ?isn't accurate for WNY

This letter is in response to the Aug. 8 News article, "State's home buyers pay highest closing costs in the U.S." A close reading of the Bankrate.com survey, on which the article is based, reveals some confusing if not misleading information. The number $3,622 appears under the heading "Title and Closing," yet drilling into the report shows that 30 percent of this amount is "attorney fees." While real property attorneys and title agents work closely together to provide homeowners confidence in their ownership through title research, curative actions and risk mitigation, it is surely confusing to lump these costs under one heading.

Requests from the title insurance industry to examine the Bankrate.com methodology have been denied repeatedly, so we cannot say the survey is flawed. We do note that Bankrate.com states its information was gathered from "good-faith estimates" (GFEs) from lenders' websites, excluding "taxes, property insurance, association fees, interest and other prepaid items." However, GFEs given by a lender to a potential borrower include transfer taxes and recording fees.

Given the variety and diversity of New York State, we think the article failed to alert readers to another confusing item. The survey was based on the hypothetical loan for "purchase of a single-family house in the state's largest city." In other words, a New York City loan is used to portray statewide costs. We suggest consulting a Buffalo-area title professional to determine title-related closing charges in your area, which we believe will be more accurate and more relevant to readers.

Robert Treuber

Executive Director, New York State Land Title Association

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Last thing New York needs?is another giveaway program

It was extremely disheartening to read the Aug. 18 News article, "Silver urges college aid for illegal immigrants." The article stated: " while the bill would make TAP available for illegal immigrants, TAP was discontinued for graduate students who are legal residents" and "the bill would require a new application form and process to help students fill out federal student aid forms." The question then arises, why in the world do high school graduates and college students need help filling out an aid form? If they need help filling out any form, they should not be eligible for assistance in the first place. This only enhances my firm conviction of late that our education system has been dumbed down in past years.

Our state is drowning in debt from exactly what Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has proposed another politically correct giveaway program that he has the gall, or, better phrased, "chutzpah," to back. What does he not understand about the word "illegal"? Could this be politically motivated? As I try to compose myself, I am left with the final conclusion, yes!

With some of the highest taxes in the country, New York State still cannot manage its priorities. Hard work and the will to succeed are the answers. Not to dumb down our education system to facilitate high school and college degrees. Nor should we enhance our already liberal giveaway programs, which in the end require higher taxes to subsidize. Wake up, New York, it is time for a complete change.

Anthony T. Nardozzi

Buffalo

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Much of Romney's money?is not actually taxable

Mitt Romney says he shouldn't be elected president if he paid more taxes than he legally must. I assume that means anyone who is not intelligent enough to pay exactly what the law requires, and not more, isn't smart enough to be president. I guess that is a reasonable position: The president of the United States should at least have the intelligence to understand and obey the tax laws.

He also tells us he pays all the taxes he is required to pay, and that in the last decade he has never paid less than 13 percent in taxes. My question is, 13 percent of what? My taxes are based on my taxable income, not my gross income. So are Romney's. If tax laws permit him to earn a great deal of money, but very little of that is actually taxable, it may just demonstrate that, by his definition, he is intelligent enough to be president.
If, in fact, that 13 percent is 13 percent of a very small part of his actual income, shouldn't that be a matter of pride, not a matter of embarrassment? People who earn their income by working at jobs pay a much larger percentage on their taxable incomes, and their taxable incomes are a much larger part of their real incomes. They may not have his level of knowledge about tax laws. I guess none of them is qualified to run for that office. Anyway, working people have picked up the resulting slack in government income from taxes. Perhaps if Romney is elected, that slack may even become somewhat greater.

Paul I. Lawton

Springville