Letters To The Editor 1/28/2019

January 28, 2019 GMT

Selfie destruction

Editor: Forget comedian David Letterman’s “stupid human tricks” segments from his TV show.

We now have “idiotic kid tricks.” The age of technology makes humans stupid. People go viral on the internet eating Tide detergent pods, sniffing mounds of cinnamon powder, driving blindfolded or setting themselves on fire. We have become a society of Snapchat, shouting, “look at me,” and being self-indulgent selfie takers. Kids seem to have lost their minds.

We are losing the intellectual brainpower of our younger generation. I don’t feel sorry for them; I feel sorry for us. We in the older generation are now in their hands and we will rely on them to care for us if they are to become the next generation of doctors and scientists.

Why bother taxing our money for a free-college agenda when the people exhibiting this type of idiotic behavior don’t have the aptitude for higher learning?





Christians walled out

Editor: I am confused by the recent letter submitted by Fred Swingle (“Walls in the hereafter?”), which seems to defend the creation of a wall on our southern border on the basis of the fact that “this country consists mostly of Christians.”

True, our country was created by Christians but let’s not forget they escaped religious persecution which, in essence, means that those of one religion told those of another what they could and could not do. Of all the immigrants in history, our forefathers certainly understood the pain of living under such a government.

Would this proposed wall, for instance, apply only to particular Christians? I ask because I’m quite sure that if we obtained accurate statistics, those seeking asylum at our southern border clearly would be considered mostly Christians.

The point is that this democracy was created by those forefathers based on the premise that all people are created equal.




Tax cut sham

Editor: The Congressional Budget Office has released the first complete picture of federal tax revenues for 2018, the inaugural year for President Trump’s signature tax cuts mostly benefiting the wealthy.

The Trump administration sold the tax law by claiming it would pay for itself by increasing economic growth and additional tax revenue would follow. Outside economists from the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation released models contradicting the administration’s claims. But Republicans have long claimed, without a shred of evidence, that cutting taxes on the wealthy provides such an economic bump that additional tax revenue will flow in and everyone will benefit.

This economic theory says that “we must heap more on the platters of the rich, for only so will more crumbs fall to the poor.”


The CBO reports that one year after the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package was enacted, economic growth has accelerated. For 2018, gross domestic product is likely to hit 3 percent, more than the 2 percent predicted without the tax cuts. But even with greater growth and a low jobless

rate, federal revenues from corporate, payroll and personal income taxes actually fell by 2.7 percent, or $83 billion. Republican promises that tax cuts would pay for themselves have not held up.

The inconvenient truth is that the tax cuts contribute substantially to a widening federal budget deficit, now on track to top $1 trillion this year. If growth slows, as many economists expect, the tax cuts could exacerbate the deficit even more. It’s time to put to rest any notion that Trump’s signature tax cuts

will pay for themselves.




Presidential quiz

Editor: The following points are a true, false or maybe quiz about Donald Trump’s presidency:

■ The man is an absolute genius.

■ Consider the “Mexico will pay for it” wall. If built, it will actually be paid for with American taxpayers’ money that we don’t have, as that was all given away to the top 1 percent.

■ The swamp was drained only to find Trump’s dump.

■ The president paid Midwestern farmers millions in subsidies that they would have received in payments otherwise from overseas customers except for his tariff war.

■ By the time he is done he will have lowered the deficit by billions.

■ He has cost American taxpayers more for his golf vacations than the past four presidents combined.

■ He is undoubtedly the best-spelling president of all time.

■ He was elected by the majority of voters in the country, except for all those “illegal” ones.

■ He is the greatest gift “Saturday Night Live” writers ever have received.




Exclusionary view

Editor: Our leaders vote for nation-building overseas yet refuse to build a wall or barrier here. It is becoming harder to find a small rival country we haven’t bombed yet.

Senior Democrats and Republicans have become lifetime members of the same beltway club, two sides of the same coin. They live well pretending to be defenders of our democracy.

Look behind the curtain; not one of them lives in poverty, goes without food or medicine or lacks health care.

Back home, our streets and bridges are rated poor. Our homes are looted for goods and copper to buy drugs. Our neighbors speak a different language and our schools are for your kids, not theirs. We paid our taxes. Who do you think should adjust their attitude?




Environmental basics

Editor: Lackawanna County recycling coordinator Barbara Giovagnoli encouraged “back to basics” in a Jan. 18 Times-Tribune news story.

Recycling is one of the three Rs preceded by reduce and reuse. Consumers can choose to reduce waste at the point of purchase by choosing wrapped butter or margarine, for instance, rather than tubs, which can no longer be recycled.

Producers also play a role in reducing our waste stream. Cups, plates, spoons and other products and utensils that are made from starches, sugars and other compostable materials, are available.

Surely, disposable containers could be made for those that are no longer recyclable. Even if placed in a landfill, they eventually will decompose, as opposed to the plastics they would replace.