Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 11, 2014

LETTERS FOR JAN. 11, 2014: What are our laws coming to?

Goshen News

---- — What an example our leaders in Washington have set for our country’s ethics, morality and integrity. I read an article concerning what to do about the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of the President. Some have called for impeachment, even though the Democrat-led Senate is not likely to impeach their party’s leader. Think about that for a moment. Do you suppose that was the intention of the framers when they wrote Article 1 section 3 of the U.S. Constitution? Is loyalty to one’s political party above all else really OK?

Consider the situation with the IRS. Testimony to the Congressional investigating committee has already established that the IRS targeted conservative and Christian groups disproportionately. The IRS official in charge took the protection of Fifth Amendment of the same Constitution that protects the people who were targeted.

Take the case of the NSA. The facts are that the director of national intelligence lied to Congress regarding the kind of data being collected by the NSA on ordinary Americans.

According to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, individual people have the protective right against unreasonable search and seizure and that, “No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.”

The director of national intelligence has claimed he didn’t lie to Congress, he merely gave the “least untruthful” answer to Congress’ question (under oath). Is that the intent of our laws? Is it acceptable to you if a witness gives the jury the “least untruthful” response to a prosecutor’s questions?

Are the definitions of oath and sworn testimony merely evolving for our society? And is selective enforcement of our nation’s laws now acceptable to the majority of Americans?

— James Kuhlenschmidt


Cutting personal property tax will sink middle class

You don’t save a sinking ship by cutting another hole in the hull. And yet that’s just what supporters of eliminating Indiana’s business personal property tax are proposing. Even as local governments are struggling with restricted property taxes and reduced federal aid, proponents of ending the business tax would slash another $1 billion from county and town budgets. Roads, schools, emergency response and other important services would all suffer as a result.

Working families have sacrificed enough to austerity policies at the state and federal level. Kids kicked out of preschool, seniors losing hot meals, medical research cancelled — these are the human costs of budget cuts. Instead of fruitlessly trying to cut our way to prosperity, we should be asking big corporations and wealthy households to pay their fair share of taxes. Even with the newest federal budget deal there was no closing of corporate tax loopholes. Instead, a billion-dollar business tax cut on the Indiana state level punches another hole in the boat, further sinking the struggling middle class.

— Jeremy Bernstein