Letters for Sunday, July 24, 2011

• The truth will set you free • Fish among worst things you can


The truth will set you free

It seems John Zwiebel just can’t help himself when it comes to spinning the facts and rewriting history (“Blame wars and banks, not social programs,” Letters, July 19).

He is right when he states that the top 10 percent pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes, and he’s also right that that same 10 percent receive around 33 percent of all income.

His position that 10 percent of us paying 33 percent of all federal taxes is not fair begs the question then what is fair and how much the top 10 percent should pay before they have a disincentive to start businesses or simply leave the country for greener pastures like our over-taxed founding fathers did.

Mr. Zwiebel’s assertion that the top 20 percent pay a lower percentage of their “income” in taxes is absurd.

Our graduated tax system forces those who make more to pay a higher percentage, not lower.

If the author is spinning the income number to include gross income he may be correct on the number, but is telling only half the story. It’s the top 20 percent that creates our small businesses and jobs which is expensive, risky, and time consuming.

Since they’re the creators of our entire economic structure the deductions they take from their gross income for business expenses and capital outlays must be deducted from their total income to arrive at their personal taxed income. Nice try John.

Of course, Mr. Zwiebel in perfectly biased liberal fashion feels the necessity to blame George Bush for “starting” two wars and then has the gall to claim the Republicans refused to pay for those wars; but then turns around in the same breath and states Bush raided the Social Security Trust fund to pay for the wars. A perfect example of circuitous logic spinning out of control.

It was Lyndon Johnson who first raided the Social Security fund, and the Democrats have championed the raiding of the fund ever since.

The Democratic Congress during the Bush years put forth a platform to raid the fund to give tax breaks to the middle class and channel the rest of it to their newly conceived social programs.

This is the Democratic strategy. Campaign to give the money and other “free stuff” to the masses because they vote without mentioning they’re taking it away to give it away.

The American populace has become so out of touch there are those who still believe the Democrats when they offer “free stuff” for their votes. It’s also a fact, George Bush tried to privatize Social Security which would have prevented him or any other president from raiding the fund in the future.

The author then goes on to call our lending institutions and banks “banksters” insinuating our banking system in America is somehow evil, dishonest, and corrupt which is not true.

Our lending institutions function under strict laws and are overseen on a daily basis by regulatory agencies.

If they’ve done anything perceived to be wrong it was because politicians passed laws allowing the behavior, which is exactly what created the mortgage crisis in this country.

Thanks to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who both signed into law bills forcing our banks to lend to minorities, and everyone else, regardless of their ability to pay back those loans, greed crept into our socially acceptable behavior and our homes became a house of cards. Democrats once again offering gifts to the masses in exchange for their vote into power.

The author then goes on to claim America’s mortgage crisis is the cause of Greece and the other socialist governments all going bankrupt which is so absurd we’ll just view it here as comic relief.

I would suggest the more liberal among us focus more on the facts concerning cause and effect, and less on some form of vendetta to see their “glass is half empty” perception of reality as if it were the truth.

The truth indeed will set you free, but it has to be the truth.

Gordon Oswald, Kapa‘a

Fish among worst things you can eat

Thanks to The Garden Island for the July 23 article, “FDA petitioned to require mercury labeling for seafood.”

I had a good friend who was hospitalized for mercury poisoning. He thought that fish was good for him so he ate it twice a day.

 I am a family physician and, in casual conversation, the diagnosis was not obvious. His symptoms were vague and sounded more like depression or jet lag (he traveled every week). Luckily, the fifth doctor he saw tested him for heavy metals.

Even though there are no coal-fired power plants in Hawai‘i, the fish we get in the stores are from all over the ocean. I never told my patients that fish was good for them, only that it was less harmful than cheese, beef, pork or chicken because it has less saturated fat.

The fact is large fish, like tuna, are often full of mercury and, nowadays, fish may be among the worst things you can eat.

Gordon LaBedz, Kekaha


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