Monday, November 27, 2017 1:00 am
Sex revelations uncover dangerous abuse of power
On top of all the usual political turmoil our country is facing, the past few weeks have been host to a tremendous number of sexual assault allegations being lobbed toward elected officials. Sexual assault, sex abusers and sexual predators have been the subject of political scandals for the past few decades, but there has been an influx lately of women standing up, naming and even facing their accusers head on. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have been accused and even prosecuted for their actions against women, often rightfully so. Politicians like President Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Senate candidate from Alabama Roy Moore and Sen. Al Franken have had to face their accusers and, in some cases, the consequences of their actions, but these men are just the beginning.
It was reported that in the last 20 years, there have been 260 settlements at a cost to the taxpayers of this country of $15 million in regard to congressional sexual assault lawsuit settlements. No names were released as to who the perpetrators were or what actions were taken against these members. By not releasing the names, the American people are being robbed of the truth about the disgusting actions of our own elected officials – officials who have no doubt been re-elected, some undoubtedly under the banner of “family values.” Even Indiana's 3rd congressional District was plagued by hypocrite Mark Souder, who touted said family values and had to resign in 2010 after having an affair with a female staffer.
As a nation, we need to recognize we have a serious issue when it comes to people of power abusing their station over victims and not believing those victims when they come forward. It is a dangerous and scary precedent we set when we do not prosecute or quickly remove from office these sleazy and disgusting people. Respect for women and respect for personal integrity need to be restored to this nation to end this dangerous reign.
CHEERS to the gentleman who picked up the lunch tab for me and my friends at The Lakeside Cafe on Nov. 14.
It was a very nice surprise!
Safeguards assure truckers pay fair share for roads
I would like to correct a statement included in “The toll of driving” (Nov. 12). The “Targeting trucks” section states that if truckers on Interstate 70 aren't stopping to buy fuel in Indiana, they aren't contributing to construction or upkeep costs of the roads they are using – and that provides a “convincing” case to place a toll on heavy trucks. That's not accurate. The International Registration Plan and the International Fuel Tax Agreement are both responsible for collecting revenue for our state based on the distance each vehicle travels in Indiana, even when the vehicle is not registered here and even when drivers do not buy fuel here.
Cars and trucks are not taxed the same. If a truck registered in Arizona goes from Phoenix to Boston, each state in which the truck travels along the route will receive fuel taxes and registration fees at the respective state's tax rate. The amount owed each state is apportioned according to miles driven in each state. So, unlike cars, commercial trucks cannot game the system and avoid state fuel tax by fueling up in one state and driving across another.
The article mentioned the July 1 10-cents-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax but did not mention that there was also a 20-cents-per-gallon increase in the diesel fuel tax. Both are indexed to inflation, which means the fuel tax will remain a viable source of revenue for highways for years to come. In addition, House Enrolled Act 1002 included a 25 percent increase in registration fees for trucks. The trucking industry supported both increases as fair, efficient ways to generate additional revenue to support our roads and bridges.
As the article stated, technology is forcing us to focus on the future of transportation and the best ways to pay for it. The trucking industry clearly understands that, and we agree that, there's no free ride. When you see those truck drivers rolling along, hauling nearly everything Americans want and need, you can rest assured they are paying their way.