Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:00 am
Tax law changes needed
Tom Hayhurst's Feb. 5 article (“Go progressive, Indiana”) is right on target – read it!
As an AARP tax preparation counselor for 22 years, I am in full agreement with him. It is time for changes in Indiana's income tax laws so that lower- and middle-class people, people with children and senior citizens have their taxes reduced.
To offset the reduction in revenue to the state by an equal amount, several brackets should be created on taxable income with increasing rates on higher incomes. Personal exemptions should be increased to about $10,000 per person, each dependent child should get $5,000 and senior citizens should get an additional $5,000. Perhaps other changes should be made, but these are my primary suggestions.
If you agree, I encourage you to write to your state legislators.
RICHARD ALOYSIUS HARBER
DACA merely one piece of immigration puzzle
As the U.S. Senate prepares to address the DACA question, much has been spoken and written of the sacrifice these people have made to remain in the United States.
To be certain, and meritorious, many of these young people have indeed patterned their lives to be worthy of citizenship. In the face of potential deportation, it is a sad commentary that this country faces such a dilemma. It has not been of recent origin, though; decades of failed immigration enforcement and failed or ineffective immigration policies have brought us to this state of affairs. Most importantly, the failure of Congress to come to terms with immigration problems led to the ill-advised implementation of the DACA executive order under former President Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump rightfully rescinded that executive order and insisted Congress take up its responsibilities in addressing not only DACA, but comprehensive immigration reform including border security.
Through all the discussion and the rancor and rhetoric surrounding these concerns, including the heated partisanship, with violent protests at times witnessed across our country, America and its national leaders cannot lose sight of the importance of the need for these efforts. For at greatest risk of sacrifice is the loss of one our nation's most sacred principles – the rule of law.
Regardless of the circumstances that led DACA people to be brought to this country, their presence operating beyond the tenets of our immigration laws is neither a warranted or excusable offense. In fact, these people are the offshoot of a generational criminality, with their parents or the other adults who brought them to the U.S. being here without legal status themselves.
We are a forgiving country and, in doubling the number of individuals being offered a path to residency under Trump's State of the Union proposal from that of Obama's executive order, a reasonable effort to address this serious immigration problem can be sought.
It is time for Congress to show the wisdom and the will to confront our immigration problems. Future sovereignty of this great nation may well be at stake, a concern far greater than the individual needs of 1.8 million DACA applicants and recipients of our nation's goodwill.
More for workers
We have a holiday for just about everything. I say April 20 should be “time for a raise day” – not “may I have a raise” day. It's time for a raise day. We only live 72 years on average and work for 40 to 50 of those years; 40 raises over a lifetime is not that many.
Our fathers and grandfathers probably received twice that. And none of this $1 per hour stuff. Nineteen percent of a year's wages is more than reasonable if workers are to even come close to the increase the one percent enjoy.
Also, when you call in sick, ask whether you will be paid for time off. If the answer is no, take that flu bug straight in to your supervisor; 32 hours is not “part time,” so demand full-time benefits (if there are any). Working 68 hours is two full-time jobs, so take twice as long on vacation – paid vacation.