Letters to the editor

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

How money works

I recently got this summary from a friend with a good sense of how money works.

Perhaps this will explain why increasing the taxes on the top wage earners in this country isn’t going to solve our problems.

* U.S. Tax revenue: $ 2.170 trillion

* Fed budget: $ 3.82 trillion

* So our new debt is: $ 1.65 trillion

* National debt: $14.271 trillion and rising

* Recent budget cuts: $ 38.5 billion (not trillion)

Let’s pretend it's a household budget by getting rid of the trillions and billions:

* Annual family income: $ 21,700

* Money the family spent: $ 38,200

* New debt on the credit card: $ 16,500

* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

* Total budget cuts so far: $ 38.50

If these were your family finances, what would you do? I’d bet belt-tighten.

Do you see why increasing taxes is not the solution?  Even if ALL the tax cuts were eliminated, the increased revenue would not eliminate our debt or curb Washington’s desire for more of OUR money to spend.  Congress and our President (who didn’t mention budget cuts at all in his proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff, and in fact proposed spending more than the tax hikes would bring in) have an addiction to spending on OUR credit card. And why wouldn’t they, when they just voted themselves a big pay raise and we don’t hold them accountable for anything?

Noelle A. Granger

Chapel Hill

Police cover-up

Numerous questions hang unanswered about the conduct of officer Kelly Stewart in his recent traffic stop of Carlos Riley Jr.

What is almost certain is that Stewart drew his weapon on Riley and shot himself in the leg. To this point, Chief Lopez and the Durham Police Department have covered up everything to do with this “altercation,” and The Herald-Sun has accepted their word. There is much ‘muck’ to ‘rake’ in the putrid sty on West Chapel Hill Street but seemingly no one at the paper of record is willing to do it.

In the meantime, the 21-year-old Riley sits in Durham County jail with a $1 million bond. He is no danger to society; rather, for the police, he must be kept there because he is a danger to their very tenuous respectability in the public’s eyes. For the purveyors of fear, Riley must be kept in jail and portrayed as a menace and threat to public safety in order to justify past and future police violence against the people.

If there were a shred of integrity in the justice system, Riley would be free right now. Pressure must be brought to bear to make this happen sooner rather than later.

Steve Lorenz

Durham