Letters, Dec. 12

Dec. 11, 2012 @ 05:37 PM

Hillandale Road is clear

Finally, all the orange cones are gone! What a wonderful Christmas present to all the people who travel Hillandale Road and Carver Street. It is really nice. It was a long time in the making, but I feel like is it going to be a big improvement to our area.

Helen "Chick" Hinton
Durham

 

Nonprofits must speak out

I’m proud to serve on the board of directors of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits (www.ncnonprofits.org).

The federal “fiscal cliff” poses a serious threat to our state’s nonprofit sector and the communities and people who depend on them. Contact your congressional representatives and ask them to work to prevent the fiscal cliff and the arbitrary spending cuts that will result if no agreement is reached. Urge them not to add to the strain on nonprofits’ work by imposing new caps on itemized deductions.

If Congress doesn’t act before Dec. 31, more than $54 billion will arbitrarily be cut from federal programs. Demand for nonprofits’ services would continue to rise while federal funding would decrease – and this on top of declines in funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, and state and local governments.

The proposed cap on itemized deductions would essentially eliminate tax incentives for individuals to give to charitable nonprofits. Most people will deduct first the state and local taxes they’ve paid, and then their mortgage interest. With a cap on itemized deductions, it’s unlikely they’ll have any room left to deduct charitable contributions.

The charitable tax deduction is a unique aspect of Americans’ ability to support the causes they care about. Gutting it would pull the rug out from under those very organizations and causes that keep our communities glued together.

Please join me in asking our elected leaders not to throw our communities off the fiscal cliff.

Ben Money
Morrisville

 

Spending rationalization

Bob Ashley's column in Sunday's Herald-Sun is a fabulous rationalization of the dysfunctional role into which the federal government has evolved. He cites the support of a Republican senator for a riverfront park in Kentucky as justification for the federal government to be involved in local projects, even as our federal debt has reached an all-time high.

The progressive movement, which had noble goals and dedicated supporters, did result in a "kinder, gentler" society. Many laws were passed which curbed the excesses of unbridled social Darwinism. However, as the decades have passed, the politicians in Washington have abandoned all pretense of acting within the framework established by our Founding Fathers. We no longer have a limited federal system of government where the states and local authorities govern life among the populace, with Washington playing a much smaller role. The federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the Supreme Court no longer hesitate to support the redistribution of wealth in the form of pork projects nationwide.

Why should the struggling people of Robison, Tyrell, or Halifax counties in North Carolina be required to pay enough taxes so that the residents of Owensboro, Ky., can stroll along a beautiful park with their lattes? What rational basis or even constitutional basis is there for such a policy? If a local community or even a state determines it wants a new "whatever," it should pay for it. There is no justification for them to confiscate the earnings of the citizens of other states -- even if a so-called conservative senator supports it.

Marv McWherter
Mebane

 

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