Letters to the Editor: January 31, 2004
Dubya to Defeat?
I predict that George W. Bush will not be reelected. The reason President Bush will not be reelected is for the same reason his father was not reelected: he has abandoned the fiscal conservatives in his own party.
When former President George H. W. Bush broke his "no new taxes" promise, Bush Sr.'s fiscal conservative base stayed home, which resulted in the election of Bill Clinton.
Bush Jr.'s big government spending habits are far worse than any of his Democratic predecessors even when subtracting out the cost of the war on terror.
George's spending is enough to make FDR and LBJ blush with envy.
George's request for a big increase in spending on the National Endowment for the Arts is the latest in a long series of big government spending proposals from Bush.
Democrat John Kerry is looking very presidential. I'd never vote for Kerry as he's a big government guy too, but I think it's going to be President Kerry unless Bush starts another war.
-- Chuck Wright, January 29, 2004
Use My Card!
When Safeway first came out with their card, I filled out the application form with a pseudonym and an incorrect address and phone number. I was immediately issued a card, and thereafter I was able to anonymously enjoy the Safeway club member discounts by paying in cash. I think you can still obtain a card that way from Safeway.
Another way around their system is if you know someone with a card, you can use theirs. All you have to do is key in that person's phone number on the number pad, and you get the Safeway Club discount.
A few years later, I discovered that Safeway offered 1 mile on United Airlines' Mileage Plus airline miles program for every two dollars purchased at Safeway but only if you used the Club card and gave them the mileage Plus account number and the name on that account. It was at that point that I decided to obtain a card with my true identity. If you'd like, I'm willing to share with you the phone number associated with my account so that you can anonymously obtain the Safeway Club discounts, and I'd benefit from the miles on your purchases.
-- Chuck Wright, January 24, 2004
Fake Info, Real Discounts
Have you stopped to think of and advocate just faking the info on the grocery/shopping cards? Mine are all owned by Anthony Robert... My address? Why it is 123, 45th St. Erie CO 67890. My phone number? Yes sir, that's 303-404-5050 (not).
I've told the people outright it is all fake. Nobody cares. 2 years and counting, and no revocation of cards.
-- T., January 22, 2004
In your article you talk about the benefits of being married... "employee medical coverage, automatic hospital visitation rights, adoption, joint tax-filing, pension benefits, social security benefits, and easy inheritance rules.
Joint tax-filing has cost the average married couple about $1800 a year in additional taxes. Studies vary on this average reporting the penalty is from $1700 to $2100 per couple per year, but the number I've seen most often is $1800 per year. Last year Pres Bush pushed through a short term temporary repeal of that marriage tax penalty. It starts this year, in 2004, with a minor reduction to that penalty and then phases the penalty out over several years.. until the final year of his tax cut when it is completely repealed for that year. The very next year the entire tax cut sunsets and we go back to the $1800 tax penalty per married couple per year.
So, for $1800 a year, can two unmarried people buy medical coverage, legal advice for medical consent forms, tax-filing assisatnce, pension benefits, and get assistance writing a will? I'm betting that they can. The real issue is recognition and acceptance of non-heterosexual marriages by society as a whole.
I can vouch for the numbers. I figured our taxes several times before we got married, as if we were married, for us the number is closer to the $2100 per year figure.
There was a similar reduction in the marriage penalty tax once before that I know of. It started around 1979 and expired around 1988. That time they made you figure your regular tax and then gave you a marriage deduction on the net tax at the end.
-- Amy Willard, January 9, 2004
More Praise for Berntson
The article arguing that rights are protected by the people and not by the constitution was excellent. Thanks for bringing these articles together in one site.
-- Mike Spalding, January 13, 2004