Tags: Flat | Tax | Rathergate | Stem | Cell | Research

Flat Tax, Rathergate, Stem Cell Research

Thursday, 16 September 2004 12:00 AM

In 1992 Democratic Governor Jerry Brown of California made the flat tax an issue in his campaign for president. So did Republican Steve Forbes in 2000. Brown, as I recall, had trouble explaining the advantages of a flat tax. Forbes proposed that unearned income, such as income from investments, not be taxed. His reasoning was that those monies had already been taxed as corporate income.

My own view is that all income, no matter how derived, should be taxed. There ought to be no exemptions or deductions, not even for mortgage payments, medical expenses and charitable contributions – nada. With these changes, tax rates would be phenomenally low, perhaps even single-digit. We could still have proportional taxation with three rates, keyed to income level.

I suggest that all the proponents of some form of the flat tax get together and hammer out a single version. Then they should rally the American public behind that version and press for its adoption immediately after the presidential election. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to make it an issue in this election, with fewer than 60 days left before we cast our votes on November 2, 2004.

I believe this election will and should be determined on the single life-and-death issue of who can best deal with international terrorism. Most people, certainly in New York City and those who saw my endorsement at the Republican convention, know my position and why I will be voting for George W. Bush.

President Bush has demonstrated that he is prepared to follow the Bush Doctrine, which is that we will go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. I do not believe that John Kerry is prepared to do that, and the Democratic Party he represents currently doesn’t have the stomach for such an effort.

The controversy concerning the CBS "60 Minutes II" report on President Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War conjures up the Alger Hiss affair.

Were the unfavorable comments about Lt. Bush typed into the report of Bush's military superior at the time the report was prepared, or are the comments and even the report itself forgeries prepared after the superior in whose name they are now offered by Dan Rather had died?

I am certain that Alger Hiss perjured himself and Whittaker Chambers told the truth. I have no doubt that Lt. John Kerry was entitled to all his medals, including the three Purple Hearts, and that Lt. Bush fulfilled his Texas National Guard obligations and was entitled to his honorable discharge.

Interestingly, most of those who berate Bush, alleging he used influence to get into the National Guard to avoid service in Vietnam, had no problem with former President Clinton obtaining a student deferment to avoid military service at that time.

I look back with pride on my having proposed legislation in Congress, while the Vietnam War was still going on, that offered amnesty to U.S. draft resisters and deserters. I proposed that legislation after I went to Canada and met with dozens of talented young Americans who had fled there to avoid the war. President Carter apparently felt the same way about amnesty and, therefore, granted amnesty to U.S. draft dodgers and deserters.

Supporters of Kerry and Bush would be wise to stop refighting the Vietnam War. This election should be decided on issues that are important today.

Detectives Robert Parker and Patrick Rafferty were murdered in the line of duty this past week. Parker was divorced, leaving a daughter. Rafferty left a wife and three children. If the murderer is tried and convicted – a suspect is in custody – he will not be subject to the death penalty.

The death penalty enacted by the state Legislature, effective September 1, 1995, was so full of exemptions that its application is nearly impossible. No one has been executed since its passage. Adding to the farce, the death penalty law has been struck down by the Court of Appeals, requiring new language to make it constitutional, even in its limited form.

When New York City cops shoot and kill people, there are often angry citizens' marches denouncing the cops as brutal and the shooting as unwarranted. So far as I can recall, there has never been a major citizens' march protesting the murder of a cop. I think there should be.

I would prefer the city administration organize the march. If that doesn’t occur, I urge the P.B.A. to invite all residents of New York City. The P.B.A. should not use such a march to advance its collective bargaining position, but solely to honor the memories of these two heroes, the latest of many who have given their lives to protect this city and its inhabitants.

The controversy over embryonic stem cell research is reaching a fever pitch. Those in favor of such research, and I am one of them, believe it could lead to cures for spinal and brain injuries and a host of diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes and sickle cell anemia. Those opposed believe destruction of embryonic cells is termination of a human life. Religion being what it is, it is impossible to resolve these positions.

Before it was cut off, the annual federal appropriation for stem cell research was approximately $25 million. Why not appeal to the huge foundations like the Bill Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation to commit to pay this annual amount for the next four years and seek from the 2008 presidential candidate a commitment to allow federal funding?

Further, drug companies spend billions annually on research and even more on television, radio and print commercials. Surely, they could bear this relatively paltry expenditure. The boardrooms of America should fund stem cell research now.

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In 1992 Democratic Governor Jerry Brown of California made the flat tax an issue in his campaign for president.So did Republican Steve Forbes in 2000.Brown, as I recall, had trouble explaining the advantages of a flat tax.Forbes proposed that unearned income, such as income...
Flat,Tax,,Rathergate,,Stem,Cell,Research
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2004-00-16
Thursday, 16 September 2004 12:00 AM
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