Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Thursday, May 4, 2017

Who are the winners?

Who will benefit from the revised tax code? The elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax will enable some high-income earners to pay no income tax. High-income earners will be able to establish a small business and report their income on their individual tax return as business income. Their business income will be taxed at 15 percent and will not be taxed under one of the new tax bracket rates. The Obamacare 3.8 percent tax on investment income of the wealthiest 2 percent should be retained.

Increasing the standard deduction to $12,000 will be beneficial. The income range of the three new tax brackets has to be identified. Most wage earners will be taxed at the 25 percent rate. Will the personal tax exemption be eliminated?

It would be very beneficial for wage earners if interest on savings accounts, bonds and CDs were taxed the same as dividends and capital gains. This interest income is added to a wage earner’s income and is taxed at their tax bracket’s rate. This addition of interest income could put a wage earner into a higher tax bracket. Dividends and capital gains are taxed separately at 15 percent and are not considered income. It does not affect their tax bracket.

Jim Costello,


Visitors’ perspective

Upon arriving, eating was first. We stumbled upon Jeneane’s on Forsyth Road which was a great value and well prepared at a reasonable price. Next we rode through several areas which started on Napier Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue which showed just how bad neglect impacts areas. We turned around and turned into Country Club Estates, which although surrounded by blighted areas, was exceptionally well cared for and had beautiful homes. Tucker Road led us to Bass Road which was a primary artery that had pot holes and several magnificent subdivisions all the way to Interstate-75 which took us downtown. We noticed enormous areas of major neglect. The town had what would be considered the best roads along with the best care of its structures and homes, and then we found yet another blighted area.

We checked out several pockets of incredible homes and estates off of Gray Highway. It is not different in many ways from all towns, just more impoverished areas.

We visited several health cubs. The first was on Cherry Street. It looked to be extremely old and had been neglected to a point it was obvious to us all that it had been poorly managed and was a financial disaster. All of the clubs had total air conditioning accept the Wellness Center on Northside Drive, which had fans all around the running track. Hot sweaty runners with fans blowing debris and dust. It was obvious this club lacks management or was broke. In our club back home things were kept in order and clean. We found yet another club on Tom Hill that was a huge room full of equipment and air conditioned for peanuts a month. Oh yes, we’re health freaks.

In order to see it all we visited all the colleges which are of great interest to our son. Macon has great choices, the University of Georgia offers a top notch college, Mercer is highly diversified with several professional degrees, Wesleyan has both a great campus plus a long history of famous graduates.

We were in Macon for a day and found many intriguing sights which included the Terminal Station and historical homes in great shape. Come visit us in Bethlehem.

R.D. Shell,


Best and worst

After five months, the Democrats still will not admit why they lost the election. It is very simple to understand. Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate they have had in many decades. Donald J. Trump was the best candidate the GOP has had since Ronald Reagan. You cannot run an election when the only slogan you have is, “I’m a woman, vote for me.”

Mike Wolff,


Oh, we know

Last week in a letter, Eric Blazi from Warner Robins said, “While I am sure that the billions of people who live on this earth have some effect on the climate, at this point, no one knows precisely what this is. The catastrophic warming hasn’t happened…” This is completely wrong.

The scientific community does know precisely what the effects are of “the billions of people.” We know that the polar ice caps are melting. We know that sea levels are already rising, in part because of that melting, in part because, as water warms, it expands. We know glaciers are retreating and disappearing all over the planet. We know that weather patterns are changing and storms are becoming more severe. We know many of the effects of the continued burning of fossil fuels and we know what the solution is.

The solution is to limit the burning of fossil fuels and switch to renewable forms of energy, like solar and wind. Other countries are working hard on renewables while the U.S. lags behind. In the last 100 days, the U.S. has taken steps to encourage the burning of coal, approve the building of unnecessary oil pipelines, discourage improvements in vehicle fuel economy, and encourage drilling for oil off our coasts. All of these things are exactly the wrong things to do.

The survival of our species is at stake. We must act now or our grandchildren’s very existence will be at stake.

Jack Mahaney,


What we want and don’t want

If the new AHCA is so “great,” why has Congress excluded itself from its requirements? President Trump seems to forget, that although he won the electoral vote, the vast majority of Americans did not vote for him. That means that the vast majority of Americans do not agree with his disastrous repeal and replace of the ACA. We want pre-existing condition coverage not waivers to opt out; we do not want insurance companies to charge more for pre-existing conditions and certain services such as mental health and prescription drugs; we do not want to lose coverage for essential health benefits; we do not want Medicaid dismantled. Leave Medicare alone.

This new bill, which is worse than the last one Republicans tried to pass, has been condemned by several organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Health Care Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and American Association of Retired Persons. Write/call/fax your representatives.

Katherine Appert,