More than one way to dodge taxes
Not long ago a letter to the editor asserted that Mitt Romney’s taxes were legal, but not right. That statement can truthfully be made about the whole tax code. Tax laws are not right because they are not fair or even enforced equally. Who is really to blame for that condition?
No one that I know likes to pay taxes. Many people use the tax laws to minimize their taxes. Others are tax dodgers. A lot of well-to-do people fall into that category. Both wealthy Democrats, as well as wealthy Republicans get away with tax dodging because of who they are or who they know.
The IRS seems to encourage cheaters in that it will and has accepted far less than what is owned by big tax cheaters. I know of two such cases locally (one I was involved in personally and one that an IRS agent told me about).
The IRS was conducting criminal investigations locally when I gave copies of evidence against Joey Naples to one of their agents, agent Ricci. Based on these copies and the length of time the IRS could place Naples in the numbers racket, the IRS determined Naples owed $300,000 In taxes. During the trial Naples was willing to settle with the IRS, which the IRS allowed for a third of what Naples owed.
IRS Agent Ricci had told me about a wealthy prominent local businessman who owed $750,000 in taxes. Ricci said the recommendation to their Washington, D.C. office was criminal prosecution. Knowing that the local businessman was a heavy contributor to politicians, I asked about possible political interference in the case. Ricci said that he never experienced political interference in one of his cases.
When the IRS concluded their local investigations, only a few low level people were charged, but not the businessman Ricci had told me about. I asked the agent about not charging the businessman and he told me their case against him was weak and the IRS let him settle. If my memory is correct, that settlement was for 10 cents on the dollar. Would anybody doubt that some wealthy people would cheat on their taxes knowing they could settle later for much less?
Who are the real malefactors in the tax laws? It is my belief that they are the members of Congress — past members who enacted unfair tax laws and current members who are not trying to make tax laws fair, but more unfair.
Donald G. Baker, Liberty
The writer is a former chief of the Youngstown Police Department.
Make those countries pay
What does it take and how much must we put up with before we get some backbone?
Our embassy has been overrun and our people have lost their lives.
I was a United States Marine many years ago. There’s a lot of things I learned as a Marine: one of which was the love, respect and the importance of our flag and what it should mean to all Americans. When I see terrorists destroying it by burning, ripping, tearing, etc., it truly upsets me. Although I am 78 years old, I would be pleased to put on a uniform again and go into battle.
From watching the news, I see where some of the problems are at Tripoli and this causes me to recall “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” (a line in the Marine Corps Hymn). Once a Marine, always a Marine ... this is a true saying.
We need to make a show of force and when a country like Libya, etc., with their terrorists tries to “shame” our flag and our country, we need to act, but not with “meetings, greetings, handshakes and apologies”.
Frankly, I am getting a little tired of hearing “I approve this message.” Instead, I would rather hear, “Let us show these terrorists what this country is made of and what it will cost when some country decides to burn our flag, kill our soldiers and diplomats.”
Ken Firm, Campbell
Sept. 11 ads were a disgrace
On September 11 as our na- tion solemnly observed the savage attack on our nation and the great loss of life on that date in 2001, to their great credit, both Republicans and Democrats suspended all political advertising with one glaring exception.
A political action group whose name starts with “Crossroads” ran four to six anti-Sherrod Brown ads within a 60 minute span around the time of the evening news.
This was despicable, shameful, disgusting and utterly disrespectful. In my 69 years I’ve seen just about everything in politics but this is a new, in a class by itself, all-time low. If I were a member of this group I would desire to be forever anonymous.
Mike Halchuck, Canfield
Some advice from the 47 percent
If I were on Mitt Romney’s cam- paign staff, I would offer the following advice:
There are many Americans who might view his disparaging remarks about the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes as callous and unfeeling. I would inform him that many people who have received government assistance are patriotic, loyal Americans. Many Americans, for example, have served in the United States military, and have subsequently attended school under the G.I. Bill. Personally, I served as a U.S. Army officer, and then attended law school under the G.I. Bill. I’m not sure if Mitt Romney or his five sons served in the United States military and qualified for this benefit. Perhaps their great love for America stops at the “water’s edge”.
There were friends of mine who served this country and incurred serious injuries, including loss of limbs. The “freeloaders” are now receiving financial assistance from the Veterans Administration. Let’s hope Mitt and his five sons escaped unscathed from any war injuries. I have noted that Mitt is ready to engage our country in war at the slightest provocation. How brave.
Mitt’s voice in urging Republicans to vote for the “Lilly Ledbetter” legislation was barely audible. That was the Fair Pay Act, which was to assist in efforts to bring about “equal pay for women.” Someone should inform Mitt that women only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.
Someone should tell Mitt that millions of Americans are very satisfied with Social Security and Medicare. They don’t want it changed, now, or in the future. Rumor has it that these millions of Social Security and Medicare recipients also vote.
Mitt has expressed optimism about his chances in the presidential election. Someone should advise him that he’ll have to win with only tepid support from veterans, women and senior citizens.
If Mitt (God forbid) doesn’t win the election, he should still plan for a nice retirement. He could retire in Bermuda, Switzerland, or the Cayman Islands. Those secret bank accounts will be very helpful. It can be his Plan B.
Robert E. Casey, Poland
Test older drivers just like novices
The question of what to do about elderly drivers appears quite often. Although I haven’t seen a scorecard of accidents and ages of the drivers involved. I have a suggestion to consider.
When drivers go for a renewal of their licenses after reaching the age of 70 years, they should be given a driver’s test. This should occur on each renewal thereafter. The test may be similar to a beginner’s test including rules of the road, actual driving — parking — backing up etc. Approval to drive will be granted in accordance with the results of the test.
I am 94 years old and love to drive, but I do not want to be involved in hurting anybody, including myself.
Gordon Mitchell, Boardman