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Letters to the editor, January 29

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Updated: March 1, 2013 6:10AM



National debt can be reduced with a national sales tax

The national financial situation needs to be addressed by a plan that is achievable.

First, tax rates for the wealthy need to be increased. This is what the Democrats are pushing. Second, some social programs need to be reduced. This is what the Republicans are pushing.

What neither party will address is how to raise more revenue to meet current operating costs and reduce the national debt. The idea of a flat tax has merit, but it should be a national sales tax, not an income tax. Proceeds from a national sales tax should be split. A time frame for amortizing the national debt should be selected. The most obvious is 12 to 16 years, starting with President Obama’s current term.

Seventy-five percent of the national sales tax should be devoted to reducing the national debt, and 25 percent as additional operating revenue. The size of the national sales tax can be computed by first adopting the amortization period and relate that to the national debt. All final transactions would have a sales tax, except for sales of food and medical expenses.

A model similar to this needs to be computed to determine if the sales tax number required to amortize the debt would be reasonable. As long as the focus is only on raising income taxes of the wealthy and reducing social programs, the big hole created by the national debt will continue to grow.

John S. Dull

Crown Point

It’s time to honor soldiers
by enacting real gun reform

The American Civil War has been called the bloodiest war in our history, with battlefield deaths topping 250,000.

The 50,000 names listed on the Vietnam Memorial are a poignant reminder of my generation’s losses. Now, as we wind down our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should honor those who have fought and died to protect us.

Since 9/11, gun violence has claimed as many Americans as died in all Civil War battles. Last year, three times as many Americans died from gun violence here in the United States as were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.

It is time to institute some common-sense reforms, such as universal background checks, limitations on military-style weapons and the elimination of high-capacity ammo clips.

We all should agree guns must be kept away from the mentally ill and criminals, and assault weapons are not needed to protect our homes. In 25 seconds, a gunman in a Colorado theater fired 30 rounds with devastating results. In an elementary school, a lone gunman shot 28 people multiple times in a matter of moments because he had high-capacity clips.

I am not anti-gun. Fifty years ago, my father and I hunted regularly each fall. He was a superb shot, and I learned from him to respect guns and not misuse them.

I do, however, question the sincerity of those who profess sympathy for the victims of gun violence, but do everything in their power to prevent the next atrocity.

Terry Brendel

Valparaiso



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