Sounding off: Let’s lift everyone up to a better life |
Letters to the Editor

Sounding off: Let’s lift everyone up to a better life


With so much talk about socialism, maybe we should think about why people are thinking that way, rather than condemning them.

Many people think a single-payer health care system is a better option due to the inadequacies of the present system. I am dealing with something that is causing me to lean toward a new system as well.

Many people feel there is a lack of compassion today. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Young adults work as waiters/waitresses making $2 an hour, and have college debts and bills to pay. CEOs make millions while others scrape by. Worthy students are left out when people cheat to get into prestigious universities. Capitalism has put a price on everything.

People say, “don’t vote for the better person, vote for the one with your ideas.” I relate that to a vote for the best snake-oil salesman. Let’s get back to voting for good people that do just things for just reasons. I vote for who I think is the best person. Please think about following my lead. Have the best interest of everyone in mind.

Our nation is at a crossroads. Let us decide to work together as a nation, state, county and school district to lift everyone, especially kids, to a better life. If we do this, there will be no more talk of socialism. If we don’t, many will be left behind to fan the flames of socialistic talk.

Ken Bach, South Huntingdon

How to find poll workers

Regarding the article “Election officials campaign for poll workers in Allegheny, Westmoreland counties”: There are many ways to find poll workers that our counties don’t use, For instance:

•Allow split shifts. The 15-hour day currently required of poll workers is just not possible for many people. However, allowing split shifts will require a change in the Pennsylvania’s 1937 election code. This code desperately needs updating.

• Partner with local companies. In many parts of the United States, companies encourage employees to volunteer to work the polls as a “civic day.” It’s good for companies, employees and election administration.

These are only two examples of improved practices used to recruit poll workers. Many poll workers do this job because of a deep commitment to democracy. Pay is not the central issue, and focusing on pay alone misses the point that many election administrators, as well as state legislators who control the laws governing elections, have simply failed us by not adapting to change.

Election administration is a professional field, just like medicine, communications and retail marketing. The way these other professions operate has evolved over the last quarter-century, but somehow, election administrators are still trying to recruit poll workers the way they did in the 1970s.

Juliet Zavon, Squirrel Hill

Defending cash, defending freedom

Finding points of unity in this political climate is similar to panning for gold, yet our brethren on the eastern side of the state have done it.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law a bill introduced by City Councilman William Greenlee banning the phenomenon of cashless stores. While the law does include several carve-outs, it generally stands to defend consumers’ use of cash to complete transactions for basic food, goods and services.

Modernization and technological trends are encouraging cashless transactions, which do offer certain benefits — comparatively greater efficiency of time and precision and avoidance of physical burdens of counting and securing hard currency. However, both Democrats and Republicans can agree on the benefits of retaining cash as a medium of exchange.

Some Americans living below the poverty line do not maintain bank accounts nor do they own credit cards. Some consumers select cash to self-regulate spending and to insure privacy. Other Americans are interested in maintaining the freedom to choose from an array of options for completing fiscal transactions. And cash is unparalleled in reliability. Any hiccup in the grid doesn’t stop the exchange of goods and services when cash is available.

As a Pennsylvanian, I’m proud to stand with Philadelphia as the first official city in the United States to defend use of hard currency. Pittsburgh should join Philadelphia and unite the state on this policy. Defending cash defends freedom and choice for all consumers always.

Stacey West, Sewickley

Media gives killers acclaim

The savage creature who mowed down peaceful Muslims at worship in New Zealand committed this atrocity while basking in the glow of knowing that his grievances against those who are not white would be broadcast throughout the world and that first and foremost, we would remember him for all time, not his victims.

The killer broadcast the massacre live on Facebook and had a manifesto which is now being publicized and examined. His photograph is being prominently featured and circulated on television and in newspapers, providing him precisely the infamy that he sought: social, broadcast and print media serving as accomplices to the crime.

It is aberrant to provide such forums for twisted and murderous individuals to achieve what they see as international acclaim and it helps to ensure that we have not seen the last of such senseless barbarity.

Oren Spiegler, South Strabane

Refunds & Trump tax cuts

Anti-Trump bias the mainstream media builds into their stories often misleads the public with Democratic talking point lies. Recent stories that note Trump’s tax cuts didn’t help the middle class because tax refunds are, on average, lower in 2018, is an example.

Tax refunds are not a relevant measure of the benefits derived from Trump’s cuts. A 2018 tax refund is either a return of your over-paid withholding taxes, or it reflects a subsidy allowance for things such as earned income or child tax credit programs plus any actual paid 2018 withholding.

In the case of the latter, no taxes were paid to get the refund, and in the case of the former, your saved (reduced withholding) and the greater take-home pay you received should be added to the actual refund received to make apples-to-apples refund comparisons with 2017. If you actually saved the 2018 added take-home pay and its unpaid withholding in an interest-bearing account, your refund would be even greater since the money deducted from one’s paycheck for withholding earns no interest in the government’s hands, only in yours.

The real victims of the IRS believe in sending as much withholding as possible to them to get a fat refund. They fail to understand they are getting back their own money without interest.

Withholding is not a substitute for a savings account. In 2018, real middle-class wages increased and middle-class taxes decreased, no matter what Democrats want you to think.

Len Bach, Murrysville

Democrats want balance

Regarding the Rev. Tony Josephs’ letter “Not true Democrats”: I detest being called a liberal, socialist and communist. I believe in doing what’s right and good for all Americans, a balanced approach for the rich and poor.

Do you put God first, or do you put the Republican Party first? Do you turn the other cheek to President Trump’s sins, or call that fake news or alternative facts? Do your ends justify your means?

Do you vote for a person just because he says he is against abortion? If a person can’t be faithful to his wives, how can he be faithful to God?

Trump is such a glorious thing for our children to look up to. He has done everything he can to line his pockets, and those of the very rich. We had our chance to pay off our national debt with President Clinton’s modest tax hikes, but President Bush screwed that up.

All Trump wants is to be praised like God and to be a dictator. Wake up.

George O. Curry, White

What won’t the Democrats do?

I am proud to say that I have friends who arrived in the United States a few years ago from Russia. They paid the fees, jumped through all the hoops, put in the time and arrived here the legal way. My Russian friends also worked, studied and jumped through all the hoops to become proud citizens of the United States of America.

Voting in the recent midterm election was a great honor to them. They are proud to say Donald J. Trump is their president. They recognize a strong leader who will not bow down to foreign dignitaries or take the easy road just to be politically correct.

Now, however, I believe the Democrats want to give illegal immigrants the right to vote in our country. Some Democrats also want to give the right to vote to 16-year-old children. What won’t they do or promise for a vote? What won’t they do to destroy our great nation just to ensure their place in Congress or even the White House?

While fighting Trump at every turn, what have these Democrats accomplished on their own to better and strengthen our great nation? The answer is nothing.

Don’t let the liberals, socialist Democrats and left-wingers diminish the pride and power of being a legal citizen of the United States of America.

Jeanne Shields, North Huntingdon

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