Kill the exemptions and this just may work Aug. 24, C.T. Bowen column
Fair Tax puts people in charge
A 23 percent tax on a new product that costs $100 brings the total to $123. The spin some people put on the Fair Tax is to reverse the process. They say a $130 item minus a 30 percent tax will be $100.
That's like the math whereby you take 10 percent off a $100 price and it becomes a cost of $90. Now add the 10 percent back and the cost is $99.
As far as a tax on new to used homes goes, the price on a new home will stabilize and be competitive with a used home, or it won't sell until the market adjusts. Prices in general should come down because the Fair Tax empowers people to control their spending and saving habits. There will be no tax on savings.
The Fair Tax could fund Social Security and Medicare, too.
That's the beauty of the Fair Tax. The people will dictate how much our government will spend; politicians will not have the ease to waste tax money.
The reason most politicians and lobbyists do not support the Fair Tax is the loss of power. It certainly can't be that the IRS is efficient. Read the Fair Tax books.
Bob Baeza, Brooksville
Fair Tax numbers add up to a wish
In 2007, consumer spending was roughly $9.68-trillion. That would be the tax base for the Fair Tax. Note that this includes both new and used goods. To replace all the tax revenue for that year (less excise tax receipts and customs duties) would require $2.48-trillion. The Fair Tax rate would have to be 25.3 percent. If used goods were not taxed and if "prebates" were sent out, the tax rate would have to be that much higher.
To actually balance the budget for that year would require $2.73-trillion and a tax rate of 28.2 percent, again taxing both new and used goods and before accounting for any prebates.
If used goods are exempted and prebates were given out, this national sales tax would certainly require taxes in the 30 percent plus range. That isn't spin. It's arithmetic.
Some of the Fair Tax advocates believe that this would force budget cuts on Washington. Sure, that'll happen.
The Fair Tax would provide "tax relief" to higher income households at the expense of lower income households. That's why there is such a well-funded campaign to enact it.
The most absurd claim is that funding the whole federal government with a sales tax wouldn't cause prices to rise because the taxes are already "embedded" in the prices of products. If that were true, corporate taxes would already be paying for the whole federal government. In fact, out of $2.57-trillion in federal revenues in 2007, only $370-billion came from corporate income taxes. The $2.2-trillion difference would have to come from dramatically higher prices for goods and services.
Before you tax reformers start writing in and calling me names, look up the numbers and do the math yourself. The Fair Tax sounds too good to be true. And it is.
Dallas Dunlap, Brooksville
Storm closings make little sense | Aug. 24 letter
Look at issues of closing schools
I would like to think that the closing of schools for storm concerns involve two lines of thinking: Students' safety and the use of the school for evacuation purposes. Transporting and possibly proper supervision for children might not be in place if children needed to leave early. Secondly, the safety of students if the school needed to be used as an evacuation facility. We can not have the general public packed into gyms and auditoriums while our children are in attendance.
On Aug. 17 when the discussion to close was made I believe the track included our area. On Aug. 22, the storm was known to be past us, even though the winds were greater the need to evacuate was lower. Florida schools have some days for hurricane closing like other states have for snow days. I believe our children will be in attendance for the proper amount of days for a school year. The School Board may need to add a day at the end if needed.
The letter writer wrote "the schools get government funding for every student who's in school every day." I believe that is right, but the money issue would be to get every child to attend as many days as possible to maximize the government funding. Like carpooling saves money in commuting, full schools earn more dollars for the cost outlay. They have cost associated with just opening the doors everyday so why not try for full attendance.
For the record I am not affiliated with the public school system. It just made sense to me. Tough times call for tough decisions. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.
I'm sure a lot of people were glad that nothing happened.
Joseph Spano, Spring Hill
More credit for performing arts
I have just become a freshman at Nature Coast Technical High School and everyone is starting to get what they need to graduate as fast as possible.
I have just become aware of the fact that I need a year of performing arts to graduate. I took chorus all three years at Powell Middle School and was involved in all of the events that took place and received an A every semester.
I'm taking Spanish as my elective so I can get my second language credit over with. I am also very aware that if you took Spanish in middle school for all three years you get one credit, so why can't that be the same with performing arts? Chorus was a lot more difficult and committed than Spanish could have been because we sang songs in Spanish, Japanese, and even Swahili. We took more field trips and were more involved yet it doesn't count.
I have to take another elective and it is going to hold me back from doing OJT (on the job training) and dual enrollment. The state should at least realize how ridiculous this is and make an exception of some sort. It's not fair to people who have taken drama, band, chorus, or dance for three years.
I want to get out into the real world faster, and I know a lot of other people do too.
Caitlin Chase, Brooksville
Kudos, farewell to Times reviewer
Farewell, Barbara Fredricksen, and may your Act II have all curtains up.
It's been fun and enlightening all these years reading your reviews. While a negative review (and there have been precious few of those) would not have stopped my seeing a particular production, it was always grand to see how often we agreed.
I've also gotten a kick out of reading your personal bits about your son and daughter-in-law and your puss Bustopher Jones II. I especially enjoyed the inside joke of knowing whence that name came.
Stay well; the future calls downstage.
Randi T. Rosmarin, Spring Hill
Welcome leader's ambitious view
County Administrator David Hamilton sets an example in urging academic advances in job-related specialties when he requests tuition support clearly offered in policy by Human Resources. His performance standards will reach new heights surely.
I did a 60-hour dual masters at Ohio University in political science and public administration while a county administrator in southeastern Ohio and, as a result, brought many programs to bear upon a constituency who benefitted dramatically. It takes some 90 credit hours or so, plus a thesis for a Ph.D.
I had bookkeepers for tracking money with activities. What I was able to do was crunch dollars in allocations, employee benefits and allow draw down funding in quarterly amount, as well as assure line-item budget restraints to separate funds to activities. It was important to do quantitative analysis so that outcomes justified cost projections. Then, as David advances in course work, he remains conscripted to the academic mindset and models.
Among other considerations is to accomplish in government more with fewer resources, considerations Mr. Hamilton has already undertaken in his current administrative zeal to meet short-falls in revenue without depriving an energetic constituency in Hernando County from significant services our magnificent Board of Commissioners virtually wants to assure every segment of the community.
Let us all welcome David Hamilton's ambitious view for an academic doctorate, a very challenging endeavor. I've done doctoral studies and no challenge I know demanded more of me as so much was at stake maintaining high grades and spending hours and hours in the library for research papers to the doctoral committee for issues that are fresh and progressive but within the perspective by the committee based on their expectations. Yet, hundreds and thousands of subjects have been presented for doctoral review. David will need to wedge a specific study, unique in its impact to win over the doctoral committee and complete his orals. I wish I could help him, but I also wish him well and urge he do all within his command to win his doctorate.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville