You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • EPA proposal threatens energy, economic futures
    Indiana's environment is cleaner than it's been in our lifetimes. But such substantial progress here and in other parts of the country is not enough for the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Ruling elite yet again subverts public's will
    It didn't take them long to figure out a way to get around our “no” vote on the referendum, did it? They are going to appoint a committee, just like Gov.
  • Outdoor seating would benefit art museum
    Fort Wayne has a wonderful art museum. We are truly lucky that the building plan is a good one and that the exhibits range from a variety of local, national and global sources.

Letters to the editor

Obama’s overpowering government no solution

President Obama is trying to transform this country into a national socialist country that will destroy democracy and our economy. He has acted the same and worse than President Jimmy Carter in the late ’70s by overregulating and overtaxing businesses and curtailing the production of our own energy.

The economic growth has to come from the private sector, from companies feeling confident about future business and opportunity. This will not come from President Obama, because he does not trust the private sector; he thinks they are profiteers taking advantage of ordinary people.

President Obama wants to improve the economy through government actions by hiring more teachers, firemen and policeman; these are great professions but are paid by taxpayers and will not help the private sector.

President Obama plans to increase taxes on the upper 2 percent of taxpayers. This will not promote growth, and companies will not hire new people because of the increased cost and the uncertainty of the future business environment. Four more years of President Obama is going to be more of the same and worse.


Feds need more money; where will it come from?

It finally appears that the honeymoon is over, and the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. The fiscal cliff looms, and it appears that Republican Norquisters are ready to talk taxes as revenue to repair the deficit.

It was inevitable. Like any financial entity, from the family to the federal government, spending without income is mathematically impossible, or at the very least unwise.

As much as we would like to see the super-rich pay higher taxes, the burden is too large to be meaningfully reduced by increasing their share of the tax load.

Congress is getting ready to go after the elimination of some deductions as a source of revenue. If the mortgage interest or charitable donation deductions are eliminated for the middle class, it’s almost certain that the housing industry will suffer and some charities might just dry up and blow away.

Then there is the tinkering with Medicare and Social Security. Far too many Americans rely on these programs for any large-scale reductions. Instead, pushing the retirement age off a few years and increasing the size of the payroll deduction caps look like some sort of fix, albeit temporary.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to do away with the health care provided to congressmen and instead enroll them in Medicare when they reach the proper age, and of course have them provide their own insurance until they are so qualified.


Superintendent elected by more than educators

After doing some analysis of the election results for the state superintendent of public instruction race, here are some data that might be of interest concerning Glenda Ritz’s defeat of Tony Bennett.

2,522,900 votes were cast: Ritz – 1,333,433, Bennett – 1,189,464. There are 62,258 Indiana public school teachers and approximately 3,100 public school administrators.

If, as it is being publicly asserted, all of these individuals voted for Ritz, this group cast 65,358 votes. Factoring in the possibility of, say, 1,000 additional votes of non-teaching individuals (employed by ISTA, IFT, state School Boards Association, etc.) and, say, 5,000 retired teachers, that results in a total of 71,358 votes.

Doing some simple math, that means that 5 percent of the vote for Ritz came from public school teachers, administrators and related employees and 95 percent of the vote came from other individuals. Thus, the argument that Ritz’s win was simply the result of the vote of teachers and administrators doesn’t seem to hold up.

JAY HILL Indianapolis

Man in need grateful for emergency responders

To all members of the emergency response team who come to the aid of those of us in need, no matter what time of the day or night, or what weekend or holiday the need occurs – especially the group that responded to my call at 9:20 Thanksgiving night – you all demonstrate great skill and knowledge and perform your duties in the most professional manner, and I am very grateful that you do.

I am particularly impressed with the calm professional manner Tracy did her duties while riding in the ambulance with me to the hospital.

I pass by your station at least 10 to 20 times a week and normally do not see anyone around, except for one or two vehicles. Yet when the 911 call goes in, within minutes there are emergency vehicles all over the street outside the door of the caller’s home.

As I walk through the local stores and go to the local fitness center, I look at faces and wonder just how many people I see are first responders and serve our community in almost total anonymity. You must have very deep-seated satisfaction serving others since you continue to do so in such a selfless mannerThank you all for the great service you render this community.


VA hospital’s outpatient care served family well

My late husband was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2000. In 2003, it was determined to have been caused by Agent Orange, to which he was exposed in Vietnam. After a two-year wait of appeals, he was declared 100 percent disabled in 2005.

From that time, he was served by the local VA hospital. We only had exposure to the outpatient care, but never in the next seven years did we have to wait for care like at a regular doctor’s office. We picked up his meds there always within an hour.

He had several surgeries for skin cancer, which went well and with no infections. He saw local specialists at the VA whom he would have seen at their offices.

When he suffered a heart attack, he was immediately sent to St. Joe, where he sadly died five days later. He could not have received better care. I requested an itemized bill, which the VA was able to settle for 7 percent of the original cost.

If the care had been in-house, the VA would have lost money. It makes no sense to maintain in-patient care at the VA when it can be done cheaper and better at a regular facility.


Stutzman’s position imperils seniors, disabled

We are seniors in our late 70s who care for a multiple-disabled 46-year-old son who is unable to be gainfully employed. Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s many attempts (more than 30 votes) to overturn the Affordable Care Act while converting it to a Medicare voucher system and “block granting” Medicaid funding through the states would have been a total disaster for our son and his parents.

Both the ARC and AARP have described this Paul Ryan budget proposal, supported by our 3rd District representative, as a transparent scheme to take essential funding for needed services from seriously disabled individuals and needy individuals, including a high percentage of seniors.

Some 65 percent of the electorate disagreed with the above approach in the recent election. Stutzman, we urge you to support our president’s proposal for the rich to pay a higher tax rate that most understand is only fair.


Charter schools good for religions, not poor

It used to be that few children could expect a good education unless their parents were rich. Thus, we established schools paid for with tax dollars so poorer children could get some minimum level of education to the benefit of society in general.

But the public schools became racially and economically segregated.

To rectify this problem, we adopted forced school busing. Now, those who prefer economically segregated or religiously segregated schools have given us charter schools, supported with public school tax dollars.

Charter schools supported with tax dollars merely shift tax dollars from the education of the poor to the education of the economically better-off, which violates the original purpose of providing a minimum education for the nation’s poor with taxpayer dollars.

In addition, shifting tax dollars from the public schools to religiously affiliated charter schools is a scheme to enable the various religions to steal tax dollars from the public schools, the poor, and taxpayers to maintain and spread their particular brand of religious propaganda under the color of education.

They can do it only because they have political clout and the support of the wealthy who prefer economic segregation where education can vastly determine who will be the future winners and the losers in our society.


Talk of closing loopholes, ending deductions vague

It is finally “Put up or shut up” time for those politicians who have proclaimed but never proved that they could dent the federal deficit by closing tax loopholes and ending tax deductions.

Their contribution to the “fiscal cliff” negotiations should be a full public listing of all the loopholes and deductions they would eliminate, complete with the amount that each closing would save and the identity of the group that would have to pay that amount.

Only such disclosure will tell us whether this approach can provide significant savings and who will be affected.

The surprise may be the extent to which the burden will fall on families with middle and lower incomes.

By avoiding details during the recent campaigns, some politicians tried to leave the impression that closing loopholes offered an effective and painless solution. We need the truth now.


Kruse should seek truth on tax abatements forms

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, wants a law to make public school teachers tell the truth, a disingenuous piece of nonsense that utterly fails to conceal the fact that his objective is to sabotage science education in Indiana.

If Kruse really wants “to establish truth” (an old campaign slogan of his), then he should focus on the laughably inadequate forms that Indiana businesses receiving tax abatements have to file every year to report compliance with their employment and salary targets.

It’s perfectly legal to lie on these forms. Yes, a company’s agent has to certify that the reported information is true, but without using the magic words “under penalty for perjury,” which could land the signer in jail if he or she fibs.

“Truth in education” is Kruse’s untruthful label for his mischievous proposal to harass our teachers.

But neither he nor anyone else in the legislature has shown the backbone to demand truth from the businesses that benefit so lavishly from tax abatements.

MICHAEL WALTER Auburn City Councilman