Make tax part of citizenship path
If our representatives in Washington, D.C., want to move forward with amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants (yes, that is what they are), they need to include an amnesty tax in their plan.
Boldly assuming that all of these people will become documented upon receiving amnesty, they should be trackable by, and accountable to, the government, just as we legal citizens are. That said, it should be no problem to add a line-item amnesty tax that will be collected by payroll deduction.
The amount of the tax is somewhat inconsequential, but the presence of this tax speaks volumes. Not only does it offer reparations, if you will, for their unlimited free use of public services and infrastructure over the years theyve been here, but it also penalizes them for having entered the country illegally.
Please note the key word here: illegally. People who do illegal things are punished, and this tax will serve as the punishment in these cases. Considering the fact that we could deport them, this alternative is a pretty soft deal.
This tax also further highlights and, in a sense, rewards all the immigrants who have entered this country legally. These folks rarely, if ever, get the credit they deserve for following the letter of the law to gain U.S. citizenship.
Oh, yes – before the spend-happy politicians get too excited about this new source of revenue, it should be made clear up front that all proceeds from this tax will be specifically earmarked to fund effective efforts to secure our borders.
WARREN MEAD Huntertown
Prof bullied over intelligent design
I greatly fear that Eric Hedin will not be treated fairly by Ball State University and a panel of four professors charged with investigating his teaching of the honors symposium The Boundaries of Science.
University of Chicago evolutionary biologist and avowed atheist Jerry Coyne and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, whose complaints spurred the investigation, are ideological bullies with plenty of influence and financial clout. They have threatened legal action if their objections to Hedins teaching are not validated.
Across our land, weve seen variations of this movie before, and it does not bode well for Hedin. Faced with the threat of a long-running and expensive lawsuit, the quiet but primary aim of the panel and the university will be how do we make this go away? It will not be lets do what is right and principled.
The claim against Hedin is that he is in violation of the First Amendment for teaching religion.
Nowhere is Hedin charged with talking about the Bible or Jesus. That would be discussion of religion. Through his class, he has simply raised the possibility of intelligent design of life and our cosmos. That is not teaching religion.
This matter is not complicated – but resolving it fairly would require a tremendous amount of courage on the part of the university.
Hedin has done nothing wrong and deserves support. Fair-minded people need rise up and apply the pressure needed for the university to muster the courage to stand up to Coyne and his group and tell them to get lost.
ERIC A. ETHER Ball State Class of 1972 University Place, Wash.
Rights, their protection ensure future
Rights are not privileges. Liberty is not freedom. Socialists/Communists will argue there is no difference. Thats why Americans are different. We know the difference.
As non-socialist/non-Communist Americans, we know liberty without rights is just freedom. Government (or any power) can at any time curtail your freedom and do to you whatever. With liberty and the rights that entwine with it, no power (especially government) can willy-nilly play with your freedom. That is, as long as those rights are being protected and enforced.
Freedom of speech is a right. To bear arms is a right. To own property is a right. As long as we can own property, protect that property and talk about government trying to take that property, we are basically on the right track for a democratic republic.
As our talk becomes more and more meaningless, and government intrusion into our lives, rights and morals becomes more subtly confiscatory, we must ask ourselves: Do we continue to let politicians and bureaucrats dictate what our rights are?
The more power and control government can exert over the people, the less value rights have. I hold rights and liberty in the highest regard. Honor them. Protect them. To others theyre privileges and freedom and to be treated with arbitrary whims. What are rights if they cant change with the times? Privileges.
MONTY STRAWSER LaGrange