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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, June 11, 2017 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Chicken flap doesn't affect all equally

It seems to me that Councilman Jason Arp comes up with controversial suggestions in order to get his name in the paper. I, for one, do not want to raise chickens or have them in my neighborhood.

Residents (probably most of City Council) who live in subdivisions where out-buildings are prohibited won't have to contend with chickens. I don't suppose chickens would be allowed in the downtown condos. However, they would be allowed in my neighborhood.

Would anyone police the chickens? Some would have seven, 10 or more chickens. Some will build chicken coops out of whatever junk they have on hand. Some will never clean the coops or fenced area. Some will have a rooster.

I know from experience what some neighbors do to their yards – junk and adding a plywood addition to the back of the house. Since it seems that there are no restrictions as to how one can maintain, or not, their yards and homes, some of us have installed privacy fences to hide the messy yards of our rear neighbors. Now, we would have to contend with chickens.

Elaine Bowers

Fort Wayne

Banks yet to grasp nuances of governing

At Jim Banks' recent town hall meeting in Warsaw, Banks was noncommittal regarding America's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. But he seemed to be in his element when conversing with a 12-year-old who identified a hero from the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. The youngster was enthusiastic in stating his reasons why his hero should be decorated. Banks seemed genuinely interested and comfortable with someone who, arguably, may be at the same maturation level as he is. It is ironic that Banks would make the journey into the past with the youngster to score a cute photo op but not be as engaged about the future that awaits the young and with which Banks will have a hand in the decision-making process.

Chester Baran

Fort Wayne

Trump needs support to set country right

So far, President Donald Trump is doing a great job. Too bad we have people in this country who want to keep us on the path of destruction. To bad we have people in our county who are more interested in destroying the USA instead of saving the country. As a vet, I know the importance of banding together for survival. And now the people who voted for Trump must stand together with him when he does the right thing for the country.

Timothy James Schmidt

Fort Wayne

Tax breaks for people, not corporations

I am waiting for the promised new hearings on tax overhaul/reform. From what I have read thus far, most of the cuts are, or will be, for corporations. For the last 20 or more years, we have been told that American corporations pay one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Well, it is true. But, only “sort of.”

The often-quoted 35 percent tax rate is true, but here comes the but. The 35 percent is applied only after taking all allowable deductions and write-offs (many questionable). In many cases, the real tax rate is well less than 10 percent. These deductions allowed to major corporations are mind-boggling, to say the least. I wish I could use some of them! They can even lose money on a particular business unit, then write it off. Don't you wish you could just write off your losses, too?

Many of our largest corporations pay little to nothing in federal taxes. General Electric is a prime example. Between 2002 and 2011 GE paid an average tax rate of 1.8 percent on revenue of well more than $125 billion a year. As if that wasn't enough of an insult, GE held more than $36 billion in cash overseas, thereby avoiding U.S. federal taxes. The top 50 U.S. corporations are holding more than $2.4 trillion in cash offshore. These include Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc.

A corporation I used to work for was based in the USA and had many manufacturing locations throughout the country. Over the years I worked for them, there was a constant push to set up more overseas manufacturing. As that was accomplished, we also set up offshore financial offices to avoid bringing profits back to the U.S. A high percentage of income was kept off shore.

A couple of years ago the corporation acquired a much smaller manufacturing company that, although doing most of its business in the USA, had moved its headquarters to southern Ireland, where it paid a minimal tax rate. Within a few months after taking over the new acquisition, the corporation I worked for moved its corporate and financial headquarters to its new acquisition in Ireland. It now pays virtually no U.S. federal taxes and keeps most of its financial earnings offshore. Yet it is still using U.S. facilities and offices and still being awarded U.S. government contracts of more than $135 million a year.

So keep all this in mind when your elected officials start pushing tax reform. Listen to their call to cut corporate taxes. Then remember what you just read and tell them no! No! No!

It's the individual taxpayers like you and me who need tax relief. You can bet I will be reminding my representatives of that, in no uncertain terms.

Roger Bayford

Columbia City

Canada taking a cue from US initiatives?

I understand that Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, has just announced a “Make Canada Great Again” program, complete with ball caps and T-shirts. As a way to keep out the ugly Americans, he proposes a wall be built along the Canada/US border from Mackenzie Bay to the Bay of Fundy. Furthermore, he insists that the U.S. pay for the wall.

Stephen Morrell

Fort Wayne

Egregious oversight on D-Day anniversary

I found it unacceptable of The Journal Gazette not to mention anywhere in the newspaper of June 6 that it was the 72nd anniversary of the invasion of Europe, where so many Americans and Allies died.

As a veteran, although not of that era, I would think that we Americans should take the time on this day to remember the event that was the beginning of the end of the most horrific regime of all time. To fail to say anything about these brave men and women who gave their all so we can enjoy the life we have today is, in my opinion, a terrible mistake. Hopefully, a lot of us can remember their sacrifices and pray it never happens again.

Jim Furos

Fort Wayne

Israel sank US ship to gain war support

On June 8 1967, the USS Liberty was attacked by the Israeli air force and Navy, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 170. The Liberty was in international waters. The Israeli air force was flying with no markings to disguise the nationality of the jets.

The Israelis bombed, strafed and napalmed the Liberty. Not being able to sink the Liberty, they called on the Israeli navy to attack the ship. The three torpedo boats fired five torpedoes, with one hitting the Liberty. Then, the Israelis machine gunned the “dead in the water” ship, but it would not sink. This was a premeditated attack on the Liberty and its sailors.

The Israeli response was to say that it was a mistake. It was no mistake.

The Israelis said they thought it was an Egyptian ship, although the Liberty was flying the American flag. Israelis wanted the ship sunk and all aboard dead so they could blame it on the Egyptians and gain U.S. help in the upcoming Six Days War.

Larry Hess

Fort Wayne