Tuesday, February 05, 2019 1:00 am
It's tax time, and Trump's cuts no help to middle class
We just finished filing our tax returns for 2018. Accounting for the increase in the weekly take-home pay when President Donald Trump ordered the Treasury Department to reduce how much they withheld weekly in early 2018, we are still paying about $500 more in taxes than we did the year before.
They were counting on most of us middle-class bumpkins not to notice the difference at the end of the year. I've spoken with two others who have filed, and one says they broke even and the other said they are paying several thousand more in taxes than last year. I haven't found anyone that has got a cut yet.
This is the third major tax cut Republicans have passed since the early 1980s. As far as I can tell, the overall grand effect of them all is the middle class is still paying roughly what we always did as a percentage of our income, while the rich have managed to slash their tax liabilities by at least half. In some cases, thanks to the capital gains changes made, some of the wealthy only pay 10 to 20 percent of what they would have paid before Reagan. When are we going to wake up?
Trump-loving politicians reflect Hoosier mindset
Your editorial “On the Other Hand” and Steve Etheridge's letter “President's moral vacuity should worry lawmakers” (Jan. 30) accurately describe our elected officials Jim Banks, Mike Braun and Todd Young. Banks “is a loyal Trump follower in a district where the president clearly has wide support” while Banks, Braun, Young and the vice president are “silent, complacent and thus complicit toward the amorality/immorality of the current president.”
In my calls and letters to Banks' office, I found him frequently unwilling to place country and state ahead of political party, but I am much less sanguine than Mr. Etheridge that this quadrumvirate of sanctimonious politicians will ever “have the courage to take a stand for Hoosier (American) values to resist and reject” the values of President Trump. Because the one thing my 43-year absence from Indiana has proven to me is that Trump's values are indeed Hoosier values.
In 1968, my professor of Latin American studies at The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, remarked to me that “Indiana is the most Southern-minded of all Northern states.” Because I grew up in Terre Haute trying to get out of the state – at which I succeeded from 1970 to 2013 – it took me a while to fully understand the significance of his remark.
Hoosiers, especially our obsequious vice president, like to think of themselves solely in terms of the “down-home, aw shucks” poetry of James Whitcomb Riley, when the reality is Indiana ranked as the seventh highest non-Southern state for racial lynchings and was home to the largest Ku Klux Klan organization in the country in the 1920s.
These values of bigotry and intolerance are still alive and well in Indiana, exacerbated and encouraged by then-Gov. Pence's ill-conceived 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and now encouraged on a daily basis by Trump and his base (and by some of the frequent letter writers to this paper).
Indiana can be better than this – but with this president, this representative and these senators pandering to Hoosiers' worst instincts, I doubt it.
Emory Earl Toops
Newspaper made it through polar vortex
The recent polar vortex certainly generated much squawking and hand-wringing in our area! Schools were closed, businesses were closed, warnings abounded, garbage pickup was stopped, dogs and cats were living together, and even the U.S. mail was not delivered for two days.
I couldn't help but notice, though, that every morning my issue of the Journal Gazette was faithfully delivered to my home! Kudos to the Fort Wayne Newspapers delivery team for their “git 'er done” attitude. Yes, the Journal may be guilty of running some “fake news” sent from the big Eastern seaboard dailies, but the paper does make it to my door. Nice job!