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Letters to the editor – Sunday (1-23-11)

ëFuzzy mathí obscures economic realities
Bureaucrats love fuzzy math. Case in point: Social Security recipients didnít receive cost-of-living adjustments for the last two years due to the economyís experiencing ězeroî inflation. To arrive at ězero,î though, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics used ěgeometric weightingî in their consumer price index, effectively keeping increases in prices of food and energy out of the equation by giving them a lower ěgeometric weightî than items that are ěhedonicallyî going down in price (for instance, if a computer costs 10 percent more than last year but runs twice as fast, it might be considered 45 percent less expensive than before). Besides, fixed-income retirees will switch to groceries that are cheaper when prices go up, thus their grocery bill hasn’t gone up. So goes the fuzzy math. (Source: http://inflation.us/).
Some fuzzy math is comical: The latest figure of $900 billion that progressives claim will be lost revenue now that the ěObama tax compromiseî was passed last month started as $600 billion, then briefly leveled out at $700 billion before becoming $900 billion. Itís touted, even by the president himself, as welfare for the rich. Lost in the debate is that most of the $900 billion (or whatever the true number is), comes from the accompanying stimulus package and extensions of middle-class tax cuts. Any number claiming lost revenue from tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans is likely based on static models (calculated as if the wealthy donít alter their investment strategies when taxes go up). Using true models (the wealthy have accountants and will shift money to avoid paying higher taxes), the difference is negligible.
The richest Americans, when taxes are low, will take risks. With the possibility of high payoffs, theyíll invest their money; maybe they’ll reinvest and expand their own factories or businesses, or invest in slightly risky companies that seem to be worth taking a gamble on. To think that wealthy people sit on their money and donít want more denies human nature.
Raising taxes, even to ěpunish the rich,î doesnít compute, unless you like fuzzy math.
ó Steve Pender
Rockwell
Palestinian reparations
According to a recent USA Today article, the German government was increasing appropriations payments to the Zionist state of Israel. Germany has made these payments to the Israeli government for 65 years. The article stated the Germans thought it was their Christian obligation to pay for the many Jews who lost their homes and assets in the holocaust. The author felt it would be a great gesture of peace to the Israeli government.
The Israeli government should pay the Palestinians for their holocaust. The Palestinians have suffered the profound loss of their country, homes and assets. They also suffered horrible treatment from the brutal Zionist government. They live in concentration camps, with no provision for water or sewers. Reparations to the Palestinians would be a great step toward peace.
In my opinion, reparations to the Palestinians would produce a genuine Middle East peace. It would help eliminate terrorism. It would eliminate airline passengers from having to endure terrible exams at airports.
We the people must realize the main problems facing the nation and world today. President Obama has repeatedly asked Israel to provide a viable and just Palestinian state alongside Israel. He also has demanded Israelis cease building settlements in East Jerusalem. The settlements are being built by the Israeli government, subsidized by U.S. funds. Jews, Muslims and Christians lived side-by-side for centuries until 1948, when Britain, France and the United States allowed the Israeli Zionists to remove 750,000 Palestinians from their land so they could declare a new country, removing from the map the nation of Palestine which had existed for 2,000-plus years.
The American government should declare no more free funds for Israel until it complies with UN Resolution 242, stating Israel should retire to the borders created by the UN in 1967. The U.S. government supports the Israelis, no matter how many Palestinians they murder and maim.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be replaced because she has failed to carry out Obamaís order to cease building settlements on Palestinian land and causing further problems for our country to negotiate lasting peace in the Middle East.
ó Victor S. Farrah
Salisbury

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