Press-Republican

December 8, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Dec. 8, 2012

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Press-Republican

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trail

TO THE EDITOR: I have been going up to the Adirondacks for as long as I can remember. We currently have a camp around the Tupper Lake area.

The rail goes right by our camp. Although nostalgic, I just don’t see the point of trying to maintain a stretch of rail for just a few scenic rides.

Currently, the tracks are shot and deteriorated. I can’t believe the insurance company even allows the rail people to continue operation with the liabilities of today.

Removing the tracks and putting a rail-trail into place could be a wonderful thing. Economically, it would give the townships a boost and would open up a whole new venue of tourists and travelers.

The sad part is that there are great financial powers on the different lakes that really don’t want the local townships to develop and prosper. God forbid we pull more tourists into towns and disturb their peace and tranquility.

Every time there is an opportunity to stimulate the economy, the financial power shadows over and crushes it. Very sad.

RICK GERLACH

Hudson

‘Fiscal

cliff’

TO THE EDITOR: It doesn’t matter whether it’s a family budget, the state budget or the federal government’s budget, the process of bringing a budget into “balance” is the same: reduce expenditures, or increase income or do some combination of both.

Keep that in mind as we consider the current congressional battle over the “fiscal cliff.”

House and Senate Republicans want to balance the federal budget by chopping payments to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, earned benefits or “entitlements” that are shared by an estimated 90 percent of Americans. They don’t want to balance the budget by raising anyone’s taxes, least of all the taxes of the wealthy.

The White House and the congressional Democrats propose trimming entitlements around the edges. They also propose to increase income, primarily by raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of the population, those with incomes of $250,000 or more.

Falling off the “fiscal cliff” will occur if no agreement is reached between the White House and Congress by Dec. 31. Bush-era across-the-board tax cuts will end, and the average middle-class family will be faced with what Democrats estimate to be an annual tax increase of $2,200.

Almost a century ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said: “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” Civilized society includes our common defense and general welfare, highways and schools, police and nursing homes and much more.

President Obama has asked us to tell our elected representatives how we want them to act on the “fiscal cliff” issue.

I did. Did you?

BILL COWAN

Plattsburgh