September 13, 2011
Tax on laundry detergent
President Obama proposes to increase taxes for oil and gas companies. Why? Because the news media keeps putting profits for Exxon-Mobil in the news and on the front page of our newspapers. Record profits of billions they exclaim. This makes it easy for a populist to decry “we must tax these greedy corporations.” Truth is Exxon-Mobil had an 8.19 percent return on investment in 2010. Procter & Gamble had a return of 13.9 percent, Viacom (the parent company of Comedy Central, MTV and Paramount Pictures) had a return of 11.46 percent. And the profits of Apple were 21 percent. They were recently cited as the most valuable corporation in the country bypassing Exxon-Mobil for a period of time. Where were the outcries from the media for the excessive profits?
It is so easy to demonize the oil companies because the American public believes the news media when they say the oil companies are greedy. In fact the tax loopholes Obama wants to eliminate are tax incentives to stimulate domestic natural gas and oil production. Also targeted is the depletion allowance which is like a business depreciation and a form of cost recovery for capital investment. If taxes are increased on oil and natural gas companies they will be passed on to consumers. Corporations must make a profit to stay in business. Investors must make a fair return on their investment and 8.19 percent is not excessive. So if Obama wants to be fair he needs to add a tax on laundry detergent, Comedy Central, MTV viewers and viewers of Paramount Pictures movies.
But the largest tax should be levied on Apple product users.
A closed-door coup
Where did I hear: “Elect Bach and you’ll be turning the city over to the developers”? I guess that candidate saw it coming.
The Regional Leadership Forum (of which I never heard of until now) has three totally unqualified developers on the City’s Memorial Hospital Task Force. What do they know about health care systems? Why all of a sudden is the independent non-profit no longer a viable option? Why issue requests for proposals from for profit entities?
These three and Bach have turned an open and thorough process into a closed-door coup of this vital facility.
What are they really after?
Ending childhood hunger
The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released its latest numbers on the state of hunger in America. I’m saddened by the results. The new figures show that 16 million kids faced hunger in 2010. That’s one in five kids nationwide. With high unemployment and food and gas prices on the rise, millions of families many in our own community — are struggling to make ends meet and our children are suffering the terrible consequences. Our national food and nutrition programs for kids — such as the School Breakfast Program — can be the difference between empty stomachs and good health. However, these programs need to reach more of our children at risk of hunger.
We all have a stake in ensuring that our children have enough to eat to learn, grow and thrive which is why I support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. They are working to connect kids at risk of hunger with programs that will keep them nourished.
I encourage you to take the No Kid Hungry Pledge and take part in the great work being done to end childhood hunger by visiting Strength.org.
Outstanding Springs people
I had the honor of working with the citizens committee that planned and orchestrated the Community Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at America the Beautiful Park. I want the community to know that we are served by some outstanding people in Colorado Springs.
In particular I refer to Police Chief Richard Myers whose professionalism, support, and assistance in the execution of the ceremony was superb. The men and women of the CSPD demonstrated their patriotism and their loyal devotion to duty over and over as we planned the event. My thanks to each and every one of them, especially Brian Ritz, Phil LeBeau, and Olav Chaney.
The same can be said for the Colorado Fire Department. Acting Chief Brown and his officers are very competent and were committed to helping conduct a respectful ceremony. Hats off, too, to Bret Lacey, Brett Waters, Stacy Fritts, and their former Chief, Steve Cox.
Seldom do common citizens like myself have the chance to see our civil servants perform behind the scenes, but my experience over the past nine months has shown me that our city is very well served. My sincere and deepest thanks to them all.
Put us deeper in debt
Regarding the front-page story on Sept. 10, “Economists Support Obama Plan”. I would expect The Gazette to know better than to present such a one-sided opinion piece disguised as “news”. All the economists quoted in the story come from one school of economic thought, one school among many, who believe in Keynesian economics. The only dissent mentioned in the story is from ultra-Keynesians who didn’t think it goes far enough. Please. Gazette readers know better. Gazette readers deserve better. There are many economists who do not subscribe to Keynesian economic theory, including Nobel Laureates. The Wall Street Journal published editorial after editorial quoting economists from the supply-side school of economic thought, from the Chicago School, and the from Austrian school. Some of these were Nobel prize winners. All were in agreement that Obama’s plan will do nothing for the economy but put us deeper in debt. The difference is the Wall Street Journal published these where they belong, on the editorial page, while the Gazette presented theirs where they didn’t belong, on the front page.
Paul T. Prentice, Ph.D.
A Chinese satellite state
I want to thank Wayne Laugesen for writing the most insightful, well written editorial that I believe I’ve read in the last quarter century (“We have imploded since Sept. 11, 2001”), Sunday, Sept. 11).
His simple recounting of the facts of the sad decline of this once great nation during the past 10 years is sobering — and frightening. Hopefully, it will help wake up the apparently sleeping electorate of both major parties, who are equally guilty for our plight. The government — the vassal of multinational corporations — is the cause of — not the solution to — our myriad national problems. I don’t believe we have the luxury of another 10 years to solve them, unless we’re resigned to becoming a Chinese satellite state.