Letters to the Editor

06/30/2011 7:28 AM |


Inhumane treatment

I am the owner of the Feed Bag pet store in Cutchogue, but I do not sell animals. Prior to opening my store I worked for three different Suffolk stores that sold puppies. I would like to describe for you my firsthand experience in this business.

The majority of puppies sold would be trucked from huge Midwest puppy brokers, some with numerous USDA violations. When they arrived, an assembly line would be set up. The transporter would grab a pup by the back of the neck and hand it to a store employee, who would then pass the puppy to me. My job would be to “inspect” the puppy. I was not a veterinarian or a vet tech.

If the puppy had visible abnormalities it would be tossed back on the truck, its fate unknown.

The puppies sold at this store that did not come off these trucks were shipped by air to either La Guardia or Kennedy. They arrived in filthy crates filled with many puppies, not all of them alive.

The healthy-looking puppies that came into the store would go right onto the show floor. If the puppy was sick it would go to the “Iso” (isolation) room. All illnesses — kennel cough, parvovirus or distemper — were lumped together and all sick animals would go in the same room. The shop owner, not a veterinarian, would then determine the medical treatment the puppies would receive.

Every morning when we arrived for work the puppies would be filthy, covered in excrement, screaming and hungry. These were the lucky ones. Some just sat and shook. Others were removed from their cages dead. The shop owner would be compensated by the broker for puppies dying within a certain time frame after delivery.

There was no incentive to make these puppies healthy by sending them to a vet; that would cost money and affect the bottom line. After a week or so in recovery, and as demand required, they went to the sales floor. As sales associates, we were never advised to counsel potential buyers on the appropriate breed for their family. We were given bonuses based on our gross sales.

The other two stores I worked in that sold puppies differed very little from this.

When I went into this business it was because I wanted to be the person that facilitates that perfect moment when a family meets their new member. I wanted to be the one that put those fabulous smiles on their excited faces when they found the perfect puppy.

I work closely with the local shelter, providing high quality food at low cost for the sheltered animals and space in my store for animals needing homes. In spite of this, I have found that there is no way for me to sell puppies that does not contribute to the suffering of both the parent dogs and the puppies bred from them.

Reputable breeders with high standards of care do not sell their puppies to any pet stores for resale. The only option for pet stores wishing to make a profit selling puppies is puppy mills.

I do not sell animals in my store because it is impossible to do so without contributing to this barbaric trade. I wholeheartedly support this legislation and thank Legislator Cooper and Legislator Romaine for introducing this bill,

Amy Cirincione


Two big changes

I want to thank the Suffolk Times for its recent public stance opposing the sale of “puppy mill” puppies in Suffolk County. If any of the readers have ever seen the chaotic and pathetic circumstances in our local puppy store, or worse, a sick and listless puppy on display there, bravo for finally making a public statement that I can wholeheartedly sink my teeth into.

Shame on those of you who continue to support such an elitist and cruel practice by purchasing their dogs from pet shops and out-of-state breeders. Look into the eyes of a “rescue” and feel the love and pride of someone who has given and been given a second chance. For the first time in years, I closed my paper with a feeling of small-town pride.

On a broader note, bravo New York State for passing the same sex marriage bill into law. Just a year ago I had the extreme privilege and honor, as an ordained spiritual minister of The Esoteric Interfaith Church, to perform a marriage ceremony for a very dear friend and his partner of 11-plus years. My daughter (then 13) accompanied me to New Haven for this beautiful ceremony on the Yale campus. The ceremony was followed by a festive Cuban lunch and a stop at Town Hall to pick up a marriage certificate.

I would like to share these excerpts from their heartfelt and poignant vows:

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

One year later, New York has become the sixth state to make it legally possible for two people to marry without bias. May this declaration catch fire, spread throughout the country and incinerate the prejudices existing among us.

Joni Friedman


A very good start

Recently Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper introduced a local law that would ban the retail sale of puppies by pet stores in Suffolk County, unless they are obtained from animal shelters, animal rescue organizations or local breeders.

The North Fork Animal Welfare League is in full support of this legislation.

One hundred percent of the microchipped puppies originally purchased from local pet stores and then abandoned at the Southold Animal Shelter came from huge, out-of-state puppy brokerage houses, known better as puppy mills.

While the NFAWL is aware that this law alone will not close down these hellholes, it makes a very clear statement regarding what the residents of Suffolk County are willing to participate in.

If this law passes, our community is unequivocally saying that we will not encourage, enable or support the brutal and inhumane puppy mill industry.

Voltaire said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” There is no one perfect law that will end the suffering that puppy mills perpetuate. But this is a good law that can be an outstanding example of how acting locally can promote national change.

Please let your voices speak for those who cannot speak for themselves by attending the public hearing on this issue on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building in Hauppauge at 6:30 p.m.

Gillian Wood Pultz
NFAWL executive director


Why the delay?

Tell me why the GOP is taking so long to make a decision on the political sign moratorium.

This is a no-brainer.

Karen Klingman


Signs are already up

It appears the next political cycle is in full swing and Democratic Committee chairman Art Tillman appears to be leading the way into silly season.

While I agree political signs are a hassle (especially for committee people who have to put them up and then take them down), he may have spoken too soon on a total moratorium on these signs. There are already political signs up in town and — guess what? — they support local Democratic politicians.

There are signs in front of a Cutchogue business supporting former town Democratic candidates because of its owner’s very public feud with the current administration.

If Mr. Tillman gets his way, would those signs be removed? Or in his rush to find free publicity, did he chose an issue that does not enjoy popular support?

If the Democratic chairman truly supports a sign moratorium, he should ask for the removal of those old signs, which are several years past the election cycle, before telling other citizens what they should or should not put up on their property.

He needs to take a drive through the town to see what is already up.

Jerry Martocchia


Bring on the signs

Buttons and bumper stickers, hats and pennants, posters and signs and, yes, even the political lawn signs are all part of the American electioneering process.

In some cases electioneering paraphernalia ends up as collectible and valuable memorabilia.

I doubt that Mr. Tillman has conducted a scientific environmental impact study to support his assessment regarding said signs being posted on people’s lawns and property.

Let me clarify: It’s called advertising and it’s the way we get our message across. Of course, if you have nothing significant to advertise and your opponent has, it’s a smart move to call for a moratorium on advertising under the guise of reducing cost and protecting the environment.

There’s no denying that the electioneering process is costly. Mr. Obama is poised to spend almost a billion dollars in his re-election bid. After all, when you’re asking the American public to re-elect a man whose policies and ideology are as detrimental as his, you have to be willing to spend a ridiculous amount of funds.

Let’s face it, the Democrats in Southold are strapped for cash, they don’t have any candidates worth the cost of a lawn sign and while their policies are a microcosm of Washington, D.C., they do nothing to enhance Southold Town roadways or neighborhoods.

Mr. Noncarrow, please send me any number of lawn signs supporting the Republican Party.

George Dengel


It’s a game-changer

It’s a sad day for New York. Gay marriage, the new law, has redefined the true meaning of traditional marriage.

What’s next?

What’s really sad and tragic is our Republican political leadership betrayed us and our Catholic bishops came on too little and way too late.

Sad, but true, it all comes down to politics, power and money, across the board. As far as the rest of us go, we all sat back and watched it all happen.

No excuses. We didn’t stand up for what was right and moral. We folded.

God help us. What has taken place is only the beginning.

Will we unite before it’s too late?

Time will tell.

Jack McGreevy


Put it in perspective

Think of the very devastating harms people have done each other, such murder, rape, pedophilia, kidnapping and arson.

Think of all the suffering involved in war, famine, illness, poverty, slavery.

Think of all the natural disasters that can befall us here on earth. Think of all the accidents to which we are subject.

Honestly, I cannot take seriously concerns over the state’s acknowledging commitments between people who love each other.

Maureen Sanders


Two basic questions

Dictionaries I’ve checked define marriage as “the legal union of a man with a woman.” Thus, “same sex marriage” is an oxymoron.

Same sex marriage legislation involves two issues. First is redefining marriage. Does a state have the constitutional authority to do so? I don’t know, but if the issue eventually goes before the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be interesting to follow.

Second is whether a state has the authority to provide the benefits and obligations of marriage to legalized same sex unions. I believe yes, but if the Supreme Court rules that a state does not have the authority to redefine marriage, then the union will have to be known as something other than marriage.

Unless, of course, the Supreme Court decides that the redefinition of marriage is not a constitutional issue and opts not to accept the case.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, I hope this legislation and whatever judicial decisions follow will go a long way to eliminating the prejudicial speech, biased actions and hate crimes to which so many of our gay brothers and sisters have been subjected.

Joe Sullivan


We are so ready

During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, many politicians and legislators said the people were “not ready” for integration of schools, public spaces and other government services. Many went further to say the people were “not ready” for interracial marriage, and fought to enact laws forbidding it.

Today, amidst the equal rights movement of our times, Senator LaValle claims to speak for his constituents, saying that we are “not ready” for marriage equality.

The senator seems like a decent, hard-working public servant. It’s too bad he’s chosen to ally himself with those who, like his predecessors in the middle of the last century, will go down in history as lacking the courage to come out on the right side of a civil rights issue with a weak cop-out statement that we are “not ready.”

The reality is that bigoted legislators of the 1950s and 1960s were the ones who were not ready for de-segregated schools and de-segregated drinking fountains. Senator LaValle is the one who is not ready for marriage equality. His constituents, particularly the significant number of gay constituents and their straight supporters who live on the East End, are ready.

Let those of us who are ready for marriage equality also make sure the senator hears from us at the polls when he runs for re-election.

Those who write letters to The Suffolk Times proclaiming that marriage between two men or two women who love each other is an affront to your religion, do not fear. The great thing about our country is that we all are free to practice the religious beliefs of our choice.

The Marriage Equality Act changes nothing about your faith and your church, and those of us who support marriage equality should also support your right or your church’s right to believe that marriages between a man and a woman are the only true marriages.

However, those religious beliefs will no longer tread on the rights of another citizen to marry the person he/she loves. This is part of what makes this the greatest nation on the planet.

Doug Roberts


Why we celebrate

In 1821, construction workers in Alexandria, Va., accidentally disturbed a grave and discovered a body in full Revolutionary uniform. The body was quickly reburied.

There he lies, in the “tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier known but to God.” Never heard of the place? Yes, it’s little known and little visited, even though it’s in a church cemetery close to Arlington National Cemetery.

Independence Day will be upon us this weekend and, as John Adams stated, we should celebrate with “great illuminations and fanfare,” or something like that, and we will.

However, as you read this, please reflect upon the reason America came to be. It started just after Chris Columbus discovered the New World and people in Europe yearned for religious freedom and boarded little ships and crossed a big ocean and came to this New World and established themselves.

As the years went by and these settlers grew more and more self-reliant, they realized that they did not need the “mother country.” When dear old mother England crossed them one too many times, the voices of independence gained a foothold. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness ended up in our Declaration of Independence.

We wanted less government interference, more say in our daily life and, most of all, the ability to live a life far different from what had been established in all of the then-known history.

Talk about foresight. Our Founding Fathers gave us a Republic and a sense of freedom. But freedom had to be earned and many lost their lives and fortunes to establish this country.

July 4th was by all accounts a very hot day in 1776 and, yes, men and women came forth and placed their lives and fortunes on a chance that they could create a new and exciting form of government. All historical knowledge of that time placed all odds against them. Yet they persevered.

This is why we celebrate this day:

That such men and women lived and were willing to die for a just cause greater than themselves. That each succeeding generation has honored the preceding. And that our pursuit of happiness continues.

America, may you continue to persevere.

Bob Bittner


The library’s future

The Board of Trustees of Southold Free Library would like to thank James Ahearn for his thoughtful letter in last week’s edition.

We appreciate his support of our efforts to make modest, cost-effective improvements to the library in the wake of the failed bond vote last fall. While many taxpayers supported an expanded library, many did not agree with the proposed size, cost or design.

We heard from the community and have been considering the issue carefully. We believe that libraries are relevant and necessary, even in the age of e-books.

Libraries can help people navigate the overwhelming amounts of information now available to us. They can provide access to both traditional formats such as books and DVDs and new media like e-books and MP3 files.

Most importantly, the library is a common space that serves as an antidote to the isolating effects of today’s technology.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, the library’s expansion fund now totals more than $1 million. This summer we will begin to solicit input from the public about what you want from your library now and in the years to come.

Watch for an ad in the paper announcing a series of public meetings.

Please join us, or contact director Caroline MacArthur. We want to know what Southold and Peconic residents envision for the future of Southold Free Library.

Maggie Merrill

Southold Library Board of Trustees president, on behalf of the board


You missed the point

Your recent article, “Off the grid,” in the real estate section seems to be off the mark.

It misses the real idea of solar energy as it exists today.

When I was a young kid, I took a little solar cell and powered a small electric motor to  get a tiny fan-like gadget to operate for a few seconds. As I grew up, so did those solar cells and now I power my entire home for free.

Just like 4,000 other on-the-grid adult homeowners, I use photovoltaic cells to be energy independent. No gadgets, no toys, no small fans.

You can find out the exact details fully explained at renewableenergylongisland.org/.

Joel Reitman


Close the loopholes

A few days ago Republican Senator Eric Cantor walked out of Vice President Biden’s deficit reduction meeting because, “I can’t continue with these meetings if the Democrats keep demanding tax increases”.

The Democrats are not demanding tax increases; they are trying to close costly tax loopholes. Most of us North Forkers don’t have any personal experience with loopholes because they are the province of the wealthy and corporate America.

Divert your income to a post box in The Cayman Islands? Set up subsidiaries in foreign countries where profits are lightly taxed, if at all? Make your income look like capital gains, not ordinary income? And on and on.

A report issued by the Citizens for Tax Justice found that from 2008 to 2010, 12 Fortune 500 corporations with $171 billion in profits enjoyed an effective tax rate of negative 1.5 percent because of corporate loopholes, shelters and special tax breaks.

Last year Exxon Mobil recorded $45.2 billion in profit and paid zero dollars to the IRS.

On top of this, the oil and gas industries are receiving $32.9 billion in subsidies and other tax deals.

The revenue from allowing the ill-conceived Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire would bring in nearly $40 billion of needed revenue.

If we are serious about fixing the deficit and restarting the economy — and we have to be — we must look realistically at the entire problem. Cutting expenses is a real goal. Obviously, increasing revenue should be a real goal. Sharing the pain must be a real goal, too.

We may not have personal experience with loopholes, but we can still fight to eliminate them. Tell Senator Cantor and the rest of the Republicans to look for fairness and intelligent policy, not simply goodies for greedy supporters and lobbyists.

Howard Meinke

Editor’s note: Mr. Meinke is an alternate committeeman with the Southold Democratic Party.



271 Comment

  • Mr. Meinke: reforming the tax code, at a minimum in the ways you describe, is a step in the right direction. But I have to ask: why do you and your Democrat colleagues spend so much time on the tax issue and not areas of spending? President Obama just criticized a corporate jet tax loophole that his stimulus put in place that would affect less than 1/100 of 1% of the annual deficit. These sorts of things are just infuriating demagoguery. Some of the gap may be made up in taxes, but the vast majority of our problem has to be fixed through shrinking spending. For God’s sake, please start addressing the massive spending problem we have.

  • Mr Meinke dishonestly claims to ‘not have personal experience with loopholes’ yet seems awfully well versed in all of the corporate loopholes he is in favor of closing. If he were to have any integrity, he would explain that the personal ‘loopholes’ that he and his fellow Democrats want to close include the tax deduction of mortgage interest and itemizing other deductions for those ‘millionaire’ families that make over $250k a year.

    Perhaps Mr Meinke does not fall into that income bracket, but surely he is not claiming that most North Forkers have no experience with the mortgage tax deduction or itemizing such things as their state and property taxes.

    Only a party operative like him can say with a straight face that the Democrats are not demanding tax increases. If my family income stays the same and then I have to pay more in taxes due to changes in the tax code, how is that not a tax increase?

  • Mr. Rainey,
    How quickly it seems you forget. President Clinton passed the government over with no budget shortfall and no deficit. The next fellow, President Bush – the chosen one, fixed that in a hurry. Now, yes, there were costs that we had to bear as a result of the attacks on the country in Sept 2001, but we all know and most of us accept that he went more than a little too far with the whole Iraq mess while missing the boat on Afghanistan and domestic energy policy, deregulation and underfunding of financial regulators. The unemployment rates speak to the success of those policies in today’s world.

    Now, two years into the change in administration, you are concerned about spending? Where were you 5 years ago, 10 years ago? Making the same noises? I suspect not. With the evisceration of the government at the expense of those that need it most there is not a lot left to cut in spending without further irreparable harm – or maybe you would like to have your Social Security and Medicare (current or future if you are not yet collecting) done away with – after all let’s go after the big ticket items…….

    If that is not so attractive to you then help us understand why you don’t get the basic math – little bits add up – a million in savings here, a million there and soon you are talking real money…..

  • The only spending cuts that would matter would be in defense, social security, or Medicare. None of which would be a popular decision. Which would you cut?

    I like knowing that we are a prosperous nation that can afford to protect and provide for our citizens. Taxes suck, so the least we can do is make sure the ones that can afford it are paying for the opportunity to run their big businesses, and the ones who cannot will pay a fair price as well.

    I know I may sound crazy to y’all conservative folk, but for me taxes are a great investment in our’s and our future generation’s country. So suck it up and realize it might be the best money you ever spend.

    Side note: The war on drugs is an abysmal failure. The regulation of illicit drugs, especially cannabis, could save our country billions each year.

  • Haha, Jack McGreevy is gonna burn in hell because gay people can get married. What’s next you ask? Well, obviously people are going to try to marry their pets.

  • Are We There: You seem to have swallowed the administration’s BS regarding spending hook, line and sinker. Here are ACTUAL facts:

    Bush spent less than $3 trillion every year in office, and only came close to $3tn at the height of the wars. Obama spent over $3.5tn in his first year. A spike of $600 BILLION in one year. And, we won’t know about 2010 or 2011 because his administration refuses to put a detailed budget on the table, and just spends as it goes. Does your family do that?

    So, spending is one thing but its ok if you can pay for it. So lets look at the deficit (amount by which spending exceeds tax revenue). Max budget deficit under Bush: a little over $400 billion per year, and usually a lot less; max under Obama: $1.85 TRILLION in the first year. This continues on out indefinitely. That means EACH YEAR, Obama would spend over a TRILLION more than the govt takes in. This is before Obamacare kicks in. What would happen if you spent your entire paycheck and then spent half of it again on credit cards? And what if you planned to do this every year?

    Well, maybe its because taxes are too low. The govt took in $1.8, 1.9 and 2.15 trillion in 2003 – 05, the first years of the terrible Bush tax cuts (BTW that was an INCREASE in amounts paid to the govt even though the evil Bush lowered rates – why? because it spurred the economy and everybody made more $$). How much was paid to the govt in 2009 and 2010? $2.1 and 2.16 trillion. So, it looks like the govt’s take didn’t go down.

    OK, so what, Why not raise rates anyway to help the deficit. If your kid maxes out your credit card, do you give him more money? Of course not. This is common sense, folks. BUT even if we did want to raise taxes, it wouldn’t make a dent in this amount of spending. You could take ALL the income of ALL the people making over $200,000 and you would still not pay off ONE year’s worth of deficit. And what happens the next year and the next and the next? And who is going to work hard to make more money when Uncle Sam just takes most of it?

    So, you see, we are concerned about spending because it is SO MUCH worse than EVER before. And we are being responsible about it. That means, STOP SPENDING and it means reform entitlements. This is necessary because the bulk of the deficit is Medicare, Medicaid and SS. These things HAVE TO be fixed. Republicans have put forth a plan to do that. Democrats don’t like it but won’t put forth a plan of their own. All they can do is whine about taxing the rich, which is a drop in the bucket, and use scare tactics (push gramma off the cliff, starve poor people to death, stop educating kids, etc. – even you do it by saying they want to “do away with” SS and Medicare). Its all a bunch of lies. Nobody wants to kill old people or make education any worse; they just want to get the country’s finances in order. The fact that people like you believe this just means that you’re susceptible to Democrat spin. AND all of this is without going after Obama’s incessant golf, Michelle’s grand vacations every month, cronyism worse than anything under Bush, union pensions, etc etc etc.

  • Emton, you have too much faith in our government. Give ’em more money, and they will just p*ss it away. Do you think they know how to spend your money better than you do? But to answer your question, YES: cut defense, social security and medicare. We have to. There is no way to avoid it. AND raises taxes somewhat. But do not think raising taxes is any kind of fix to this problem. Its a drop in the bucket. And it will likely backfire because whenever you raise tax rates, GDP (that is, how much we all make) goes DOWN and the govt takes in less than it expected, so it wants to raise taxes again, and we are off on a downward spiral. So what I and a lot of other people want is for your team to drop the class war and GET SERIOUS. If you don’t like the republicans’ approach to things, then please put forward another fix that actually WORKS. But crying about raising taxes (which you admit won’t fix it) and using scare tactics and ignoring the problem, IS NOT HELPING.

  • Yes, I believe that the administration has a better idea of how to spend tax revenue than I do, or you for that matter. Look around… Clean water, uncontaminated food, FEMA cleaning up natural disasters, social security, unrivaled military defense, clean and safe neighborhoods, etc. When was the last time you bought freedom? This is what our tax money buys!

    We are emerging from one of the worst recessions in generations while engaged in multiple wars. Failure to increase spending would mean a jobless rate much higher than 9-10%, and not ensuring the safety of our military. It would be downright negligent. This is not partisan politics or class warfare, this is reality. Surely you can recognize the complexities when dealing with a federal budget vs your household budget.

    I’m not sure which scare tactics you’re referring to, but the only ones I’ve heard come from the right and involve ludicrous delusions such as death panels or abortions accounting for over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.

    Taxing big business accounts for most of our tax revenue. Why would you want to extend their tax cuts? I assume you’re not a billionaire CEO so why don’t you have your best interest at heart?

    You say that I have too much faith in my government… Well, I don’t think you have enough. We live in an amazing country, please don’t piss on it with your cynicism.

  • Jack: what’s next after gay marriage? Probably hellfire and brimstone falling from the sky, but that’s the good news right? That means you’re about to be raptured. But seriously, what’s next? In your life, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So get over it.

  • I am a democrat in favor or raising taxes on people who genuinely ARE rich, not people making 250K a year, as you seem to believe. For example, I think those teachers making 250K combined family income (two teachers) can pay their own freaking health insurance, just like I do. I am against repealing a deduction of the mortgage interest deduction, however I can tell you how it is not a tax increase: I don’t have a mortgage so it won’t raise my taxes. Hey, you asked.

  • Roger, but social security? What are you, a teacher or something? Guaranteed pension? A lot of people are going to be depending on SS and medicare in the near future. Why? BEcause they’re pensions are not guaranteed and they’re not going to have much of a pot to p in when they “retire” (which probably for most folks who aren’t teachers and cops means that they’re too old to get to work). If you want to drop the class warfare, why are you advocating cutting SS and MEDICARE, for Pete’s sake?!

  • Emton, somehow the Republicans have convinced millions of people to vote against their own best interests. By convincing them that they, too, may someday have a bank balance of 100 Million, like the guy in the post the other day in E Hampton who left his receipt in the ATM. The Republicans have totally pulled the wool over many peoples’ eyes.

  • RRainey: Bush spent less than $3 trillion every year in office, and only came close to $3tn at the height of the wars. Obama spent over $3.5tn in his first year. A spike of $600 BILLION in one year.
    And what happened the first year Obama was in office? Bailouts that Bush started. Come on Roger, I don’t like Obama either, but let’s not make Bush into a saint and blame Obama for the economy he intereted. The reason BUsh the First lost his second term is because the country was in such an economic mailaise that the population just wanted him OUT! Clinton didn’t solve that overnight, but he did turn it around. You probably think I hope Obama wins in 12, I don’t, I hope one of your guys win, so 1. when things still stink economically you will see there’s nothing a president can do about jobs, and 2. so that you will SU.

  • Last year Exxon Mobil recorded $45.2 billion in profit and paid zero dollars to the IRS.

    Howard, energy companies in Canada also pay $0 taxes to their government. The caveat is that they return 90% of their profit to their shareholders, which is why I hold these companies in my portfolio, they pay high dividends. What is the payback in the US? What is the reason Exxon gets their tax break?

  • There are many things about this administration that I don’t like, but let’s not get crazy. Have you seen the freak show that the republican party has put forth?

  • Emton, I wouldn’t vote for a Republican if you put a gun to my head. The current crop of of theocrats and creationists included. Unfortunately, and I never thought I’d say this, if Obama goes up again, I’m sitting it out. I can’t endure another 4 years of the Republicans intentionally tanking the economy in order to make him look bad. Hopefully in the next cycle, the Dems will come up with someone better.

  • Wow, a patriotic Democrat. That’s a rarity. Look, you are setting up a strawman argument. Its old and tired and is done from Obama on down. No one is advocating stopping the basics like food safety or FEMA. So, why do you propose it? Its because there’s no good response.

    Do you really think this government operates as a lean and mean operation? They do not. There is LOTS to cut. And, YES, there’s no reason not to analogize to a household budget. Its just a smokescreen to say you can’t. Under that analogy, what you are saying is “don’t cut out the basics like food and shelter”. Again, no one is suggesting that. Cut out the things that are not necessary. Obama is pushing forward with the full-bore progressive agenda during a time of recession. We don’t need green subsidies (they’ve never worked anywhere, ask Spain), cash for clunkers, bailouts (yes, let them go bankrupt, its what its there for, otherwise you set up a massive moral hazard where they take more risks because they will be bailed out), a giant pork barrel mud pit (otherwise known as the stimulus); not to mention Obamacare (which was rammed through with unprecedented partisan maneuvering and outright lies – do you accept that it will cut the deficit?) This is where the spending is going and it obviously has not fixed the economy, and anyone with private sector experience was screaming that from the outset.

    Downright negligent to reduce spending? Where do you think the money comes from? If the gov’t takes $1 of yours, we are lucky if 10 cents of it gets put to productive use. If you keep it, you spend the whole thing. Why is flushing it through the government going to help the economy? It won’t. That argument is just pushed because some people weened on government don’t understand (or won’t accept) that its not the cure for all that ails us, and most often makes things worse. You say: No problem, its not my $$, its borrowed from the Chinese. Well, who is going to pay it back? Our kids. They are being saddled from birth with the obligation to pay back the largest government debt on any measure in the history of the world. You think that’s not a problem? Not going to put a major crimp in the economy? Standards of living?

    You’ve admitted you’re wearing blinders with the scare tactics point. Its been made clear that “death panels”, although colorful, is not far from the reality under Obamacare. We’ve already seen them start to cease payments for cancer drugs that they think aren’t worth it. Cancer stricken women who take Avastin on Medicare are already being told “too bad”. Its only going to get worse – its written in the law for the appointed panels of experts to dictate what is reimbursed and what is not. So, pretty soon we’ll see the govt say that if you’re over 70 you can’t have your knee replaced because its not worth it. Today, that decision is up to YOU. But, have you not seen the DNC ad showing Paul Ryan shoving an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff? Come on. Look, the Democrats don’t have any accomplishments to speak of, the economy is terrible and they haven’t put out a budget of their own for 2 years. Combine that with the fact that the republicans have put out a daring and controversial budget and you have the recipe for a bunch of democrats whose entire campaign is going to be only about how bad the republicans are.

    Finally, you’re wrong about where the taxes come from. The majority of federal tax revenue comes from individual taxpayers. It has for over 50 years. They are the cash cow and will continue to be. So keep your rose colored glasses on, but forgive the rest of us who choose not to follow along like lemmings.

  • Pacerider, they are not voting against their own interests. They know that some short term benefit from the government at the expense of the financial viability of the country is not worth it. I appreciate that there are still people like that out there. Your “every man for himself” world sounds pretty depressing.

  • Paceride, its REFORM, not DESTROY. So, for example, don’t change it for anyone under, say 40. That gives a long time to prepare and doesn’t affect anyone currently counting on it. And reduce it for rich people – they don’t need it as much. There are other tweaks also. The bottom line is IT HAS TO BE DONE. Its a plain fact that if the payments under those plans aren’t reduced, we will go broke. Not just taxing, but confiscating, all the money the rich people have won’t fix it. So we have no choice. People who don’t want to admit it are just sticking their heads in the sand.

  • Now, you guys are just sinking into crazy talk.

  • Roger, who’s your favorite? I promise not to comment, I’m just curious.

  • Most of the time the right misinterprets the left’s dissent as unpatriotic, but our position is that we value the need to fix flawed policy through progressive ideas and encouraging free thinking.

    The only reason I mention those government services is because the term spending is such an abstract concept and I want to be clear that when you are in favor of reducing expenditures it directly affects our quality of life. I understand there are major problems with wasteful spending and public service inefficiency, but by looking at the rest of the world I’d say we are very effective at guaranteeing a minimum standard of living. Would you prefer a nation where the divide between class is greater?

    It seems that unless you receive a refund check for a pittance (like W gave us) from the government people do not understand that all these services are for us. You and me. My family and yours. Money can be far more powerful when it is pooled together and used for the greater good. The economy is recovering at a very encouraging rate. And if you’re interested in the budget, you can get a very detailed overview at:

    The health care reform bill is for us. It prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to those who need it based on pre-existing conditions and other red tape.

    Medicare is for us. If we adopt a plan such as Paul Ryan’s what happens when an elderly person’s vouchers run out? Without an answer to this basic problem it is not much of plan. You claim that right now we have a choice in our healthcare. Tell that to the 45 million Americans without access to medical treatment. Your choice is only as good as the money you’re paying.

    Cash for clunkers, green incentives, stimulus, Medicare, taxing the rich… It’s all for people like us. Use the services, take advantage of the programs, embrace change.

  • Roger, better go tell Paul Revere it is time to warn the British the Americans are coming. Happy Fourth of July

  • Wow, you’ve really drunk the Kool Aid. I’ll just respectfully agree to disagree.

  • favorite what?

  • I think it’s the conservatives who have the “every man for himself” ethic, Roger.

  • You obviously have not had many dealings with insurance companies NOW. Pencil pushers diagnose and deny all the time.

  • You see to project every liberal stereotype you have onto the posters here. I’m all for a cut off for social security. When my retired govt employee acquaintance says “I’m getting old, I’m on SS now, but it’s ONLY 1600 a month, that’s nothing”, then he doesn’t need it. I recently found out he’s a tier 1, and is getting almost 100,000 a month and he contributed NOTHING to his pension. I’m all for reform, just do it right.

  • Emton – i believe that “most of our tax revenue” comes from taxing inividuals (85%), not ” big business”… You could double the corporate tax rate, and therby cripple “big business” ( as well as small business) and still not close the deficit.

  • Two things: One, unlike Big Govt, you have a contract right against those pencil pushers and if you insist enough, you will get paid. Two, you don’t need to have the govt take over the whole health care industry because insurance companies are difficult to work with. There are much better ideas for reform of that as well, such as allowing insurance companies to actually compete.

  • Good one. But its not as bad as telling an audience consisting of soldiers and a dead soldiers’ parents that you were honored to give the dead soldier the medal of honor and stating he was still alive. They all make gaffes, but the media just cover some more than others. Besides, you got that Paul Revere one wrong. Better go google it again.

  • If you think you insist enough you get paid, with an insurance company, that doesn’t happen. And why should someone who pays their premiums have that kind of hassle?

  • Republican candidate? You can tell me your favorite Beatle, too… I’m guessing it’s not John, perhaps RIngo?

  • Insinuating that I’m brain washed is not what I consider respectful.

    I was once just as reflexively distrustful of the government, and I still am to a degree. But it does no good to assume that everything is fucked just because some things are. When I think of the fact that our country does not allow people to starve in the streets, we take care of those less fortunate, we rise above inhumane torture, and provide for our citizens it makes me proud of America.

    When these acts are done by individuals it’s considered charity and good will, when it’s done by government it’s called socialism.

  • You’re correct, I misspoke. To clarify, the individuals that are profiting from their big businesses account for most of our taxes. I’ve heard the top 5% earners contribute well over half of all tax revenue… Does this sound right?

  • yes . Top 5% account for 50%. Top 5% earn $250 and up. Many are small business owners who dont profit from big business …they provide much of the job growth. Top 50% account for 90%. That means that half of amercians pay next to nothing and still complain. I hear ” get rid of the bush tax cuts for the rich” all the time Do you realize that 2/3 of the Bush tax cuts went to those earning below $250?? So getting rid of Bush tax cuts for the rich would only cure a very small portion of the deficit. Roll back the tax cut for everyone to clinton rates??? There would be a revolution. I say that’s exactly what should happen, but after the economy begins to grow more robustly.( And yes i have training in economics )

  • Roger Rainey hides behind a pseudonym pontificating as if he alone has all the answers. Consistently arrogant in his response to the DEMOCRAT, he feels compelled to lecture those that are not up to his crystal clear understanding of the issues. Pontificating to those who just don’t get it. Well Mr. Rainey why not put your money where your mouth is: run for office and lead us out of this mess. The Tea Party needs you!

    Tom Spackman

  • Interesting that HM can post a statement like Exxon paid no taxes and readers believe it. In fact, Exxon paid in excess of $21 billion in income taxes in 2010.

  • I am a small business owner, and I would love to have the definition of “small business” being used here. I know a LOT of small business owners, I don’t know of any who earn more than 250,000, or even close to it. I do know some teacher husband-wife teams who earn 250,000, though, and for some reason I am paying for their health insurance and pension. Something seems wrong with that.

    I don’t have a problem rollng back to Clinton rates. I was making a lot more money then, and I could afford the taxes.

  • Interesting that he also disappeared from the scene. By the way, he did not say Exxon paid no taxes, he said Exxon paid no taxes to the IRS.

  • Your response is in error Mr. Rainey. The cost of the Iraq war was never included in Mr. Bushes budget and you know it!

  • I, too, am a small business owner and although the business is making money I don’t make anywhere near 250k. Revenues are up this year compared to the previous 2 years and we are optimistic about the future.

  • Rolling back to clinton tax rates wont make your income increase. Pining for the clinton years ( or the Bush years for that matter) is like hoping for the easter bunny. The economy during 1992 – 2007 was pumped up by increased consumer borrowing , primarily using real estate collateral.
    Constantly increasing debt enabled consumers to spend , but this had to ( and did) end.
    . The consumer demand , fueled by debt , wasn’t sustainable. All of this had little to do with clinton or bush tax rates. Long term spending( incl medicare social security) needs to decrease . Tax rates need to go up ( rich and middle class) , loopholes need to go away ( eg ethanol) but only after the economy recovers. But this will take a number of years, because ” recovery ” means getting back to where we were in 2007,,,,, but ( back to my earlier point) the 2007 ecomony wasnt real to begin with.
    I have no arguement on your teacher issue. Teachers( and admin) seem to want blue collar protection, time off , sabbatical, automatic raises and white collar pay… but this is not a clinton bush issue. Rather, it is a state and local issue.

  • Right but wrong, Mac. Even though Bush did not include Iraq in his budget, the numbers above are actual spending numbers, not budget numbers.

  • I don’t have one. They are all flawed. But whichever one wins, I will vote for. To be honest, I think we gotta get these leftist crooks out of the whitehouse.

  • COrrect, my income decreased because of outsourcing. That source of my income isnot coming back.

  • Ah, blind allegiance… Keeping Republicans in power since 1854!

    (I know I promised not to comment, but c’mon that was such a cop out)

  • Congratulations Kayla and the Class of 2011!

  • According to what source. Send me a link. I always love spin.

  • Do your own G D research. Don’t ask someone a favor and then accuse them of lying. What a loser.

  • Roger Rainey – you really cross the line here – with your snide remark about how unusual it is for a Democrat to be patriotic. It is idiotic offensive statements like that which result in your views and those of others of your ilk to be disregarded and counted as the lunatic fringe. You owe all Americans an apology. Just because someone disagrees with your narrow view of the world does not make them unpatriotic. You just lost your argument pal…. shame on you. Enjoy the 4th, you know in the country where all men are created equal……