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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Saturday, January 11, 2003 - Page 6

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 11, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas                                Page HERALDZEITUNO Saturday January AUyuUMGQPV NEW BRAUNFBLS HERALDZEITUNG New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Doug Toney Editor and Publisher Gary E Maitland Managing Editor 830 6259144 Other views Houston Chronicle on volunteers There are plenty of things to fret over and criti cize in this nation in this new year but the findings of one Labor Department study offer encourage ment about America Volunteerism is alive and well here Despite wide spread cynicism about corporate America paidoff politicians and the like many in this country are thinking and acting selflessly More than a quarter of Americans are spending their extra hours in useful volunteer work Between September 2001 and September 2002 some 59 million Americans volunteered doing things such as mentoring and tutoring children Avoiding affordable housing and cleaning parks the tabor Department found More than 27 percent of the civilian population ftver 16 worked as volunteers to help others Americans on average performed 52 hours of vol unteer work a year Religious educational and youthrelated organi zations attracted the greatest number of volun teers with employed persons doing more volunteer work than the unemployed A lot of people are willing to help others solely for the good such volunteerism does and the satisfac tion it gives Maybe too many of us have forgotten that Today In History BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is Saturday Jan 11 the eleventh day of 2003 Thpre are 354 days left in the year history highlight On Jan 11 1935 aviator Amelia Earhart began a trip from Honolulu to Oak land that made her the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean On this date In 1757 the first secre tary of the treasury Alexander Hamilton was Kern in the West Indies 1861 Alabama seceded from the Union In 1913 the first sedan type automobile a Hudson went on display at the 13th Automobile Show in New York lln 1942 Japan declared war against the Nether lands the same day that Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies In 1943 the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritori al rights in China In 1964 Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report saying smoking may be hazardous to ones health In 1973 owners of Ameri can League baseball teams voted to adopt the designat edhitter rule on a trial basis In 1977 France set off an international uproar by re leasing Abu Daoud a PLO official behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics Five years ago The Den ver Broncos beat the Pitts burgh Steelers 2421 to win the American Football Conference championship the Green Bay Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 2310 to claim the National Football Confer ence championship FORUM Contact Managing Editor Gary E Maltiand 6259144 ext 220 Nicy The HeraldZeitung en courages the submission of letters Letters must be 250 words or fewer and the HeraldZeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions An address and telephone number which are not for publication must be includ ed so authorship can be con firmed Mail letters to Letters to the Editor HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels TX 781311328 Fax 830 6063413 email Difficult choices must be made by community The holidays this year seemed so rich in communi ty spirit From Wurstfest to the lighting ceremony to Wassailfest to the choral programs the New Braun fels community seemed closer than before The worries of the year werent so big All shared good cheer None of the activities seemed to be about economics but about rejoicing of our time togeth er Considering all the trou bles that were suffered by family friends and the country as a whole there is always the thought that we were lucky or blessed with what we had I feel New Braunfels lies between the choice of pre serving a strong community and building a strong econ omy We need jobs We need growth The task is to create a vi brant future without sacri ficing what makes New Braunfels so special the community texture We can look at Seguin San Marcos and even San Antonio to see Write Em President George W Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington 20500 Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison RDallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington 20510 202 2245922 Fax 202 2240776 8023 Vantage Drive Suite 460 San Antonio TX 78230 DONALD TALLEY Guest Column what they have sacrificed in return for continued eco nomic development I dont believe the sense of commu nity has to be sacrificed to growth but it will not be maintained by itself It takes making active choi ces decisions about how we will live and what we will expect of those that join our community When we become locked up the desire to place a stop sign in a residential neighborhood it is because we do not have a purpose or guidance to help us priori tize the choices Is it better to have freeflowing vehicu lar traffic or paths for safe pedestrian activity Will our town and the new develop ment guidelines we are de veloping be designed for autos or people A community for the pub lic is not contrary to eco nomic growth The Plaza and downtown were thriv ing on those nights when we blocked off the streets and turned them over to us for visiting and strolling and shopping It would be beneficial for us to create more than less of these special events Many lament the tourists that come to town whether we call them the Schlitter bahn crowd or the Snow birds Often we long for the time when they will leave us to our peace Then we complain about the condi tion of our streets our drainage our rivers our taxes and our utilities The tourist industry of fers the greatest economic impact to our community Their money mostly goes to the local business not to a national chain that will pay a little tax then send the money out of the communi ty to the corporate head quarters The sales tax ben efit itself will pay for many needs The Outlet Mall in San Marcos draws over 4 million visitors per year If they spend each they contribute million a year to that community We have choices to make We need more economic generators We can welcome the national chains that si phon much funds away and will not adapt to the local communitys architecture and its values unless forced We can close our doors to businesses seeking to create jobs with more than mini mum wages We can seek not to invite outsiders tourists to our events We can resolve to become a bedroom community to serve another community and pay all the costs of run ning the city with our prop erty taxes We can choose to let development take the lowest path of resistance and wake up in a town with no community texture but lots of business signs and all the cars zooming by in anonymity Or we can choose not to Donald W Talley is a New Braunfels 210 3402885 Fax 210 3496753 Congressman Lamar Smith RSan Antonio Room 2231 Raybum House Office Building Washington 20515 202 2254236 1100NELoop410 Suite 640 San Antonio TX 78209 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol Room Box 12428 Austin TX 78711 800 8435789 Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel RSeguin Box911 Seguin TX 78155 830 3798732 Fax 830 4635896 Texas State Senators Jeff Wentworth RSan Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410 Suite 720 San Antonio TX 78209 210 8267800 Fax 210 8260571 Judith Zaffirini DLaredo Box 627 Laredo TX 780420627 956 7222293 12702 Toepperwein Rd San Antonio TX 78233 Politicians rubbing our nose in dumb tax cuts AUSTIN One interesting as pect of the Seriously Dumb Tax Cut we are watching develop in Washington is that we are simul taneously witnessing the effects of Seriously Dumb Tax Cuts at the state level The states are plotzing right and left caught in hideous binds whether it is better to release dangerous prisoners or cut back the schools cut back health qare for kids or nursing homes for old folks Politically its notoriously diffi cjult to oppose tax cuts precisely Because the trouble doesnt show up until after the next election jut this time we have are having qur noses rubbed in the results even as Bush proposes to do it again at the federal level And what a tax cut it is Accord ing to Citizens for Tax Justice the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers those who make over a year will get almost 50 percent of the benefit of eliminating the tax on dividends and 45 percent of the money from accelerating the rate cuts The 80 percent of the house holds making less than a year would get less than 10 per cent of the new tax breaks The Bushies have various ways of justifying this monstrosity none MOLLY IVINS of which holds up under scrutiny The first claim is that the rich pay more in taxes in the first place Well yeah they do They have more money The richest 1 per cent have 18 percent of all the pre tax income and they pay 36 per cent of all personal income taxes But one of the many disingenu ous tricks with statistics you will see used by the Soak the Poor school is to ignore the rest of the tax burden Most of us actually pay more in payroll taxes than we do in income taxes but FICA tax es cut off at you make more than that you dont have to pay on the rest And of course the sales tax is notoriously regres sive rich families and poor fam ilies alike pay the same sales tax on a refrigerator but its a much bigger chunk of the income of the poor family Despite all the screaming and yelling the progressive income tax is the fairest form of taxation ever invented unless you want to count the wealth tax used by most European When Dwight Eisenhower left office the highest marginal tax rate was 95 percent and no one thought Ike was a communist Its now down to percent and due to drop to 35 percent For 70 years the income tax has made at least part of the total tax picture here progressive rather regres sive Its not only unfair to change that its stupid Bush is now arguing that we need a tax cut because the econo my is in recession originally he argued for a tax cut because the economy was so It is true that a balanced budget is not the beall and endall of good governance thats one of those panaceas we occasionally fall for and running a deficit at the federal level is not the end of the world or necessarily even bad policy Tax cuts can stimulate the economy But note the long circuitous thinking about giving tax cuts to the rich If the rich have more money they will invest it and that investment will allow compa nies to expand and then they will hire more workers and that will end the recession Whereas if you give tax cuts to the middle and working classes they go out and spend the money because the baby needs new shoes Presto demand is up factories back in action end of recession Theres no guarantee that rich people will do anything economi cally productive with more money Their major strategy seems to be stashing it in offshore banks so they dont have to pay any taxes As Leona Helmsley so famously remarked taxes are for little peo The dirty little secret about tax es in this country is that rich peo ple and corporations mostly dont pay them now they have a whole system of shelters and off shore deals We dont need to raise taxes in this country we need to collect them The centerpiece of the Bush tax cuts is eliminating dividend taxes effective immediately on the grounds that the dividends are taxed twice by the corporate income tax and then the dividend tax This one has absolutely noth ing to do with economic stimulus if s a pure giveaway to the rich One reason dividends should be taxed is because the people who get them dont work for the mon ey In the old days people who lived off their investments were known as coupon clippers and generally despised as nonworking parasites Granted it takes some smarts to do well enough in the stock market to live high and some body like your granddaddy had to make the money in the first but the fact is most investors dont spend their lives poring over company prospectuses they pay someone else to do it Theyre making money off other peoples labor Why shouldnt they pay taxes on it The final reason its dumb to cut taxes for the rich is the problem of social justice Were already in trouble because the income gap between the rich and the rest of us keeps getting worse and worse The rich buy their way out of our public institutions schools hos pitals parks and then contri bute money to politicians who let the public infrastructure go to heck It doesnt work Molly Ivins is a syndicated   

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