New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 7, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
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QUOTABLE“The job (rf the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information.”
Christopher Lasch historianTaxpayers deserve better treatment than criminals
EDITORIALPearl Harbor Day: Remember those who served
Most of us alive today likely were not around on Dec. 7, 1941, but almost every American knows what happened that day. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they not only dragged us into World War II; they made us realize that this country is as vulnerable as the next.
But the veterans who fought in that war — and the wars that followed — sent a strong message to the rest of the world that the U.S. was not a sleeping giant. Our men and women served bravely to protect our way of life. They also gave their time, their energy, their determination and sometimes their own lives to serve their country. They paid the ultimate price for freedom, which we know does not come cheaply. For those who made it back home, many were doomed to carry scars, both physical and mental, because of what they saw and what they had to do.
Even today, as our young men and women serve our country in stations around the world, they are protecting us and keeping the peace. They also are sending a strong message that our nation will not stand for aggression*against our citizens, and they serve as a deterrent against those who would plot against the U.S.
We move about in our daily lives, free to make choices about how we live. In some countries, residents have to live their lives around the threat of aggression and the promise of war. Fortunately, we do not have to live in fear, and because of that we all owe gratitude to the men and women who have protected us and our way of life throughout the years.
Today is Pearl Harbor Day, a day that will live in infamy. Remember what happened and be thankful for all those who have served to keep it from happening again.
(Today 's editorial was written by Herald-Zeitung Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson.)Write us ...
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The Internal Revenue Service has spent more than $4 billion on a failed effort to modernize its 30-year-old computer system. There is a 20 percent error rate when IRS processes paper tax returns. And almost 42 percent of challenged IRS penalties last year were wiped off the books.
There is no question that the IRS is an agency sorely in need of an audit.
Fellow Texan Bill Archer, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and author of this year’s tax relief legislation, put it best regarding the IRS: “Don’t treat the taxpayer worse than a criminal.”
The House recently passed Chairman Archer’s IRS reform act that will take important steps toward getting die tax collection agency off the
backs of honest American taxpayers.
Our criminal justice system is based on the presumption that someone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. But criminals get better treatment than do people who pay their taxes. The IRS often places the burden of proof on individual taxpayers in disputes with the agency.
For example, you could donate a used car valued at $ 1,000 to a wellknown charity and get a tax deduc
tion. But if, after you fully cooperate by providing the necessary paperwork documenting the val ue of the car, the IRS believes that its value is only $500, you could be forced to prove in court that the IRS is wrong. Under the House-passed bill, the burden will be placed on the IRS when the taxpayer has presented the necessary documentation.
Chairman Archer’s legislation also includes 28 new taxpayer rights that will penalize the IRS for filing false charges against honest taxpayers.
Individuals will be allowed to sue the IRS for up to $ 100,000 for negligence and will find it’s easier to recover legal fees and other costs from successfully defending themselves in disputes with the agency.
Taxpayers will also have easier access to the tax court’s equivalent
of small claims court so that Americans will be able to take their problems with the IRS to a judge without paying huge legal fees.
Finally, the IRS is long overdue to have a group of citizens looking over its shoulder. So the reform legislation creates an independent board of non-govemment experts to oversee IRS actions.
This legislation addresses many abuses the IRS has inflicted on taxpayers. That’s why it has received bipartisan support. But some of the problems at the nation’s tax-collec-tion agency have as much to do with our complicated income-tax system as they do with the IRS and await broader tax reforms by Congress.
(Lamar Smith represents the 21 st District in the-US. House of Representatives.)
Letters to the Editor
VFW renumbers those who fought for U.S.
In remembrance of that day 56 years ago, George A. Garcia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11050 and auxiliary will honor the dead. We will be soliciting donations for disabled and hospitalized veterans of that war and wars and conflicts before and since
Have Americans grown so callous that they turn their backs on these men who have given so much? Hie Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States doesn’t think so. The VFW is pledged to serve the disabled and needy veteran and to aid md comfort his family.
Combat veterans, themselves the members of the VFW, anil their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters who make up its Ladies Auxiliary have met the challenge by lending a helping hand in the battle against doubt, boredom, bitterness and despair In veterans hospitals, at the scau of government and in the community, you will find VFW volunteers and trained staff members at work in behalf of all veterans.
Thousands of men are bedridden for lite and others are destined to spend the rest of their days in w bedchairs or on crutches as the result of a w ar they haven’t fully understood Many more have found themselves handicappedToday in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, Dec. 7, the 341 st day of 1997. There are 24 days left in the year.
Today** Highlight in History:
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, an act that led to America's entry into World War ll.
On this date:
In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution la 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.
in adjusting to the challenges of a civilian life which they feel has passed them by.
A grateful government has provided hospitalization where needed and disability compensation to those with impaired earning power, but no governmental action, regardless of how well meaning, can provide the personal touch and the individual understanding that alleviates tears and eliminates despair.
The VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary have such a program, but funds are needed to carry on a program of this nature. While the VFW raises most of its money from its own members, the public is afforded the opportunity to help through the purchase of a “Buddy Poppy.” This year the Buddy Poppy Sale was conducted Saturday. Your help will go a long way toward soothing the pain of a deserving veteran.
Charles Burgess, Jr., Vice-Commander George A. Garcia Post 11050 Veterans of Foreign Wars
Texans will loaa homos to home •qufty fonding
Dear Editor Well, it is very unfortunate that we have so very many people here in Texas who are unable to handle money,
In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.
In 1842, the New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.
In 1946, America’s worst hotel fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, killing 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.
In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.
In 1972, I me Ida Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant who was then shot dead by her bodyguards.
unable to see what they did when voting yes to the Proposition 8. Now we can borrow on our house, and within a year over 50 percent of the homeowners will be without a home.
What Nations Bank offers looks good, but please don’t fall for that offer. The $25,000 they want to lend you above what you are allowed to use is an unsecured loan. That means, when you can’t pay, you now can lose your home.
After this new law, anybody you owe money to can now demand that you borrow on your house, and because of that, you might one day loose it. Before this vote, nobody could touch your home, when it was paid for. Remember, our ex-govemor Conncly lost everything, but not his home. People were angry, because he could stay in his house. Our law protected him from moving out and living on the street.
You can borrow 80 percent of what you have paid into the house, and that isn’t much when you have had your house less than 20 years on a 30-year contract. About 50 percent belongs that to you. The other 50 percent you pay during the last IO years.
I called up some lenders who advertise on the television the other day and asked about a loan. They wanted to know how long I had had my house. I said four years. I guess that isn’t enough to get a loan. Oh yes, as long as you have some equity, we will lend you
In 1985, retired Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart died in Hanover, N.H., at age 70.
In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; an estimated 25,000 people died.
In 1995, a 746-pound probe from the Galileo spacecraft hurtled into Jupiter’s atmosphere, sending hack data to the mothership before it was presumably destroyed.
Ten years ago: Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Reagan. Forty-three people
money. We might even give you some on the side. I was shocked. I do not understand why they didn’t make the law in such a way that only the people who own their house clear and free can borrow, as all the other houses actually still belong to the lender, the company you borrowed the money from for your house.
Unfortunately, we are having millions of people here in Texas who can’t handle their money. Most of our schools have math teachers, especially in the elementary schools, who don’t like to teach it or are unable to teach our children properly. Why do we have cash registers that do all the work and even tell how much change the customer is getting.
Honestly, I am aghast that Proposition 8 was allowed to be put on the ballot. Our government here in Texas must hate us very much. Up until now, we had a government that protected our people, but now they have thrown us to the wolves.
Please, I beg you, don’t listen to the advertisements, they are nothing but propaganda. All they want is your money, and they don’t care it it ruins you. One thing is sure — Hitler would never have done that to his people.
Lieselotte Mourn, New Braunfels
were killed in the crash of a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California after a gunman apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger and the two pilots.
Five years ago: The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a Mississippi abortion law that required women to get counseling and then wait 24 hours before terminating their pregnancies.
One year ago: The space shuttle Columbia landed at the Kennedy Space Center, ending a nearly 18-day mission marred by a jammed hatch that prevented two planned spacewalks.