WAVERLY -- Responding to Neil Leeper's letter (Dec. 24): He is correct seniors had already received a benefit of a higher standard deduction under the old tax law, but seniors do pay less under the new law. Savings for a couple filing jointly with incomes up to $39,450 save $80. This compares to a younger couple who saves $320 using the new standard deduction. The tax savings only increase beyond that point at $30 or more for each $1,000 above $39,450.
Families with children below age 17 get a benefit much larger than the $4,050 exemption they lost. The child tax credit was increased from $1,000 to $2,000. At the 12 percent tax bracket, that's equal to an exemption of $8,333. A family with one child will pay no tax on an income of $43,842, with two children no tax on $60,508 and with three children, no tax on $77,175. If incomes are below these amounts, a portion of the child tax credit is refundable up to $1,400 per child (up from $1,000). The credit used to phase out after $110,000 of income, but now can be claimed up to $400,000 of income.
I'd say this bill is very family friendly.
Voter ID laws
EVANSDALE -- Sandra Reicks posted a guest column Dec. 24 praising Alabama's voter ID laws. She opined the Alabama special Senate election was a success because of voter ID laws. I would say the election was successful in spite those laws.
The Republican voter ID laws are a blatant attempt to suppress votes, and fortunately it didn't work. Alabama had 14 cases of voter fraud since 2000 -- and one of those was a sheriff trying to buy votes. So Republicans are trying with a straight face to justify these possibly unconstitutional laws.
ARTHUR C. FRICK
WAVERLY -- A great hokum of our time is "Make America Great Again" -- as if we are not now provably great. We shall never remain so if our representatives continue to demolish cultural-intellectual entitlements such as national endowments for the arts and humanities, and membership in UNESCO.
Our leadership in creativity, the conceptual and the intellectual is almost incontestable. Our representatives would diminish our international standing by pretending that these "high cost" entitlements threaten the national budget when in fact they are minimal.
"Great Again?" Hooey!
CAROL D. (MRS. JOHN) PETERSEN
REINBECK -- Gary Kroeger’s Dec. 24 column named “A family’s treasured Christmas memory” was entertaining, but misnamed. It was actually about a gender-confused Los Angeles restaurant owner, and Gary’s then 3-year-old son’s cute, candid and perfectly understandable questioning of seeing conflicting genders in one person.
The only Christmas reference was the fact this person passed on just before Christmas years ago. To Gary, the reason this is a Christmas story is because it is, as Gary said, “a celebration of someone who lived, and died, because they believed truth is the beginning of all understanding” (kind of tilt your head, cross your eyes just a little, and maybe you’ll see his meaning ... or not).
Does Gary want to change the meaning of truth from “reality,” to “understanding how a person feels?” In actuality, the Christmas story is all about Christ’s birth ... born to graciously serve as our “sacrificial lamb.” It is a real and true story, but the main character is always Jesus, not some L.A. restaurant owner who was gender-confused.
What Jesus had to endure in the end was horrifying, but it was what he was born to be and he knew it. In other words, he played with the hand he was dealt.