Make 'em squeal

DICK DEWATER

EVANSDALE -- I read an editorial from the Fort Dodge Messenger reprinted in The Courier praising Joni Ernst’s SQUEAL Act (Stop Questionable, Unnecessary, and Excessive Allowances for Legislators). Supposedly this will make Congress squeal – it won’t even make them groan. Ernst has proposed limiting the income tax deduction up to $3,000 that members of Congress can deduct for living expenses. Big deal. The average net worth of members of Congress is a little more than $1 million.

I think Ernst’s proposal should be called something maybe less catchy but more accurate -- PFSO -- Proposals For Show Only Act.

Ernst should set her sights higher and really do something meaningful to “make ‘em squeal” as she likes to say. Here’s a few suggestions that will make them squeal for real: 20 percent contributions for health insurance and pensions, minimum 80 hours per year doing actual public service work, holding town hall meetings for all constituents at realistic times and limit fundraising activities to weekends when Congress is not in session.

I’m sure if you need more ideas, your employers, us hardworking taxpayers Congress is always talking about, can supply them.

Being ready

BERYL RICHARDS

NASHUA -- When I was a youngster my parents taught me to observe and react. Then the Boy Scouts encouraged me to be prepared, and finally the Navy showed me the value of practicing to meet whatever eventuality may occur.

So if you see me walking down the street talking to myself don't assume I've gone dotty or am certifiable. I am just practicing what I will say when I meet you, my doctor, pastor or maybe an officer when I am driving. There is a lot to be said for having an idea in mind no matter who or when you meet.

House tax bill

JOHN DAHLBY

WAVERLY -- It's pretty disturbing to see and hear all the confusing comments coming from the Democrats to convince people they are not going to get a tax cut. I ran several different scenarios. Those who currently use the standard deduction will see a tax cut. (All examples are married filing jointly -- singles can cut the numbers in half.) The absolute lowest cut is for people who have precisely $39,450, which puts them at the top of the current 10 percent tax bracket. Their tax cut is only $59.

But everyone making more or less than that amount would see a larger reduction. Incomes of $24,400 get a cut of $360; $60,000 a cut of $675; $96,700 a cut of $1,776; $114,400 a cut of $4,077; $284,400 a cut of $8,905, and jumping to $494,400 a cut of $10,453. On a percentage basis, the $114,400 example had the highest cut at 27.4 percent. The $494,400 was a reduction of just 7.9 percent

These were examples without children. Add in the impact of the child tax credit, and the numbers are even better. A $60,000 income for a family of 4 would see a $1,260 cut in taxes; $144,400 a cut of $4,852. Not bad at all.

Charles Manson

PAM BERUMEZ

WATERLOO -- In regards to Charles Manson's passing: No one wants to claim his body? I have a perfect solution.

Why not cremate him and flush the ashes down the toilet? After all, that's what we all do to "number 2," right?

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