Inexcusable to go on break and leave AMT unresolved

In regards to Jackie Kucinich’s article on the alternative minimum tax patch (“Bush slams Congress for not fixing AMT,” Nov. 17) there is a reason why Congress continues to have a worse approval rating than President Bush, and this article is a perfect example.

Congress is so busy trying to fight the president on the war that they can’t be bothered to implement a simple inflation adjustment to save millions of Americans money this tax season. While they continue to try and pass countless bills to end the war, all of which have failed, they can’t get one simple adjustment through.

For a group of congressmen and congresswomen who are barely in session anyway, the thought of them simply continuing to push the issue aside as they take vacations is inexcusable. It is not like we are asking for a major overhaul of the AMT. That would just be too much for these guys to handle. But just a simple patch! I may still be in college but if they need help writing this up I could help them out.

I also thought this was a Democrat-controlled Congress that supports the middle class. Then why are they sticking it to 25 million middle class families across the country? Where are these middle class family warriors like Clinton and Obama calling on Congress to move this along? Hopefully voters will notice this incompetence. When Republicans were in control of Congress, things got done. Now, what is getting done other than grandstanding and Bush bashing? President Bush may be entrenched in a public image battle because of a war, but Congress is the one committing crimes. They need to take a look at their priorities. Stop putting your anti-war agenda that is going nowhere in front of simple things that help every American.


Viewing healthcare as insurance marketplace

In his op-ed published Nov. 14 (“The free lunch never dies”), Benjamin Zycher ignored an important piece of the argument being made for Medicare-like programs. These programs do not siphon off “profits” from funds that would otherwise go toward actual healthcare. These profits — and the outrageous salaries of executive-level insurance company employees, their bonuses and golden parachutes — come from somewhere — from the premiums received or from payouts that are denied. Healthcare is not the primary goal of these corporations; profit-making is. I have heard it said that America does not have a healthcare system; it has an insurance marketplace.

The author also ignores the fact that private enterprise has not proven itself to be the best, most efficient, most reliable solution to every issue. Think Enron, think sub-prime and its consequences, reach back and remember the savings and loan debacle that we are still paying off. Remember that privatization played an important part in the Walter Reed scandal. The author rails against all taxes, yet, are not our taxes paying for the astronomical costs of privatization in Iraq, where the original contractor subcontracts and in turn the subcontractor subcontracts, with each level adding costs?

Government is not doomed to fail and nor is the private sector guaranteed to succeed.

St. Augustine, Fla.