Letters to the Editor

Sunday's letters to the editor

State income tax vs. fair tax

Cindi Ross Scoppe was off the mark when she insisted that income taxes are needed in a state tax system ("A tax lesson from the first gubernatorial debate," Sept. 27). According to economists Art Laffer and Steve Moore in their study, "Rich States, Poor States," the nine states that do not have income taxes have a significant edge on their counterparts in income growth and job creation. Take Tennessee and Kentucky for example. When Kentucky imposed its income tax in 1980, the two states had roughly equal per capita income. By 1996, Tennessee (without an income tax) surpassed Kentucky's per capita income by more than $2,000.

We currently have 11.5 percent of our work force not paying any income tax, whereas they are all paying sales tax.

Reps. Rex Rice, R-Pickens, and Joey Millwood, R-Spartanburg, are the sponsors of H.3992, the S.C. FairTax Act, which eliminates the approximately 300 sales tax exemptions as well as personal and corporate income taxes, raises the sales tax and gives a prebate to all legal residents to offset sales taxes up to poverty-level spending.

The FairTax increases disposable income for workers and businesses, giving consumers incentive to spend and businesses incentive to expand and hire.

Please ask your friends, family and neighbors who are unemployed, underemployed or experiencing drops in income if they think our tax system is working for them. We need the FairTax now to bring back the South Carolina economy and put people back to work.

JOHN STEINBERGER

Charleston

Family grateful for Monk article

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank John Monk for his article on Dan Monahan ("Swindler sentenced to 52 months," Sept. 23). It has helped to ease the pain and suffering of my in-laws, the Ellises, who were Monahan's victims and whose charges were used to convict him. Dan Monahan could have gone on to steal more money from innocent people. I know Dan, as I played golf with him many times and talked to him, and he just would say it is all taken care of and you don't have to worry about your in-laws; they will be looked after for a long time.

People don't know about the corruption that goes on, and they believe it won't happen to them. We thought that too. Mr. Ellis was a trusting man and a very honorable and smart man who is now just a shell of a man who stares when speaking and cries at the drop of a hat. I only hope that people will read this article and learn that we are all vulnerable to con artists and to not trust what they say.

Mr. Monk has done a great justice, and I thank him for his work and dedication.

MICHAEL VIENNE

Columbia

County fire and EMS need to change

What is the problem with the Columbia Fire Department and the Richland County EMS? EMS policy stipulates that Columbia Fire Department personnel cannot drive a county EMS vehicle, even when there is a need to do so. That is a policy that needs to be changed. Four minutes may not have mattered in the case of the 3-year-old boy who recently died; however, is that always going to be the case? I for one would want to ensure that these kinds of policies are looked at from the patient's perspective and that each and every patient is receiving the best possible care in the timeliest fashion. In this case, it seems we are just not going to talk about it. That is wrong and needs to change. Fix the policy.

DAVID ROBERTSON

Columbia

Richland needs fire/EMS service

As a lifelong taxpaying resident of Richland County, I think the time has come for Richland County to form its own fire service to go along with its EMS service.

This could help eliminate delays when EMS needs to transport seriously ill patients, because the firefighters would be allowed to drive ambulances.

Richland fire service could be patterned after the fire-EMS service in Lexington County.

But most importantly, Richland County needs to quit paying fees to the Columbia Fire Department to run its fire service.

HARVEY W. STONE

Columbia

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