Letters to the Editor

Thursday's letters to the editor

DeMint right to fight TSA unionization

Sen. Jim DeMint is exactly correct in opposing any effort that would lead to the unionization of the Transportation Security Administration. Having worked in industry for better than 35 years, some with companies that were unionized, one thing I never saw was a company with unions that accepted change readily or quickly. With the air traffic controllers strike in the 1980s, we saw what a disaster it was to the national economy and threat to air travel throughout the world when the government had to negotiate with a third party.

Our national security depends on flexibility and changing as conditions change, and unionization of the TSA would only hamper our security. Never forget that the Islamic terrorists have vowed to destroy our nation and kill Americans, and we need to take that threat seriously.

ALLEN DANIELSEN

Gilbert

S.C. senator mired in partisan politics

Our junior senator has once again picked party over what is in the best interest of the nation. No one will ever mistake Jim DeMint for a statesman. He is determined to single-handedly stop all of President Obama's appointees that he can. Delay. Delay. Delay. Is this really what the citizens of South Carolina sent him to Washington to accomplish? He is so interested in shoring up his reputation as the conservative's conservative that he has forgotten the people of South Carolina. At a time when the TSA needs leadership not politics, Sen. DeMint has put a hold on the president's nominee, Erroll Southers, a former FBI special agent and a counter-terrorism expert.

DeMint's objection comes after two Senate committees gave the nominee their bipartisan approval. His objection comes from his desire to keep TSA workers from unionizing. I think the senator should rethink this hold and put the interests of American travelers ahead of his own agenda. Surely the voters of South Carolina can and will present him with his own Waterloo.

ROBERT McGAUGHEY

Prosperity

DeMint continues to thwart Obama

After our governor's Argentina tryst, Joe Wilson's posturing "You Lie" and other memorable profoundly stupid tricks, I now see where our fearless Sen. Jim DeMint is responsible for single-handedly preventing a vote to confirm one of President Obama's appointments. Therefore, the Transportation Security Administration doesn't have a director. Heaven forbid that anyone or anything our president wants to bring on board or accomplish should be allowed. No, Mr. DeMint is only interested in bringing down our president - a Democrat. He is "afraid" that this appointment might cause TSA workers to try to unionize and cause us to have a terrorist scare on one of our airlines.

Oops, that just happened. Do we get to thank DeMint for that?

HELEN C. FOLEY

Columbia

Dowd can't recognize honorable men

I do not understand why The State continues to publish Maureen Dowd's inane diatribes The reason that Ms. Dowd cannot understand the actions of Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham ("Where's the real McCain?" Dec. 24). is that she has no concept of the word "honor."

While I strongly disagree with both senators on a couple of issues, they are both honorable men who do what they think is best for our country. This also seems to be an idea that is completely foreign to Ms. Dowd.

JOE GOLDEN

Irmo

No new taxes? Yeah, right

I have been retired from the military for 23 years. I just received my yearly statement from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service along with a Retired Pay Newsletter with an article titled "Stimulus Package Changes Income Tax Withholding." This article said that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Obama in February provides a refundable credit for many working individuals. In accordance with the new IRS tax tables, most individual taxpayers' federal income tax withholding will decrease by $400, and most married taxpayers' withholding will decrease by $800 for the year.

Based on this, I find it strange that more federal income tax is being withheld from my military retirement even though there was no COLA or survivor benefit plan cost increases. Congratulations Mr. President. You have reduced military retiree net income and got a tax hike too. Bravo!

ROBERT DODGE

Columbia

Tax break for pet owners, what's next?

As a fiscal conservative, I normally consider any form of tax relief a plus. But are we really this desperate? H.R. 3501 is a bill that would offer tax deductions for households with pets. Proponents say one of the main purposes is to help families pay for veterinary care in these hard economic times. PETA and other animal rights groups believe it would help alleviate overcrowded animal shelters.

As a pet owner, my family would stand to benefit economically. So why am I against it? Because we are headed down a dangerous path. First of all, pet ownership is a luxury, not a necessity. Next, why give a tax credit to pet owners and not telephone owners or auto owners or refrigerator owners? As precious as animals are, they are not nearly as necessary as these other items.

Also, exactly what would qualify as pets? What about goldfish, snakes and other animals that do not normally account for high vet bills? And when a family is audited, will the tax auditors go into the backyard or woods to find Fluffy?

I believe the best way to encourage people to own and care for pets is to lower taxes, control government spending and create a healthier economy. Let's hold our ground and shoot for real tax reform and a more flat tax code.

MARY ALICE R. EDMONDS

Columbia

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