Columnists

Fri
25
Aug

Guest commentary: It’s time for a fairer tax system

This year, American businesses and individual taxpayers will spend more than $430 billion in tax-preparation costs just to comply with our indecipherable 74,000-plus pages of the federal income-tax code and regulations. What a waste of time and money! The income-tax system is a failing federal revenue-raising experiment.

The Founding Fathers of our Constitution specifically forbade direct taxation in Article I, Sections 2, 8 and 9, wherein they recognized the evil nature of taxing citizens’ productivity. And, the Supreme Court, in 1895, ruled that income tax in America was unconstitutional.

But, in 1913, the politicians convinced the citizens that an income tax was needed to run our country, and it would only affect the rich. Thereafter, our elected officials supported the passage of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave Congress the “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.”

Mon
21
Aug

Letters to the Editor: Residents speak out about Duke spraying

Disgusted with Duke

Editor, The Beacon:

I’ve read a lot of garbage in The Beacon over the years. I’ve been tempted to write in and give my two cents’ worth, but have always decided not to waste my time commenting and talking to the wall. 

At last, I have read the biggest piece of garbage ever written when I read the article about Duke Energy killing the bushes and leaving the carcasses behind with no regard as to the obvious fire hazard that dead, dry bushes next to the roads can cause, if a smoker flicks his or her cigarette into the brush. 

No regard to how incredibly ugly it makes our streets look. No regard to the amount of poison that is leaking into the aquifers, and, as a homeowner on a well, yes, I am very concerned.

Fri
18
Aug

David Rauschenberger: Trump’s no Nazi, and Kim Jong-un fears him

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Many accuse me of having reached my level of incompetence here in The Beacon, but I still have many who think I’m on point. Frankly, it’s tough being set upon from all sides.

There are Republican friends who can’t see their way clear to the future. They fear President Donald Trump. What they don’t understand is they have one foot in the “swamp” and one foot on firm ground. I’m here to keep them thinking straight.

First of all, if Trump were a closet Nazi, he’d never have agreed to have his baby girl marry a Jew and bless her conversion to Judaism. And he’d most certainly never allow his grandchildren to be raised Jewish. But he did. So, let’s dispatch the ridiculous assertion that he didn’t use the proper language required by the hyperventilating media to condemn the alt-right attack in Virginia.

Fri
18
Aug

Russ White: Democrats must reclaim their party for the working class

Russ White

Russ White

Since the astounding result of last November’s presidential election, there have been endless discussions of how and why it turned out the way it did. Fingers have been pointed in every direction, and the Democratic Party needs to be doing an internal autopsy similar to the one the GOP (currently, Government of Putin) did after the previous presidential election.

For the past three weeks, I have been showing why and how this country has been pushed ever further toward the fringe of the right end of the political spectrum. Now it’s time to take a look at how the Dems could possibly have lost to such a horrible and incompetent candidate.

Mon
14
Aug

Letters to the Editor: On immigration, Puerto Rico, and long-windedness

The Beacon’s Opinions page is an open forum for the community. Your letters on any topic are welcome. Include your name, your telephone number, and your town of residence; only your name and town will be printed. Click here to submit, or mail to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720.

Supports Trump immigration plan

Editor, The Beacon:

President Trump’s proposed immigration plan is not new, unfeeling, revolutionary, or even unusual. It restores much of America’s historic standard.

For almost two centuries, America’s immigration laws have restricted immigration, and rejected prospective immigrants based on their skills, health, place of origin, sponsorship, and likelihood of employment and self-sufficiency. And the law already requires an immigrant to converse in English to become a citizen.

Until, in the mid-1960s, progressives won the presidency, and had supermajorities in both houses of Congress! So, led by Lyndon Johnson, they reformed our reasonable and responsible immigration laws: They dropped many requirements, loosened others, added exceptions, and created chain-immigration of relatives far outside immediate family.

We need this.

Mon
14
Aug

David Rauschenberger: No impeachment, and no one will go to jail

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Recently, I’ve been challenged by my detractors to defend President Donald Trump. My friends on the left are so solidly against anything Trump. They tell me impeachment will happen. I’d point out that nothing crazy Congresswoman Maxine Waters says will happen ever does, but I digress.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has convened two grand juries, and indictments are just around the corner, is what we’re told. The usual suspects in the mainstream media predict someone will go to jail. They should preface each sentence they speak or write with “I hope.” I predict those same media malcontents will be disappointed. They will be cheated again.

Honestly, I feel sorry for my friends on the left. They look forward to the chaos fired FBI Director James Comey’s friend Mueller can cause. They know about the partisan Democrat attorneys hired to get even with Trump for firing Comey.

Mon
14
Aug

Russ White: Getting folks to cut their own economic throat

Russ White

Russ White

Why has the perverse and, yes, evil, far-right agenda pushed by the Koch brothers through their myriad organizations seen the success it has during the past 50 years? This was the subject of the 2014 book The ALL NEW Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff, who is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley.

In it, Lakoff describes a policy program designed to pit the conservative “strict father morality” against the liberal “nurturant parent morality” in a cultural civil war. He defines how the strict father morality applies across the four domains — Libertarian, Neocon, Wall Street and Tea Party — of the modern conservative movement.

Thu
03
Aug

David Rauschenberger: Volusia County education dollars should stay in Volusia County

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

I’m glad we’re all finally on the same page. I’ve been telling my friends at The Beacon that we all have a common goal. It just took more than a decade for the stars to align.

Local Democrats and Republicans are now on the same page. My Democrat friends might not even know that they’ve made my point for me. I’ll explain.

They tell us it’s not fair. Volusia County’s students are being subordinated to children in other districts in Florida. They tell us that our education dollars are being stolen from our children. And it’s true.

I’ve told you over and over that income redistribution sucks. Sorry, Mom. Curiously, education has become the venue where many who didn’t understand that now do. Government picking winners and losers rarely solves the intended problems. It usually makes them worse.

Thu
03
Aug

Russ White: Charles Koch and other right-wingers aim to trick Americans

Russ White

Russ White

For those who didn’t have the time, or interest, to read the Truthout article “Misinforming the Majority: A Deliberate Strategy of Right-Wing Libertarians,” which I discussed to some extent in my column last week, I’ll present some more of its high points.

The anti-heroes of last week’s column were economist James Buchanan and the Koch brothers. According to Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains, “It was Buchanan who taught [Charles] Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained.”

MacLean said, “Koch came to realize that if the majority of Americans ever truly understood the full implications of his vision of the good society and were let in on what was in store for them, they would never support it.”

According to MacLean, Tyler Cowen, a prime Koch consultant, “has written that with the ‘rewriting of the social contract’ underway, people will be ‘expected to fend for themselves much more than they do now.’

Thu
03
Aug

Beacon editorial: Medical costs require a national fix

Our humble opinion

Our humble opinion

West Volusia taxpayers can’t keep footing the bill for Washington’s inability to act

Watching U.S. President Donald J. Trump, senators and members of the House of Representatives over the past several weeks has been like watching a movie called The Three Stooges Do National Health Care.

The trouble is, in this screenplay, the West Volusia Hospital Authority and local property taxpayers are the ones getting poked in the eyes.

Because nobody knows what the federal government eventually is going to come up with in regard to health insurance and funding to care for patients who cannot pay their own medical bills, the Hospital Authority proposes to collect nearly 60 percent more next year from West Volusia taxpayers.

That would help pick up the slack if the feds drastically cut back on money to local health care agencies, or if rising premiums continue to push more and more people out of Obamacare.

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