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STAYING HOME AND MAKING MASKS — Among the West Volusia volunteers helping make masks for the staff at Orlando Regional Medical Center are Magda Hiller, Wyatt Wilson and Mary Lee Adler, seen here on their porch sporting masks of their own.

Pass the FAIRtax

Editor, The Beacon:

What could the federal income-tax system have to do with COVID-19? Simple, our income-tax system continues to push critical manufacturing facilities offshore. Therefore, when a crisis hits, we lack the production capability to quickly produce what we need to deal with it.

In the COVID-19 situation, we’re finding ourselves short of medicines and medical devices we need to fight the virus. While we’re waiting for overseas product deliveries, people are dying. If our income-tax system had not forced much of America’s pharmaceutical production overseas, we could have ramped up production immediately and saved many lives.

Critical funding needed to fight the virus was stalled for many weeks thanks to the income-tax system. The CARES Act finally became law March 27 after many weeks of partisan wrangling.

However, funding authorized by the CARES Act still must work within the unduly complicated income-tax system which both parties support. American families needing relief now are having to wait six to eight weeks for that relief to come, thanks to the typical Washington bureaucracy.

The American people are finally beginning to realize that outsourcing American manufacturing to other countries carries serious consequences. They’re starting to ask what we can do to bring manufacturers back to our shores.

Manufacturing left for just one reason: It’s cheaper to do it overseas. There’s only one way to bring it back — make it cheaper and easier to do business here than over there. And there’s only one way to do that. Pass the FAIRtax.

The FAIRtax is a national retail sales tax on new goods and services. Its rebate feature (often called the prebate) means that no one pays taxes on the necessities of life. It eliminates the federal income tax and with it, federal withholding and payroll taxes. You keep your whole paycheck (minus any deductions you authorize). You’re taxed on your consumption, not your productivity.

The FAIRtax also eliminates corporate income taxes. This will greatly reduce the cost of doing business in the United States. Manufacturing returns, putting us in a much better position to deal with whatever the next crisis may be.

The FAIRtax would also make delivering economic relief to Americans who need it much faster and simpler. Qualified Americans will already be in the database to receive the prebate, so economic stimulus funds could be on their way in 24 hours or less.

There’s more good news. With the FAIRtax, American manufacturers can produce goods for export without having to embed the costs of the income-tax system into their prices, putting U.S. goods on a much more competitive footing with their foreign competitors.

Imported and domestic goods will both be subject to the same sales tax, eliminating the price advantage imports currently have in the U.S. market.

Learn about the FAIRtax at www.FairTax.org. The FAIRtax is the only fair tax for U.S. workers and businesses. Ask your congressional representative and your two senators to actively support the FAIRtax.

Rudy Treml

DeLand


Please, stay home for people in high-risk category

Editor, The Beacon:

Communities around the state are dealing with the rise in COVID-19 cases, and as I keep up with the latest developments, I can’t help but be worried for those like me, who are in the high-risk category.

There are many ideas on how we could have and can manage this outbreak, but one rings true regardless of what you believe: The world needs a vaccine and a cure for COVID-19.

America’s biopharmaceutical manufacturers are working hard to meet our needs, and I am glad that we live in a place where we can count on innovations for cures. Simply put, these companies and manufacturers are one of the best chances we have — they are the bridge to research and development, and to the creation of vaccines and cures that we will all need access to.

I have a condition called sarcoidosis, which means my body creates growths of inflammatory cells that build up on and affect my lungs. Contracting a virus that attacks my respiratory system, as COVID-19 is known to do, could be devastating.

I also manage a seizure disorder, which sometimes results in trips to the emergency room.

During a time when our brave doctors and nurses are maxed out on COVID-19 cases, I know firsthand the fear that those with chronic illnesses face when they think of what the addition of a virus into their immune system could mean.

For those who have illnesses they deal with each day, a simple trip to the grocery store for food has suddenly become a dangerous, life-or-death decision.

While America’s biopharmaceutical manufacturers are working hard to bring us a cure, I implore everyone to please do their part to flatten the curve.

Stacy Mitchell

DeLand


Looking for predictions of our future

Editor, The Beacon:

It was my elderly neighbor who predicted some five-plus years ago, “I fear I’m doomed to hear the noise of construction for the remaining years of my life.”

She passed away a few years ago with her prediction becoming true. Alas, too true, as our neighborhood has been overwhelmed like many others with a tsunami of new development.

As we enter a new unfolding reality created by the COVID-19 pandemic, I wonder what others may predict for our distant future based on what is happening today.

Yesterday, while practicing social distancing with our neighbors, we challenged each other to make a prediction of how all this will reform the future. We recorded them in writing, with the intention of seeing which ones come true!

The future date of our revelations and predictions has not been determined, but we are certain it will be both entertaining and surprising when we do such.

I have elected not to share our predictions with you, gentle readers, as we made a promise to each other that they remain in sealed secrecy.

However, I am writing to encourage your predictions to be sent in to the editor of The West Volusia Beacon for potential public participation in predicting the outcome of the current challenging events.

So, what say you? Thanks.

Fred Peace

DeLand


Housing shortage solution?

Editor, The Beacon:

We have thousands of vacant hotel rooms along the beachside and throughout Central Florida, and we have a housing shortage. Perhaps now is a good time to rethink our immense dependence on the capricious and seasonal nature of the hospitality and tourism industry.

For years, we’ve read the articles bemoaning empty rooms and lost service jobs due to the whims of vacationers, conventions, devastating storms, and now a pandemic.

Thirty percent of millennials do not plan on marriage or children. Their fluid lifestyles include solid jobs and a heavy interest in restaurants, entertainment and shopping. They aren’t interested in the demands of families, homes and gardens.

Additionally, more and more retired seniors are downsizing their homes and streamlining their responsibilities. Some of my retired friends eat most of their daily meals in restaurants, and many of them travel. They don’t like leaving their homes vacant for weeks or months at a time.

One solution is to convert 25 percent of current vacant hotel rooms into long-term rental units: affordable rents for one-, two- and three-year leases. I’m talking about moderate to high-end apartments for professional singles and seniors who want to divest themselves of larger homes.

It’s common for people in major metropolitan areas to live in hotels year-round. Why not at the beach?

Hotel apartment living is for people who don’t need large kitchens, laundry rooms or family rooms. Hotels are already capable of concierge, laundry and room service, so the fees could be incorporated into the rent. The tenants would keep the hotel restaurants and bars busy year-round, as well as local shopping areas. Service jobs would be saved and become a bit more reliable. Face it, doesn’t a continuous revenue stream sound nice right about now?

Give Central Florida’s trees, wetlands and wildlife a break by curbing new developments and responsibly utilizing the buildings we already have.

Caz Norwich

Deltona