75 F
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
** Preferred Partner - click for more info **Red Flag Reputation

Letters to the Editor — Afghanistan, eviction ban, Dallas County pensions, IRS, prayer

Resist urge to intervene

The rise in civilian deaths in Afghanistan is tragic, and sadly I fully expect to see the return of the Taliban’s reign of terror once they take control of the country. Women will be viciously repressed, rights will be suppressed and the quality of life for all Afghans will decline precipitously.

All of that said, the U.S. must resist the urge to intervene. Russia spent 14 years fighting a losing battle. The U.S. has spent 20 more fighting to a stalemate, while propping up a corrupt government and a weak military. The idea that we were ever going to “force anti-government” forces to commit to a cease-fire is ludicrous. Likewise, the idea that a foreign power was going to force a stable regime on a country through military might was equally far-fetched.

Until the people of Afghanistan unite and fight off the oppression of the Taliban and Islamic states and challenge the culture of corrupt government, they are doomed to misery. I expect the stories and images will be horrifying. It will be difficult not to re-engage, but in order for a country to thrive, they must stand on their own two feet. It’s time for us to let Afghanistan try.

George Francis, Dallas/Lochwood

Fix aid distribution

Re: “CDC issues new eviction ban — After moratorium lapses, White House reverses course following harsh criticism,” Wednesday news story.

I‘m sympathetic to the renters who do not want to be put on the streets. I’m sympathetic to the landlords who still have to pay their bills. And I’m sympathetic to the community at large who does not want more COVID-19.

I do not sympathize with a government that has spent less than 7% of the available money to help all of the above ($3 billion out of $45 billion). Nor do I sympathize with a government that set up such labyrinthine methods that neither renters nor landlords can understand how to use them. This is a state and local issue that can and should be fixed quickly.

Stephen W. McCluer, Far North Dallas

Inflation adjustment for all

Re: “No inflation adjustment here,” by Bob Crawford, Aug. 2 Letters.

I completely concur with Crawford regarding a lack of fairness to state pension retirees if the Texas Legislature approves an inflation-adjusted retirement plan strictly for Texas teachers.

I have worked for Dallas County since March 1986 and have met retirement eligibility. Knowing that my pension will not be adjusted for inflation, I continue to work, which adds more money to my account. This is to compensate for expected devaluation of my monthly pension once I retire.

If Texas decides to add an inflation increase for the Texas teachers’ retirement plan, one should be added to the Dallas County pension plan as well. Dallas County is in the Texas District & Retirement System, also a statewide plan.

If an inflation increase is allowed, it should be mandatory to be followed by member counties. County employees like me work in high-risk environments (jails), on weekends, nights, holidays, etc. An inflation-adjusted pension would help compensate for years of loyal devotion to make our county safer. Why should I, as a Texas taxpayer, pay for a Texas teachers’ retirement plan inflation increase when I won’t get one from my statewide plan?

Janet Lusk, Far North Dallas

IRS impossible to reach

Re: “IRS delays put millions in a bind,” by Michelle Singletary, Aug. 1 Business column.

Michelle Singletary’s column about the Internal Revenue Service was a fair assessment of IRS problems in relation to late child care payments, but it barely delved into the real problem — those of us awaiting our refunds. It is now three months since I filed electronically for the first time. I did so because for once in over 20 years we were due a refund of a substantial amount. That of course was not the entire issue. My wife never received the second or third stimulus payments so another $2,000 went into the rabbit hole.

Singletary is right — it’s impossible to contact the IRS in any way. Contacting your senators or representatives is futile, I tried Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, even U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, and the response is crickets. Too busy overthrowing the government, I guess.

In reality, the problem is mainly one thing. For the last 40 years, Republicans have altered the IRS’ unwieldy rules and budget cuts to allow corporations and billionaires to avoid paying taxes. Need proof? Look at how the 45th ex-president dragged out his “auditing” myth to keep hidden his returns.

Charles Elkins, Plano

Wrongs are ours to right

Re: “Even the disciples asked: ‘Teach us to pray’ — Four truths can help us in quest to spend more time with God,” by J.D. Greear, Aug 1 Opinion.

Prayer is conversation with ourselves. It is a way we dispel fears, conjure hopes, confirm beliefs, build confidence, relieve stress, conquer guilt, shame and insecurity, and assuage grief and loss.

Millenia of prayer seem not to have had much impact outside of our personal realms. Polluters still poison the earth. Thieves, from petty to ecclesiastical to corporate, continue to lie and steal. Inequality festers. Compassion has not vanquished cruelty. Knowledge has not quelled superstition and ignorance. Technology has divided, not united us. Love has not routed hate.

It is our responsibility, not God’s, to right the wrongs that we have created and continue to perpetuate.

Ed Soph, Denton

Click here to submit a letter to the editor. Be sure to include sources.


Related Articles

Latest Articles