2A HORSELESS CARRIAGES
Happy National Wear Orange Weekend (first weekend in June.) How might our world function today, had the “horseless carriage” been invented concurrent with the establishment of our Bill of Rights?
The Second Amendment would perhaps have included the tool — in addition to firearms — of automobile transportation as an inalienable right: necessary for the movement of militias in a more timely and efficient way. And the right of citizens to utilize this tool “shall not be infringed,” would read the text of that 2A.
Naturally, no infringement would entail what is now the case for guns: no need for licenses, registration of the tool, or liability insurance — and such oppressive restrictions as speed limits, obedience to traffic signals or designated lanes on our highways. U.S. citizens today would be perfectly free to drive their Teslas, Maseratis and Kias at any speed they like; it would be termed “open driving.” Some enlightened states would have “stand your road” laws, meaning: Get outta my way or get run down, Pilgrim.
Some will say “It’s not the cars, it’s the mentally deranged drivers!” Well, duh … but there are obvious workarounds for that factor. Just harden the roads! Put up 6-foot tall lane barriers, dig periodic trenches across the asphalt to force drivers to slow down… put metal detectors on all on-ramps so law enforcement can monitor what types of vehicles are entering the highways. Simple enough, to preserve our uninfringible constitutional rights.
Sounds like freedom, right? Right?
Or is it madness?
THE TAX SYSTEM CAN HELP THE HOMELESS
Eugene, like cities across the country, is struggling with the homeless crisis. It is a national crisis that deserves a national solution (“Eugene’s Homeless Policy Doesn’t Measure Up,” by maRco Elliot, EW, May 18). One of the best ways for Congress to deal with this and other problems of poverty is our tax system. The expanded child tax credit cut child poverty by 46 percent, and families had a better chance to pay rent, utilities and buy food.
Let’s call on our representatives, 202-224-3121, to renew it. A proposed renter tax credit would end families already struggling with poverty, yet paying up to 90 percent of their income for rent. By capping their rent to income ratio at 30 percent, millions could remain housed. With the current housing voucher program only reaching 25 percent of those who qualify, a renter tax credit could reach all in need and without the years of waiting for a voucher or the landlord that takes them. With tax breaks for the wealthy are up for renewal, it is time instead to level the playing field and give those families experiencing poverty relief with these tax initiatives.
America’s future will be better for it.
BRING BACK TAXES
The recurring angst over raising — or not raising — the debt ceiling fuels the recurring debate over raising — or not raising — taxes. People who make more in an hour than I make in a year say that “smaller government is good,” except when it bestows favors on them.
Let’s replace the phrase “raising taxes” with the more accurate and just phrase “restoring taxes.” Revenues are as essential to a healthy economy and social structure that works for everyone as oxygen is to a living, functioning body. If you run a household and depend on income, you get what economy and revenues are about.
Tax law is needlessly complex. Justice is simple.
Mary Sharon Moore