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Community Forum: Democrats are only playing class warfare
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I am responding to Steve Deming's letter to editor that appeared Thursday. I strongly disagree with his belief that the Democrats are working for the middle class. The last Democratic president who even proposed a tax cut was John F. Kennedy more than 40 years ago. Bill Clinton promised a middle-class tax cut but it never happened.

When candidates such as Sens. Clinton and Obama propose a middle-class tax cut only while increasing taxes of the highest wage earners, that is class warfare at its finest and the basis of socialism, which has failed everywhere. Everyone who pays taxes, regardless of income, deserves to keep more of their own money.

The facts are this: The top 1 percent of wage-earners in America pay 39 percent of all income taxes. The top 25 percent pay 86 percent of all income taxes. These are facts from the IRS. Is that fair?

I am by no means wealthy, but I would like to earn more and that does not make me a bad person. Why should a person be punished for making more money? When you let people keep more of their money, especially the wealthy, their entrepreneurial spirit thrives. They are more likely to reinvest their money in the economy, which in turn creates more jobs for you and me.

Mr. Deming's comments about the military are also incorrect. Just this past week, the Army disclosed that re-enlistment is higher and stronger than ever. President Bush acted because the United Nations failed more than a dozen times to enforce their resolutions against Saddam Hussein's murderous regime. And, his regime has been tied to terrorist actions for years. Let us not forget Saddam killed thousands of his own people as well.

Mr. Deming's opinion that there are a few fairly standard perceptions of the two parties is just that, his opinion, when it comes to the Democrats and the economy. Again, the Democratic Party has not uniformly supported any sort of tax cut in more than 40 years. It is the party of growing the government. The government is bloated and needs to go on a diet.

I do agree that recent Republicans are also guilty of growing the government and because of this, lost the majority in the House and Senate in 2006. I cringe when I hear a politician talk about a new government program that will "help." Please tell me one or two government programs that operate efficiently, smoothly and with little cost to American taxpayers.

We can continue to cut taxes for all Americans, wealthy and not, because it is fair and just. To only cut taxes (or claim that you will cut taxes for only one group) is a form of socialism, and it is un-American and wrong. Cutting taxes across the board and reigning in spending will control the budget.

If Democrats are the party of the middle class and the economy, why did the majority of that party reject a one-year moratorium on earmarks that Sen. McCain co-sponsored?

The majority of Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress believe they know what is best for Americans and know how best to spend - waste - our money. I do not. I believe I know how to best spend and save my money, and regardless of how much one makes, if you pay taxes you deserve a tax cut, wealthy, middle class or not.

Erik Kamber

Prayer will help us overcome gas prices
I believe that there is a sensible solution to the rising gas prices. I remember two or three years ago when gas prices began to rise, but at the time they were less than $3 a gallon. In fact, they hadn't reached $2 a gallon at the time.

I remember the statement being made by an attendant that "there is nothing you can do about the high gas prices but pay them." Well, after I returned to my vehicle, it came to me in this manner: There is something you can do; you can pray.

It took some time for me to believe that statement about praying, but I did. Now that the prices are more than $3 per gallon for regular gas, I find that praying is something worthwhile. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." I also believe that praying is rewarding.

Since then, gas has risen to $3.21 and more for regular. It hasn't bothered me as much because I don't have a choice, especially since gas is a must for me if I want to work. We cannot afford to stop working because gas rises. But I believe if the rise in prices are not justified, gas stations, companies and producers will lose if they are price-gouging, and the customers will win if they are praying.

I believe that prayer will help us in the end. Even the stations, the companies and the producers will gain if they are on the up and up. With man, these things may be impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Being obedient with the intention to continue your job is important to our creator because it is he that we work for anyway, especially if our work is legitimate. All work is not pleasing to Him. According to his word, you can figure if your work is a benefit to mankind or a curse.

Mankind has needs that we cannot help because we did not make ourselves. God is our creator, and he also created all living things. All of his creations have needs. Mankind has a lot of responsibilities in seeing that all needs are met according to his or her ability with God's help.

I believe that mankind's responsibility to pray for things that only God can deliver is a must. I guess it is kind of like working to earn to eat. Whereas if one doesn't work, one doesn't eat. According to Mark 11:24, "What things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

I believe obedience goes a long ways in getting one's needs met. I believe using one's time wisely also goes a long ways. We lose out on a lot when we fail to read and believe the greatest book ever written, the Bible. The man who translated the Bible into English was killed for doing so. That should be enough to make everyone, who would believe, want to read it.

If that was the case, America would be so much better off. Not only gas prices would be easier to deal with, but everything else would be better if people believed.

Jesse Jenkins

Dental lab controls materials from China
I want to thank The Times for coverage of the lead contamination scandal involving some unscrupulous dental laboratories in China. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to distinguish our Gainesville-based dental lab, Southern Craft, from other labs that outsource work and materials from China with no verification or quality control standards.

Southern Craft owns and manages our own independent lab in China. We maintain total control and do not outsource. Consequently, the dental crowns and bridges made in our China operation are produced with the exact same high-quality porcelain and metals used in our Gainesville facility. I also want to point out that we chose our China location in order to provide our dentists' clients and their patients with the advantages of superior craftsmanship from highly skilled artisans in that country, in addition to more competitive pricing.

Unfortunately, the recent lead scandal casts suspicion on our entire industry. That is why it is so important that The Times and other media continue to assure the public that this incident stems from a sub-standard dental lab that was not American-owned or certified by both the FDA and the National Association of Dental Laboratories.

Jeb Bates
President, Southern Craft Dental Laboratory, Gainesville