Letters to the Editor
On behalf of the Astoria Long Island City Business Group, I am writing regarding a matter of great importance to Queens small businesses— to urge the extension of the 15 percent maximum tax rate on capital gains and dividends. Allowing the current tax rate to expire in this time of economic hardship jeopardizes full economic recovery, job creation and small business expansion.
As a community of business leaders, the members of the Astoria Long Island City Business Group know what it takes to get New Yorkers working again and the state back on track to economic recovery. It takes smart policy that encourages investment and expansion, not policy which restricts and discourages such activity.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York’s economy, and according to a National Federation of Independent Businesses survey, 75 percent of small businesses are organized as pass-through entities (sole proprietors, partnerships, S Corps, etc.), meaning they pay taxes on their business income based on the individual tax rates, and the businesses most likely to face a tax increase are businesses employing between 20 and 250 employees, the same businesses that according to U.S. Census data employ more than 25 percent of the total workforce. Increasing the individual rates will mean that business owners have less money for business investment and job creation. A recent study found that a 5 percent increase in individual tax rates decreases business investment by 10 percent.
Raising taxes during past economic difficulties has not led to growth, and there is no reason to think that this time will be different.
The Astoria Long Island City Business Group supports the 2003 tax cuts on capital gains and dividends, and asks that you work with your colleagues to pass an extension.
Astoria Long Island City Business Group
Enjoy Holiday SafelyTo The Editor:
Whether your plans include hitting the roadways or cruising the waterways this Labor Day weekend, remember to celebrate responsibly if your plans include alcohol.
Make safety a priority and choose a designated driver or skipper before your celebrations begin. You’ll be in the company of 148 million American adults who have either been a designated driver or used one.
Thanks to these efforts, along with effective law enforcement and community based alcohol awareness and education programs, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that drunk-driving fatalities during the Labor Day period have decreased by 83 percent since 1982.
To continue this progress, we must all do our part by celebrating responsibly and safely. Enjoy this Labor Day weekend and remember, Responsibility Matters!
Consumer Social Responsibility
& Service Of New York, Inc.
Find Burial GroundTo The Editor:
I am glad to see that attention is being brought to the Flushing Remonstrance and Religious Freedom rights once again.
As a descendent of William Thorne and Nicholas Parsell, both signers of the 1657 colonial document, the “Flushing Remonstrance”, www.nytimes.com/2007/03/18/nyregion/thecit y/18ance.html?ex=1175140800&en=6af18e87 62c04e0f&ei=5070&emc=eta1, I have always been an advocate for historical facts and I am a supporter of all religious freedoms. I have not studied all the facts surrounding the building of this mosque at Ground Zero, so I won’t make any judgment either way right now.
However, I am once again dismayed at the fact that our mayor, other local, state and federal politicians are so quick to support the rights of people who want to build a mosque at Ground Zero, but they have not yet come forward to support my rights to find my ancestral burial ground on Fort Totten in Flushing, http://www.nypress.com/article-12802-sounding the-grounds.html.
Since the Flushing Remonstrance document is worthy of being mentioned by these politicians in their speeches, as a cornerstone for our religious freedoms and rights to support building this mosque, then I believe they should also think it worthy to help me find my family burial ground, so we can finally memorialize the graves of these Flushing Remonstrance brave souls; Thorn(e), Cornell & Wilkins.
Say No To MosqueTo The Editor:
In response to Mr. John Amato’s Letter to the Editor, this past week (Why A Mosque? Gazette, Aug. 11, 2010):
100 percent, sir, 100 percent, I agree.
As usual, the mayor has opened his mouth before his brain went into gear. He dictates to us like he is some sort of high almighty. You were voted in office (legally or not) to serve us, the people of New York.
Latest polls show 75 percent of all New Yorkers do not want that mosque anywhere near 9/11.
Freedom of religion? Constitutional rights? Are they citizens of the USA? If not, they have no rights.
As Warner Wolf would say, “Let’s go to the video tape.” Mr. Amato’s statements about the TV videos are correct.
They burned our flag. Stepped on it and spat on it. I still see that day. I was there. I was in the building when the first plane hit.
Don’t tell me about religion; don’t tell me about their constitutional rights. If they want to pray, let them go up to 96th and 3rd Ave. and do it there.
No Mosque At Ground ZeroTo The Editor:
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the person who wants to build the mosque at Ground Zero.
He has refused to deny that Sharia Law would be taught or promoted there.
Sharia is considered the mainstream legal and socio-economic jurisprudence of the Islamic religion. Even Iraq incorporated Sharia law in its constitution. While most Muslims are peaceful, Sharia is a belligerent and intolerant ideology.
It is antithetical to Western liberal democracies and representative government because it represents Islamic literalism and the view that the Koran is the direct word of God, and not subject to interpretation by any person. The Islamic doctrine of abrogation even made that official, especially for the most hateful last half of the Koran.
It is also an insurrectionist manual against our Constitution and the fundamental precepts of due process, because it issues a universal, unconditional, direct-from-God, command to “kill all non-believers wherever you find them”.
Sharia Law also violates our Bill of Rights by mandating the death penalty for apostasy (Muslims who renounce Islam); the treatment of women as chattel, and the forced marriage of prepubescent girls, and the torturing to death of female adulterers (just women, not men) and homosexuals.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf would not even accept the UN definition of “terrorism”, as being the intentional targeting of non-combatants. Why? Because doing so would have forced him to condemn Hamas, Hezbollah, and several jihad organizations he staunchly supports.
We must not allow this “Islamic Center” to indoctrinate American children to this abhorrent Sharia ideology, particularly at this sacred memorial site.
Anger Endangers U.S.To The Editor:
It may be strange to note in a world full of death, destruction, hatred and violence that most people seek stability, peace and an honest environment to earn a living to feed their families. The conflicts that tear at this simple truth seem irreconcilable with the desires of the majority.
Perhaps the evil among us are human viruses. Disease is part of all living systems. Human evolution is no exception. Unfortunately there seems no way to identify the stricken or cure their afflictions. The usual response is to allow them the opportunity to harm others, earning the requisite response from an appalled population.
The agony and pain caused infects individuals with fear. The knee jerk reaction is to cloister [sic] down waiting to spring into action when a threat is detected. In so-called developed nations the threats are deemed to standards long held as the norms. Populations who have enjoyed a privilege view those who seek to upset the apple cart or to claim their fair share a danger to be combated.
The political strife that many consider a threat to the welfare of the U.S. is an example of the consequences. The political polarization evident today may not be unique, but the rancor may never have been more bitter. The extremists are even tearing at their own foundations that could result in marginalization, ending the future of a major player within years.
The nation needs a cooling off period with moderates fighting to gain control and reach compromise. In the absence of steam being let out, large minorities of our fellow citizens will rally to “us versus them” anger, which is more dangerous to our democracy than bin Laden could ever be.
Baldwin, New York