Why is Sweeney
focusing on Revel?
Regarding the Dec. 1 story, "Revel refutes reports of 'dire' situation":
Why is state Senate President Steve Sweeney so concerned about the welfare of Revel? He supported building this casino with state tax incentives when it meant work for hundreds of his fellow union members. Now, with Revel operating for less than a year, he wants to investigate Revel's ability to stay in business.
Could it be he is supporting Local 54 of UNITE-HERE President Bob McDevitt, who was against Revel being built due to his failure to organize workers there? McDevitt would like to see Revel fail as it would protect his unionized workers in other casinos.
The state is near bankrupt and owes billions to the pension and health funds for state and local public workers. We pay the highest real estate taxes in the country, along with every other gimmick to pick the taxpayers' pockets. And Sweeney is concerned about Revel? His priority should be figuring out how to help New Jersey pay down that debt and straightening out the state's finances.
Little Egg Harbor Township
Congress should let
Bush tax cuts expire
As an educator in Weymouth Township, I know firsthand the effect that spending cuts have on education. When funding gets taken from schools, it's our children who lose. Class sizes are forced to go up, making it harder for students to get the instruction they need.
On Election Day, the voters said loud and clear that they want fairness. Congress should listen and let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2 percent. This money could be used in far better ways.
That's why I urge Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, to extend the current payroll tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, while letting George W. Bush's tax cuts expire on the top 2 percent. By holding the middle-class hostage on this matter, congressional Republicans are threatening the future of our children and our economy. By repealing the tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000 a year, we can raise revenue to fight the deficit while also ensuring that crucial social programs remain strong.
If LoBiondo is truly concerned about the future of our children and our middle class, I hope he will support this effort.
Casinos missed chance
in Sandy's aftermath
In the days after Sandy, I did not hear of one casino reaching out to storm victims or the thousands of new visitors to Atlantic City, which included contractors, insurance adjusters, Federal Emergency Management Agency employees, etc.
Most of the displaced residents and the new visitors in town were placed in hotels other than the casinos. Revel probably had a 95 percent vacancy rate at the time. How can casino hotels that are begging for business not offer a discounted rate to the thousands of people who needed housing? How could they not want them sleeping, eating, drinking and gambling in their establishments?
This was an opportunity for the casinos to capitalize on a situation that would have made them look like heroes in the national spotlight while keeping their establishments and their work forces busy. Instead they talk about how they lost business during and after the storm.
For the sake of Atlantic City, I hope they do not squander the next opportunity to promote Atlantic City as a destination to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who normally enjoy Long Beach Island and Seaside Heights as vacation spots. Sadly those two areas (just to name a few) will most likely not be ready in time for this summer. But Atlantic City is ready and should be doing something now to attract those visitors here.
National Guard proud
to have helped LBI
I cannot imagine the grief and frustration the good people of Long Beach Island are facing today. My soldiers and airmen have been deeply affected by their experience here in the weeks following superstorm Sandy, and they are truly inspired by the resolve of LBI residents.
We are leaving here proud to have assisted in your recovery effort and comforted in the fact that we were here taking care of our own in New Jersey. You are our neighbors, our friends and our family, and you will be in our thoughts and prayers as we continue onto our next mission.
God bless you as you continue in your mission toward recovery.
1ST LT. ERIC J. SHAW
Task Force LBI
N.J. Army National Guard
Busler column right
about a single flat tax
Regarding Michael Busler's Dec. 3 column, "Simple can be better - tax all income at 12 percent":
A standing ovation to Busler for simplifying the complicated tax code and suggesting a 12 percent income tax for everyone above the poverty level.
That translates into a 12 percent "handicap" on every taxpayer. The low- or middle-income earner may have to buy a small car instead of a big one, and the upper-income earner may have to buy a smaller yacht than what he had planned.
And such a simple tax code would also allow a cut in the amount we spend to run the Internal Revenue Service.
We should also do away with the "death" tax.
Cut employers' taxes
if minimum wage rises
Regarding the Legislature's vote to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 in New Jersey:
Supporters of raising the minimum wage fail to address the second half of the minimum-wage equation - the employers. New Jersey legislators should adopt a business-friendly approach that would reduce the state tax burden on employers by $2 for every $1 increase in the minimum wage.
The proposed legislation, without tax relief for employers, will kill jobs for the working poor. And isn't it really all about creating jobs, not killing them?
Lawmakers are wrong to assume that people will remain in entry-level jobs forever and not advance themselves to higher positions with higher pay. Employers should ask lawmakers for state tax relief as part of any minimum-wage legislation. So much is made about fairness these days - why not be fair to the working poor and the businesses that employ them? It can be a win-win for both.