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Answers to questions

Date: 12/13/2010

Editor Mike Dobbs asks random questions in this week's opinion column, as though he were playing Andy Rooney. But while Andy answers his own questions, Mike gives readers the opportunity to respond with our perspectives:

Why isn't anybody complaining about the soaring price of gas? Simple; because George Bush is no longer president. When he was, every time gas prices went up a dime, the press howled about his ties to the evil oil companies for weeks on end.

Why is Sarah Palin so popular, when (Dobbs says) "she has a very slim resume, a low level of accomplishment, and didn't even finish her one term as governor" of Alaska? I think she's popular because she's following in President Obama's footsteps: His resume before election was arguably slimmer than Palin's, his accomplishments at Harvard were so meager they have never been published, and he abandoned the citizens of Illinois by running for president after just 16 months as a senator! Palin and Obama are peas in a pod — along with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan!

Why is Congress up in arms about the deficit and the national debt, when they were silent about Bush's creative accounting for the middle east wars? Maybe Congress realizes that the entire cost of eight years of both wars is much, much less than the cost of the Bush prescription drug plan, much less than the TARP bailout, much less than the stimulus bill, which altogether are many times the cost of the war. The war except for the tragic loss of life we could afford; the mounting benefits and bailouts, we cannot afford.

Why is it so controversial to ask the rich to pay their fair share of taxes? Right now, the top 2 percent of households by income pay 10 percent of the federal income tax; the top 10 percent pay over 25 percent of the entire federal income tax; the top 50 percent pay 90 percent of the federal income tax. How much more would Dobbs want them to pay to be "fair," given that the bottom 45 percent of households pay nothing at all in federal income taxes?

Now I get to ask a question: If Nancy Pelosi feels that "unemployment benefits create jobs," why shouldn't we lay off 10 percent more workers, and double the job creation? Or perhaps no one ever told her that unemployment compensation checks come directly out of employers' pockets, sucking away the cash they could use to hire new workers. And new workers produce products; unemployed people cannot produce.

R. Patrick Henry, Jr.

East Longmeadow