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May 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Op-Ed: Why not a sales tax for recovery relief?
Doug Kendall
September 22, 2005

By now, we’ve all heard some of the reports detailing the many failures of the federal government and FEMA:

  • Requiring first responders to fill out a 60-page application, submit their photos and a copy of their federal income tax return—along with requiring them to take sensitivity and sexual harassment training—all while people are in need of immediate assistance.
  • Turning supply trucks away, because they didn’t have the proper government permits to transport goods from state to state (churches volunteered to use their vans to help out and get around the ridiculous requirements)
  • Private doctors ordered to stop giving treatment—even while in the middle of treating critically ill patients—because they were not covered by US government medical liability insurance and did not have FEMA credentialing (they were transported, by helicopter, to obtain the necessary paperwork, but the doctors feel that they could have saved some of those who died while they were away)
  • At a cost of millions in British taxpayer dollars, 400,000 NATO MRE (“meals ready to eat”) ration packs—the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq—sent from the UK have been impounded and are subject to incineration, because of FDA import/export regulations
  • Citizen boat flotillas, to be used to get people out of flooded houses and businesses, were turned away and told that their assistance wasn’t needed, because the government had everything under control

    And the list goes on and on.
    On Wednesday, September 21, The Beaufort Gazette featured an opinion piece titled, “Why not a sales tax for recovery relief?” The article suggested that “Congress should consider a temporary sales tax to finance the disaster recovery program.”
    How anyone can suggest that the government be given more money, in light of its disaster relief failures, is beyond me. Private citizens, charity groups and businesses have shown, time and time again, that they do a vastly superior job of helping those in need.
    An additional “temporary” sales tax would not only put more money into a government that has shown that it cannot adequately provide disaster relief, it would also discourage people from donating and volunteering. Unfortunately, some people would undoubtedly say, “I’m already paying taxes for that. Let the government handle it.”
    Also, let’s not forget about the “temporary” tax that was supposed to help fund the Spanish-American War, which is still a part of your telephone bill, to this day.
    If anything, the restrictions and regulations that govern charitable activities and donations should be loosened, or abolished altogether. Since the private sector does a much better job with relief efforts, voluntary giving and staffing should be encouraged.
    Government has shown that it cannot—and should not—be relied upon to save people who are in need.

    Copyright 2005 Doug Kendall. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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"Also, let’s not forget about the “temporary” tax that was supposed to help fund the Spanish-American War, which is still a part of your telephone bill, to this day." This tax is STILL being paid . . .

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