Letters to the Editor

Clarifying matters of U.S. tax law

A letter in connection with the article "America's two-class tax system" (April 20) said that the low rate of corporate tax revenues results from the fact that "corporate rates remain high compared to offshore locations where businesses have moved," and that "corporations have taken their profits and tax payments elsewhere."

This might cause some confusion. Both U.S. corporations and individuals are taxed at the same rates for income, whether earned inside or outside the United States. Taxes on foreign income are then reduced by the taxes paid to foreign jurisdictions on that income.

U.S. tax collections on multinational corporations have declined because accounting and other loopholes have eroded this basic principle of taxation to a considerable degree. These loopholes, along with the low tax rate on capital gains on foreign investments, have provided significant tax incentives for U.S. corporations to move jobs overseas.

John McFadden

Philadelphia

jjmcf@aol.com

Donald Trump vs. Donald Trump

Donald Trump now wants credit for forcing the release of President Obama's birth certificate with his claim that that he doubted - with no proof - that the president was a citizen ("Obama releases birth certificate, scoffs at 'silliness'," Wednesday). Note that Trump never said he knew Obama was born outside the United States, merely that he had serious doubt.

Trump wants to have it both ways: Win support from those who can't deal with a president with a "funny" name, while appearing sane to responsible GOP leaders.

In fact, if he runs, Trump will be in a race with himself, one in which the shifty political opportunist tries to keep one step ahead of the demagogue.

James Miles

Collingdale

jxxphilly@gmail.com

Should we believe Ackerman this time?

What are we to make of what School District spokeswoman Jamilah Fraser is quoted as saying in an article about the debacle at Martin Luther King High School ("Deputy superintendent attended King High School private meeting," April 24)?

According to Fraser, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman "thought it was tragic" that King's advisory committee wasn't granted its first choice, namely, Mosaica Turnaround Partners. Ackerman also, Fraser assures us, "respects the integrity of the process." Am I missing something here? Or has Ackerman had some sort of epiphany?

She not only ignored the vote of the School Advisory Council at West Philadelphia High School last year, but also, in order to justify her rejection of their choice, trashed several members of the council. To this day, the supposed investigation of council members' alleged conflicts of interest, led by School Reform Commission Chairman Robert L. Archie Jr., has not been released. No findings - and no apologies to the parents for the false accusations cooked up against them.

So politics and collusion continue as usual in the King decision. Who can believe that Ackerman sides with the King School Advisory Council?

Mary Goldman

Philadelphia

We're all invested in Jersey's shoreline

The question as to whether taxpayers across the country should pay to preserve the Jersey Shore is absurd. I don't doubt that my tax dollars should go to preserve farms in the state's heartland. But New Jersey is more than just resort towns.

New Jersey and most of the East Coast provide much of the nation's seafood. That involves a lot of jobs. Losing the shoreline hurts all of us, not just those who enjoy lying on the beach in July.

Barbara Hammond

Philadelphia

How will candidates handle fiscal crises

Here are a couple of critical questions I'd like to hear the candidates in the May 17 primary address:

What can be done for our public schools? If Gov. Corbett's proposed cuts are approved, schools will be forced into massive job cuts and a virtual district-wide collapse.

What can be done for our hospitals? Temple University takes care of a disproportionate number of poor people in our community and its educational budget faces a proposed 50 percent cut.

I'm looking for candidates who have positions and plans on how we should deal with today's and tomorrow's crises.

Henry Nicholas

President, District 1199C

National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Philadelphia

Time to conclude the Abu-Jamal case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled for a second time that Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence is unconstitutional because the death-penalty instructions given to the jury at his 1982 trial were potentially misleading.

Despite sincerely held beliefs on both sides regarding the death penalty or the guilt or innocence of Abu-Jamal ("Federal appeals court orders a new sentencing hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal," Wednesday), the fact is, Abu-Jamal will likely never be executed.

The ruling by the Third Circuit court gives the commonwealth a choice between a life sentence or a new sentencing hearing within six months. The latter would be tantamount to a new trial. Even if that resulted in another death penalty, legally, that would be a new sentence. So the appeals process would just start all over again.

Albert Whitehead

Philadelphia