You're welcome

To Kathryn, Irie, Susan, Mekella, Rylie, Baylee, Hannah, Lauren, Aimee, Brooke, Abbigail, Lilly, Cherub, Taylor, Eden, Cameo and your teachers: I appreciate the yellow ribbon with your names on them that you gave me Monday at the Veterans Day parade, thanking me for my service in Vietnam. You are very welcome! And thank you for coming out for the parade! — Tom Basgen, Medford

Veteran says thanks

I attended the Veterans Day parade in downtown Medford. As I, my granddaughters and two other veteran friends were watching, a young girl walked up to us and handed all three of us vets a yellow ribbon signed by other children and said, "Thank you for your service."

It really surprised us. I would like to say thank you so much to that young lady. I don't even know who she was walking with or who was responsible for the group, but I would like you to know you made three Vietnam vets proud to have served. Bless you all. — Rae Jackson, Medford

Only the wealthy benefit

In an otherwise thoughtful editorial about raising revenue by eliminating "tax preferences" rather than increasing tax rates on upper income earners, the Los Angeles Times equated tax deductions for charitable giving with low capital gains taxes. Both, the writer said, "may promote behavior that society values."

That equation is hard to understand. Clearly philanthropy, which cuts across income lines (many poor people tithe, for example), is socially valuable. But why are low capital gains rates, which rarely benefit poor and middle income people, socially desirable? If the (unstated) reason is that they promote investment that creates jobs, that argument is utterly discredited by comparing job creation at differing capital gains rates, for instance 29 percent under Clinton versus the current 15.7 percent.

As Warren Buffett, America's most successful living investor, wrote in the New York Times on Aug. 14, 2011, "I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain." The only beneficiary of low capital gains rates are the very wealthy. — Herbert Rothschild, Phoenix

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