Gerald Cavanaugh describing the GOP as "Grumpy Old Partypoopers" reminded me of Harry Truman referring to the GOP as "guardians of privilege." — John Toso, Ashland

Although state taxes need to be somewhat "regressive" in order to attract businesses to our state, federal taxes should be very "progressive" to bolster the decline of the middle class. This key concept is unfairly portrayed as "socialist agenda," or "redistribution of wealth" — while liberals portray progressive taxes as "morally fair" (which misses the point).

The purpose of a progressive tax is that it creates a "demand side" economy, increasing demand for goods and services, which increases demand for workers, which in turn makes labor unions and the "minimum wage" less important. Ultimately, a progressive tax structure benefits all businesses by increasing demand. That's how it used to be.

The notion that lowering taxes for corporations and rich Americans will grow us out of our problems is pure fantasy. This "trickle-down" approach has been tried over and over and has never worked. However, every time taxes were reduced for the mid- to lower-income brackets, the economy grew. Our tax code needs an overhaul, but letting the Bush tax cuts expire is a good start.

The Constitution doesn't say anything about tax structure, but it does read "We the People" — corporate America isn't mentioned. — Keith Shirley, Medford

On this Thanksgiving, I offered thanks to Eliza Schaaf and her family — persons I do not know — for opening their world to all of us and for teaching those willing to learn.

SOU students, who seem instinctively to understand what needs to be done, have learned several lessons. If they didn't already, they now know that an "intellectually disabled" student deserves their respect and admiration. That they also like Eliza and consider her a friend is a bonus. They've learned not to trust bureaucrats and empty words. They've learned that administrators do not care what they think.

I'm not sure what SOU's administrators have learned. Do they wish they had handled this differently? Has the widespread support for Eliza surprised them? Are they willing to acknowledge their mistake and rectify it? Can they seize this opportunity and learn to serve other "disabled" students who are as passionate about education as Eliza is?

In decision-making, administrators typically support their subordinates; to do otherwise is to undermine them. This is one time when they need to violate that principle, for the greater good of one young woman and for the greater good of SOU whose reputation has been gravely compromised. — Karen Gernant, Talent

As a longtime political observer and sometime participant, I read Damian Mann's front-page article, "You can fight City Hall" with great interest. I can't imagine having a husband/wife combination, one-third of the council, serving the citizenry bodes well for future harmony, nor a marital relationship. — Alfred Willstatter, Ashland

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