Here’s a look at opinion content that was published Saturday, Sept. 25, Sunday, Sept. 26 and today, Monday, Sept. 27:
Saturday, Sept. 25
Even while state attorneys general challenge key provisions and Republicans threaten repeal, the new health care law is being implemented. Here are two views of one of the most controversial provisions — a mandate requiring those without health care coverage to purchase private insurance.
Canada can offer health-care lesson: Commentary
Bogdan Kipling, a Canadian columnist based in Washington, offers a comment on how universal health care has become part of his nation’s fabric.
Reform raises costs: Commentary
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, which studies market-based solutions to health reform, comments on the battle between the Obama administration and health-insurance companies over costs.
Sunday, Sept. 26
Dream Act: Editorial
We comment on the Republican filibuster of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, better known as the Dream Act. We write:
… The Dream Act, which was first proposed nearly 10 years ago, would have set some illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship. It applied only to those who were brought to this country as children, lived here five or more years, earned a high school diploma and had no criminal record. Those completely blameless illegal immigrants would have been eligible for legal status after two years of college or military service. As it stands now, illegal immigrant students — even those who were raised here and know only this country as home — cannot legally work, qualify for most college scholarships or serve in the military. …
Jim Russell: Reisman
Phil Reisman writes about the radio interview he conducted with Jim Russell, the Republican candidate for the 18th Congressional District. It was reported last week that Russell had penned a 2001 essay that embraced anti-Semitism and eugenics.
Property-tax circuit breaker: Commentary
Elyse Knight, who lives in Piermont and is an advocate with the New York State Property Tax Reform Coalition, argues in favor of a property tax circuit breaker for New York. Knight writes:
… I support the circuit breaker because it is property tax relief based on an individual’s income. It’s the only option that will mean real property tax relief for the individual homeowner. Tax relief will be phased in over four years, a reasonable consideration of the state’s fiscal situation.
My husband and I currently pay 21 percent of our gross income in property taxes. I know people paying almost half their income in property taxes. They use credit cards or dig into retirement funds. About 40 percent of New York state homeowners pay in excess of 10 percent of their income in property taxes. It’s an outrageous, unfair taxation that’s got to end. My husband and I can afford our home and utilities. We can no longer afford to maintain our home.
Exact terms of circuit breaker legislation remain under negotiation. Using an average of all the formulas under consideration, my household’s property taxes would drop to about 8 percent of our income — still high, but relief. …
‘Trickle-down’ economics: Commentary
Garrett Gruener, founder of Ask.com, argues against continued advancement of so-called ‘trickle-down’ economics by the American right.
Federal costs: Commentary
Burke Christensen, the Robert B. Morgan Professor of Insurance Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, argues that reducing the cost of federal government — not the tax burden — should be the top American priority.
Boy Scout Centennial: Baird
Bob Baird writes about plans for the Boy Scouts of America Hudson Valley Council’s Oct. 10 Leadership Gala, at which 100 scouting leaders will be honored.
Monday, Sept. 27
Property-tax cap: Editorial
We urge Gov. David Paterson to recall the Legislature as soon as possible to take up a cap on property taxes. We write:
Gov. Paterson’s first instincts on a tax cap, however fleeting, were spot on: He should call lawmakers back to Albany before Election Day to take up legislation capping annual property tax hikes at 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Not doing so gives cover to lawmakers who would rather talk about fiscal restraint than actually practice it. The time to enact such a blunt instrument is the present, while the state’s thick catalog of budget excess and mistakes remain fresh in everyone’s mind.
Opinion surveys show broad public support for enacting a cap, legislation endorsed by the Senate, 52-7, in an August vote. Assembly lawmakers, so busy in this campaign season telling voters of their hard work, thrift and frugality, fled Albany without considering a cap or any property tax relief. Paterson should give them the chance to back up their tough fiscal talk with deeds. …