Columnists > Mailbag


"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Building a city," March 24, 2007

A simpler system

Joel Belz longs for a simpler tax system ("Waiting for my refunds," Feb. 24). Such a plan has been reintroduced this session of Congress. The FairTax Proposal would replace the income and estate taxes (among others) with a national sales tax. Instead of discouraging people from working hard, saving, and investing by taxing all these activities, the FairTax would encourage these behaviors and spread the burden of taxation out among everyone, including those who currently work "under the table" and those who profit from crime. We would also be very clear about just how much we are paying in taxes, and so more likely to demand that our money be spent wisely.
-Andi Michelson; E. Sparta, Ohio

Why is Belz waiting for refunds from his federal and state income tax returns? A properly completed W-4 form permits only money due the government to be withheld from his income. A tax refund is not a financial reward; it means that we lost interest that we could have earned on our own money.
-Hiram Hayes Silvey; Kalamazoo, Mich.


Blessings on Andrée Seu for "'Out came this calf'" (Feb. 10). I've long cringed over all the TV ads for the lottery.
-Myrtha S. Witkop; Sellinsgrover, Pa.

Long forgotten

Gaetan Roy wants Western nations to apologize to China for the Opium Wars ("Forgive us their trespass," Feb. 17), but associating the imperialist problems of those days with Christians will produce irreparable harm to Chinese Christians today. His attempt will give Chinese police and other persecutors additional ammunition to justify the imprisonment, torture, and killing of Christians. After over 20 years living and working in China and Taiwan, I have never heard any complaints, or mention, of those long forgotten difficulties.
-Bob Heimburger; Birmingham, Ala.

A subsidy by any other name

Many Americans are critical of the government subsidies for farmers and the ethanol industry ("Pass on the corn," Feb. 10), but if we could be more self-sufficient, we could save the billions of dollars it is costing to protect oil interests in the Middle East.
-Larry Gifford; Fort Ripley, Minn.

The wrong tree

James Kublin says he wants to prove that malaria, not sexual promiscuity, is the reason AIDS has spread so quickly in sub-Saharan Africa ("All one fight," Jan. 13). I suggest he visit the tiny mountain country of Lesotho within the borders of South Africa. There he will find that malaria is nonexistent due to the country's high altitude, yet a very large percentage of the population is infected with HIV. Nothing but a change of lifestyle is going to make the disease go away. When scientists stop treating the symptoms and see AIDS as a lifestyle disease, there will be hope that Kublin and his colleagues will realize that they are barking up the wrong tree.
-Gerd LePoidevin; Nampula, Mozambique

Important worldview

I appreciate so much your articles and columns. You speak the truth in love and your worldview is so important. Thanks for all the in-depth profiles of "Daniels" and the projects truly making a difference.
-Eunice Will; Springfield, Mo.

Since subscribing to WORLD I now recognize the secular humanist slant of Time and US News & World Report. I have canceled them.
-Richard R. Gallagher; Ruckersville, Va.

Your magazine doesn't impress me as a Christian magazine. I usually am not like this, but I felt as if I had to tell you. Maybe I am being too judgmental, but cancel my subscription anyway.
-Sue Burdick; Marquette, Mich.


Reginald Coupland is among British authors writing about William Wilberforce ("Doing good and helping the poor," Feb. 24, 2007).


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