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Grant's Lemonade Stand, IRS and more in Friday's Forum

Staff Report • Aug 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Pardon me, but the use of the term “11 Napoleons” to describe an 11-member County Commission as opposed to the current 25-member panel shows why Michael Hartman should not have been elected to head the Republican Party in Washington County. His election was clearly a reflection of maintaining the status quo. Many of the current 25 commissioners are more concerned with getting free health insurance than they are serving the needs of this county. The current number of commissioners provides an excuse for not making a decision.An 11-member commission would not create “11 Napoleons.” Instead, it would allow for greater public awareness of the voting records of each person on the commission. It would also save the taxpayer the ridiculous expense of providing health insurance and other benefits to this select group.As I recall, Hartman was elected by a narrow majority of delegates. Maybe he should consider how he is representing all of us if he continues to belittle those who don’t agree with his view. So who is the Napoleon?JAY MILLERJohnson CityGrant’s Lemonade StandGrant Stout can stand tall — well, as tall as any 5 year old can physically stand — for his fundraising efforts to benefit Niswonger Children’s Hospital. As a graduate of the facility’s neonatal intensive care unit, he is learning at an early age to be charitable and give back to his community. I commend his family for helping him be community-minded at such a young age. For the second year, Grant has operated Grant’s Lemonade Stand on a hot July Saturday. Everyone from infant twins to 90 year olds, plus friends, neighbors and passersby dropped in to enjoy lemonade and cookies and make contributions. From what I observed in the donation jar, his take will almost certainly equal or surpass last year’s amount collected of $1,200.It was a pleasure to see a driveway full of happy and healthy giggling squealing kids racing up and down the driveway. That’s what it’s all about — healthy children. You go, Grant. MARY GRAYJohnson CityBeware of IRSIt isn’t just big organizations being targeted. The Internal Revenue Service has been charged with collecting as much money as possible. Their ads say if e-filed, you don’t have to worry about the accuracy as when they input your information into the computer. On a recent year’s tax, they came back and wanted several more hundred dollars in taxes. They count on people being intimidated and sending the money. By law the IRS is required to send you a line-by-line computer print-out. We finally reached a female agent. Same story. We reminded her they owed us the print-out. She suggested we go over the form line-by-line. When we got to the line on deductions, it had been lowered by over $2,000. She agreed to send the print-out. She sent a letter along with print-out stating we couldn’t claim more than the standard deduction. We had filed the long form.The IRS owed us several hundred dollars. Our tax preparer said he would tackle it after tax season. In the meantime, Congressman Phil Roe’s representative, John Abe Teague would meet with people with problems. He agreed we were right and would get his personnel on it. Three days later, a letter from the IRS came that we were due a refund. Remember, the IRS will be administering Obamacare (47 new taxes and penalties). There will be many people receiving letters to send more money. JANET VAUGHANJonesboroughOut of touchThe president, Congress and most government institutions prove every day that they just don’t get it. What makes me say that? Three recent examples illustrate the point:The Fort Hood shooter kills 13 and wounds many others while yelling “Allahu Akbar” and it takes four years to bring him to trial. He wants to be executed and his lawyers want to quit because of it. He is the enemy in a war we can’t admit we are in. Grant him his wish.In Benghazi, four Americans die as the result of bureaucratic bungling and no one takes responsibility. The government lies to the American public and nobody seems to care. We were attacked by the enemy again and we are filing federal charges against the perpetrators — unbelievable. In Boston, two terrorists kill and maim dozens of innocent people and we find out NSA can track the phone calls of everyone in America, but they can’t follow up on shared intelligence from the Russians and prevent another attack by the enemy. How did this happen? It happened because the American people allowed politicians and bureaucrats to become the ruling class. Wake up America, before it is too late. Educate yourselves and vote.JON LINK Johnson City

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